Canadian Tax Issues for ESOPs

The Canadian tax deadline is May 1st and as we all know only two things in life are certain – death and taxes. And for a lot of people doing taxes is a death defying experience.

ESOPs or Employee Share Ownership Plans have special tax related issues. There are three types of ESOPs in Canada.

Continue reading


Employee Share Ownership Plans from the Owner’s Perspective

Most owners of privately-held companies are also the founders.  Why?  At some point in the past, they had a dream and a desire to own their own business.  For many, this required giving up a secure job working for someone else and entering the uncertain and ambiguous realm of an entrepreneur.  Although there was a huge risk, they believed in themselves and their dream, and they took the leap.  For many, this required using their own savings, as well as putting their house and everything they owned on the line as collateral.  This was not an easy decision on their part.

Continue reading


How Does Neuroscience Affect Employee Engagement?

What is the foundation for effective employee engagement within your ESOP?

Trust. 

Actually, trust is the foundation for every relationship, in any area of your life.  And the only way to create a workplace environment for greater connection, collaboration, innovation, creativity, and success, is by building incrementally higher levels of trust every day.

A basic understanding of neuroscience can allow us to have a simple, understandable dialogue about some of the elements that instill trust, employee engagement, and can lead to an even more successful Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP).

Continue reading


How Does an ESOP Fit for the Millennial Generation?

Canadians born between 1979 and 2000 now outnumber baby boomers for the first time in history.  The Millennials (or Generation Y) form a distinctive segment of the work force, aged 16 to 37 years old.  There are two types of Millennials:  those aged 16 to 27 have been called the iGeneration Millennials since they were raised with iPads; while those aged 28 to 37 are called the Net Generation Millennials as they were brought up on the internet.

Continue reading


Thinking of a Stock Option Plan for your Company?

When business owners think of offering their employees equity in the company, a stock option plan often comes to mind.

Stock options can be a great tool for owners to engage their employees and attract and keep talented staff. So let’s discuss what stock options are, and in what scenarios they perform best.

Continue reading


Does Happiness Create Success in Business?

In a meta analysis of 225 academic studies by Sonja Lyubomirsky, Laura King and Ed Diener (as reported in the 2012 Harvard Business Review) it was shown that happy employees have a higher productivity rate by 31%, increased sales by 37% and are 3 times more innovative and creative.

Continue reading


Should You Make The Scary Switch To Employee Share Ownership (ESOP)?

Should you make the scary switch to an ESOP?  Or is it a scary switch?Employee Share Ownership - is it scary?

There is often a perception that inviting employees into the ownership circle can  take away value, rather than adding value to a company.  When designed well, this is not true at all. In fact, there are many huge advantages for the owner, the company and the employee team.

Tema Frank of Frank Reactions interviewed Employee Ownership Specialist, Dan Ohler, from Edmonton, AB to explore these questions.

We invite you to grab a cup of coffee, put on your headset, and enjoy the interview.

Continue reading


Employee Ownership. Is It Right For You?

In our daily conversations with business owners and senior management, we receive lots of questions about employee ownership of business through an ESOP.  Most fit into two categories characterized as:

  1. How do we implement an ESOP?
  2. We’ve got an ESOP. How do we keep it fresh and alive?

Continue reading


Is it the Right Time for Canadian Employee Ownership?

It is no secret that our Canadian economy is changing. How does this relate to Canadian employee ownership?  A great question.

In Alberta, as in many other places across Canada, thousands of oil-related jobs have been lost. Downtown Calgary was almost impossible to drive through a year ago, yet now, rush hour is quite manageable – and it’s not because people are riding bikes.

Continue reading


12 Successful Strategies for Creating a Participative Environment

Studies in the United States over the last 40 years have repeatedly identified that an employee share ownership plan (ESOP) with a participation component outperforms one without a participation element.

Participation means that the employees take on the responsibility of their particular job as well as the accountability that goes along with it by participating in decision-making in their sphere of influence within the organization.

Participation is vital to an ESOP. In fact, the same studies have shown that ESOPs without employee participation might be worse than having no ESOP at all. This negative result has been calculated at upwards of 6% of reduced production. 

Continue reading