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This is the finding of a survey of 321 IT and Internet startups conducted by German digital association Bitkom , with just 27% of the young companies surveyed stating that not only their founding team, but also their employees hold shares. 46% of respondents stated that only their founders hold shares. Remarkably high, at 27%, is the number of those startups who did not want to provide any information on this. Those companies who involve their employees cite long-term commitment and additional motivation as their main reasons for involving them; just 47% also felt a moral obligation to do so. Those against the idea cited quite different motives: 24% stated that their employees prefer conventional salary payments; 17% had not yet thought about the possibility. Just as many companies were put off by the associated bureaucracy, while (in each case) 15% cited legal uncertainties or did not want to dilute their shares.

For many carmakers, profit-sharing has long been common practice. As German business newspaper ‘Handelsblatt’ reports , skilled workers at BMW in Germany received a bonus of €9,175 in 2018. Daimler’s profit-sharing amounted to €5,700 and Audi’s to €3,630.