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The next 50 years of oil and gas hold potential for a lot of change, and even more competition between companies. Oil will become harder to find, prices will continue to fluctuate and skilled workers are few.

How to deal with this competition is a difficult matter. But an employee ownership scheme has proved to be one tried and tested method that sets companies apart in a crowded market.The employee ownership model is steadily gaining more ground in the UK. Currently, employee owned companies make up 3% of the UK GDP and this figure is forecast to increase to 10% by 2020. Just think what it could be in 50 years’ time.

What’s more, political heavyweights including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney have publicly declared their support.Since the Employee Ownership Index began in 1992, employee owned companies have outperformed the FTSE all-share companies by an average of 10% every year. The benefits of adopting the employee ownership model explain the success rate. Employees are given a financial stake in the company, as well as an emotional one. Each employee, from those on the leadership team to the office manager and the most recent recruit, has a say in the company’s direction.

When employees realise their opinions are really heard and appreciated, they begin to feel valued as individuals and as workers. Naturally, they become more dedicated to their company, decreasing the company’s staff turnover. With a low turnover and dedicated, dependable staff, high growth plans suddenly become even more realistic and achievable.

But the benefits don’t stop there. A company that has a good corporate culture and satisfied staff becomes instantly more attractive to new workers. The energy industry is suffering from a severe lack of young, skilled workers, therefore increasing competition between companies to recruit the brightest and best people. The employee ownership model will certainly help to do just that. At Accord Energy Solutions, we have been pushing the employee ownership model since day one. We are steadily moving towards 100% employee ownership and couldn’t be happier with the results. Our employees feel more valued, engaged and motivated.

Adopting the employee ownership model will never be a walk in the park. It requires hard work, determination and enthusiasm from all on board. But it is worth it and I would whole-heartedly recommend the arrangement to companies of all shapes and sizes.

As the industry moves into an uncertain and challenging 50 years, employers should be doing all they can to ensure their companies stand out in the crowd and attract the talent that will drive the business forward. Adopting an employee owned model is the best way to stand out in a crowded marketplace.The government is going down several avenues to simplify the move to being employee owned. The time to make the change is now. The arrangement will set your business apart from the others and allow you to get ahead of the competition.

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