Employee ownership is a relatively new approach to running a business, it is a way that legacies can continue and employees are rewarded for their commitment and hard work. Stephen Jones, Founder, wanted this for Focus and its valued employees and so in July 2019 we became employee owned. Other employee-owned businesses include Riverford Organic, 3663, AG Parfett & Sons Ltd, Cambridge Weight Watchers, John Lewis amongst many others.
The ethos of an employee-owned business is to create a sustainable future in an engaged and productive environment, where employees have control and contribute to the strategy and processes of the business. By sharing information and holding regular meetings we use the knowledge and experience of the whole team to make informed decisions for the good of the business.
Employee ownership is seen in many guises, we choose to have a Trust who hold the shares of the business for the employees, and whom the management team report into. Each and every one of our employees have a significant and meaningful stake in the company and we all have a say in how the business is run and everyone shares in its financial successes.
The Trust is made up of the Founder, an Independent Trustee, and an Employee Trustee. The appointment of the Employee Trustee was by employee vote, with Rachel Parkin currently holding the position.
Delighted to say it’s our first year Anniversary of Employee Ownership and it coincides with Employee Ownership Day 2020.
I know there is a day for nearly everything these days, many spurious but today is not one of those. Today is a day that changed my life and the food recruitment business I founded forever, and it is EO Day.
A year has passed since we moved into Employee Ownership and I believe 100% vindicated in the decision as these truly torrid and uncertain times have allowed us all at Focus to see the strength that comes from an EO business. It is the case, that EO businesses perform better, survive downturns more positively, and keep colleagues longer.
And I have seen a huge change in so many of my Co-owners in Focus. Having a stake in the business in good and tough times has galvanised us to a level of consistent energy and commitment that I had rarely seen before.
EO needs time to bed down and make work, but we have adapted to the collegiate open approach with gusto. The direct, frank and candid way we deal with every opportunity and challenge is fantastic and the can do and team ethos is energising, and successful. It is our business, it is personal.
With 30 years’ experience in recruitment, I am justified in rolling out the hackneyed line that I have seen most things that could be thrown at a recruiter, well that was until his year. And whilst the challenges placed in front of us are huge, what has been so exciting is the way the team – the business, all of us have risen to the challenge as one. It makes me very proud.
But don’t just take my word for it, here’s what EO means to the Focus team.
If we can help any business who are considering the transition to Employee Ownership, we would be delighted to hear from you.
HAPPY EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP DAY!