One of the biggest fears of founders that I coach is the fact that they may lose loyal, hard-working employees after the transfer of the farm to the next generation. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Dan Ohler of ESOP Builders (firstname.lastname@example.org) recently gave a webinar on how Employee Share Ownership Plans (ESOPs) work. We’ve been thinking about this on our farm as we have a fabulous young mechanic whom we would like to keep for the next 30 years. According to Ohler’s statistics, 51 per cent of business owners in Canada have no succession plan, and only nine per cent have a formal succession plan.
ESOPs would allow my key employee to have long-term value growth and purchase part of an ownership interest in the farm he works hard at.