First is the philosophy of personal wealth creation. Employees are motivated by financial gain and ESOPs deliver wealth.
Second is the philosophy of cultural engagement on a personal basis. The Theory of Group Wisdom holds that groups are more successful over individuals due not to the intellect of each person but due to the social interaction of the group. ESOPs create the conditions of group success through a participative culture of engagement.
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.
Recently, B.C., Alberta and Ontario have committed to raising the minimum wage and predictably in all cases, these wage hikes are met with scorn and praise from both sides. While a minimum wage is an essential factor to protect workers and create a minimum standard of living, there is a better solution that Canada should be exploring to help more people build wealth and ensure a competitive economy.