Alfa Leisureplex Group: UK EO Award Winner Case Study
Model of EO: Indirect
Percentage of shares owned by employees: 75% (25% remains with family)
How it is operated: There are three elected employee owners on the Board of Trustees which represents the interests of the employee owners and their controlling 75% stake in the business. The Board of Trustees has representation on the Executive Board for ideas and issues to be channelled through. A network of 25 employee representatives across the Group’s locations feed into the Board of Trustees.
Alfa Leisureplex Group’s Journey: The Lancashire based Alfa Leisureplex Group is the only employee owned Travel Company within the UK. Offering expertly planned holidays from start to finish, the operator offers passengers a range of vibrant and exciting destinations with the convenience of well-situated pick up points throughout the UK. Exceptional customer service is at the heart of everything they do, due to the enthusiastic team of owner employees, which make up the Alfa Leisureplex Group. Within the group’s three subsidiaries includes Alfa Coaches and its 49 vehicle fleet with experienced drivers. Handling the operational side of its coach holiday packages is Alfa Travel, whilst Leisureplex Hotels offers a range of overnight stays at 21 superb locations, many with stunning views
The Sawbridge family established the business with the purchase of its first hotel in Llandudno, Wales, in 1984. By 2015 when the family sold 75% of the business to an employee owned trust, the business had grown significantly to a group comprising 21 hotels, a tour operator, a coach operator and employing over 600 people.
To support the governance and employee voice structures, a series of communications and engagement activities are delivered across the group, such as employee engagement surveys, mini surveys, regular emails, a newsletter, a dedicated online area, a programme of roadshows across each location and an annual employee conference.
Since becoming employee owned the business has increased its customer satisfaction rating to 91%, employee turnover has fallen by 17% and employee engagement has increased from 64% to 78%. The first three full years of employee ownership were the Groups most successful financial performances in its 30 year history, with sales up 15% and profits up 34% over the 3 year period. The group continues to grow, with the acquisition of two further hotels in 2019.