EO Stories 2022

EO Stories 2022

A celebration of EO

EO Stories celebrates the stories of employee-owned businesses and the impacts they are having on employees, the performance of the business, and on the economy and society.

This year, story submissions focussed on our four categories: outstanding employee ownership culture, plus the three pillars of an effective EO culture – good leadership, good governance and good engagement.

Winners of these categories from the public vote, as well as two winners chosen by a panel of judges, were featured at a celebration dinner at the EOA Annual Conference on October 3.

The 28 stories submitted were put live for a public vote on EO Day, June 24, and thousands of votes were cast to establish a winner in each of the four categories. Riverford Organic Farmers, DJS Research, Torchbox and Hayes Davidson were announced as winners of the public vote.

Two businesses were surprised on the night – Rochdale Boroughwide Housing was named Partner’s Pick judged by EOA Trustee Member and EOA Conference Celebration Dinner sponsors GLIDE and Gripple, while Alfa Leisureplex Group was named President’s Pick, judged by EOA President Patrick Lewis.

Click here to read up on the winners and their reaction >>

Winner videos

Check out case study videos from the four public vote winners here >>

You can still share these stories on social media and within your company to help people access insight, share good practice, as well as highlight these businesses and EO to a wider audience.

Read this year’s 28 EO Stories entries below. Or visit the EO Stories 2021 page for the 2021 entries.

Good Engagement

Delivering Good Engagement

DJS Research – Our EO Story: How our engagement activity is delivering opportunities

We do believe that we are creating an effective two-way engagement process where partners feel comfortable sharing their ideas and that they are listened to and actioned where possible. This is apparent from the fact that the vast majority (81%) of our partners in our MyDJS 2022 survey said that they are encouraged to share ideas for doing things better.… Read more

HLM Architects – Our EO Story: Making sure ‘Everything is Connected’

With our more inclusive structure, strategic objective Voice Hubs and our Culture Community Hubs, not only is everything connected, everyone is now connected as beneficial owners and empowered to make a difference to our business and the communities in which we work.… Read more

Pennine Healthcare – Our EO Story: Employees at the centre of everything we do

Employee engagement is vital for the long-term growth and success of Pennine Healthcare, and by putting employees at the centre of everything we do, we believe we drive successful engagement. This year many new campaigns and changes have been made to improve communication, gauge employee feeling and give more power to the employees themselves.… Read more

Purcell – Our EO Story: ‘Community of many voices’ strengthened and empowered

Our journey has reinvented and enhanced the collaborative approach that we have perpetually strived for. Purcell’s identity is unchanged, but our community of many voices – who come together with enthusiasm to support each other in achieving and celebrating collective success – is undeniably strengthened by our new sense of participation and self-empowerment.… Read more

WCF – Our EO Story: How app is helping engage all employees

Entirely configurable to our own branding and specification, the app is intuitive and simple to use on a smartphone and required little or no training for our teams to get started. We have provided phones free of charge to people who did not have their own to ensure that everyone had the tools they needed to participate and be part of WCF’s online community.… Read more

The Rooflight Company – Our EO Story: Closing the business each quarter to bring alignment

We’re committed to using the foundation we’ve built to continue delivering good engagement. We’re creating an environment where our co-owners feel safe to talk openly... The increase in our co-owners’ agility, resilience and maturity in dealing with challenges is noticeable because, at TRC, what we do and how we do it matters.… Read more

Horizon Platforms – Our EO Story: Proactive engagement brings ‘quick wins’

We are confident that our ongoing efforts on communication and engagement are providing people with a voice, but also reinforcing our EO culture and the fact that we all, as co-owners, have both a right and a duty to contribute our ideas, opinions and feedback.… Read more

Salad Creative – Our EO Story: Forging deeper connections to drive success

It has been one year since we transitioned to employee ownership, which has impacted our ways of working, culture and how we’re working together as a team to shape our future.... our hope is that our shared experience and strong sense of team will carry us through future challenges.… Read more

Itec Training Solutions – Our EO Story: Two-way dialogue essential to our success

We recognise that all our employees play a part in our success, with employee voice being critical for effective employee engagement, with attention and resources dedicated to facilitating this.… Read more

Boardmans – Our EO Story: How communication has shaped our EO values

We believe that effective communication across the whole workforce at Boardmans since transitioning to employee ownership has encouraged us all to be more accountable – reaching the sales we need to achieve our bonus, whilst being mindful of how incurred expenses can impact.… Read more

Good Governance

Delivering Good Governance

Riverford Organic Farmers – Our EO Story: Interplay of governing bodies makes sure every co-owner heard

The interplay between our three governing bodies makes sure that every co-owner’s voice can be heard, right to the very top of the business. This isn’t just true to our values; it also gives us invaluable insight, and helps us to make the best, fairest, and most informed decisions.… Read more

Seetec – Our EO Story: Structures put EO at the heart of the business

In the last two years, we have changed our governance structures to put EO at the heart of the business because employee ownership allows us to invest in what matters to us most, creating long lasting positive change for the people and communities we serve.… Read more

Rochdale Boroughwide Housing – Our EO Story: Succeeding together – our mutual way

Being a member means that employees and tenants have a say in ensuring we get the best positive outcomes for both tenants and employees. Our Representative Body, made up of elected tenant and employee representatives, sits at the apex of our governance, and means we get true bottom-up decision making.… Read more

Go Ape – Our EO Story: How our structures bring employee ownership to life

When GoApe transitioned to employee ownership in October 2021 we moved from a founder-led business and governance structure with one central board, who by in large made all of the business decisions, to a new governance whereby the voice of our co-owners was heard at all levels of the business.… Read more

TaxAssist Accountants – Our EO Story: Testing EO governance prior to transition

As Covid made the employees more resilient, ownership following this makes them more engaged and optimistic. As of May 5, 2022 their TaxAssist Accountants business is now 100% employee owned, has a solid trustee board in place and is ready for the next exciting chapter of development.… Read more

Good Leadership

Delivering Good Leadership

Esteem Training – Our EO Story: Succession planning – a team triumph

At Esteem Training, we transitioned to employee ownership relatively recently – on 16 March 2022 to be precise – as the crowning achievement of our 35th anniversary year, and we couldn’t be happier or more enthusiastic advocates for employee ownership.... We have always been certain that our talented, dedicated team represents both the beating heart and future success of Esteem Training.… Read more

Jerba Campervans – Our EO Story: Importance of ‘complete involvement’ of all employees

We formed structured development teams to cover three key areas of product innovation, continual improvement and employee environment. We allowed them the time and space to take each group forward on their own. Employees rose to the challenge and ideas flowed... The complete involvement of all employees has and continues to be an undeniable success.… Read more

Environet UK – Our EO Story: Reform of leadership behind our big transformation

Behind our transformation is a reform of our leadership and operating structure, giving significantly more responsibility to staff and supporting them as they flourish in their new roles... Never before have we had such a happy and motivated team. Employee ownership is without doubt a major factor in the company’s growth and success.… Read more

Torchbox – Our EO Story: Our road to financial freedom

Moving forward, we needed to make Torchbox more sustainable for the future by finding ways to develop leaders across the company. We want our team to lead and inspire each other, be resilient, reach our full potential, and ultimately be happy in our work, so we also invest in soft skills training and leadership coaching.… Read more

City Health Care Partnership – Our EO Story: Leaders supporting employees to feel like owners

As we provide such a wide range of services it is critical for us an organisation to not only have good leaders in post supporting colleagues, but also to be able to recognise and nurture colleagues who have the capabilities to be great leaders in the future.… Read more

EO Culture

Outstanding EO Culture

Richmond & Towers – Our EO Story: Coming together with the pioneering attitude that has kept us 90 years young

We take nothing for granted, but being employee owned gives us the business strength we need to look forward with confidence. Maybe even to the next 92 years! "Not only does R&T have an unbreakable communal bond inside and outside of the office walls, but now more than ever we are working together, for each other, for the same goal and for each other’s gain".… Read more

CMC – Our EO Story: Embedding our employee-centric culture into our EOT

As a small, people-focussed management consultancy company, CMC has always had a high level of engagement with our employees. Everyone knew one another, and many of us had worked together for years. Becoming employee owned has further strengthened our foundations. We have been able to safeguard all our values and ensure that we live by our ethos of putting people at the heart of what we do.… Read more

TensCare – Our EO Story: Culture built up in business empowering employees

Our company ethos is encouragement, cooperation and caring, this not only helps us look after our customers but also each other, and our EO team culture... We were already a family, but being employee owned helped us take it one step further and has allowed us to come together and work in a way we never thought possible. All for one and one for all, we are united, we are together, we are employee owned.… Read more

Hayes Davidson – Our EO Story: Culture built on five EO guiding principles

We are a highly creative, collaborative and diverse 30-plus strong studio which we are proud to say is 100% employee owned. Our culture is built on our five EO guiding principles. This framework helps us all to understand how information is shared, how decisions can be challenged and how the voice of the HD team can be represented.… Read more

The Nursery – Our EO Story: Creating an EO culture to underpin all we do

We have always valued our people and put a premium on collaboration and collective creativity; EO has made these values real and meaningful, and they now underpin all the work we do. It also gives us a sound, independent platform to grow the business in a way that will benefit all our Partners – and our clients too.… Read more

Quiet Storm – Our EO Story: Putting wellbeing top of the agenda

At Quiet Storm staff satisfaction and company culture have always been important metrics of success, and one of the key decision drivers for us to become an EOT in November 2020 was to retain and improve this culture that our founders so lovingly built over the past 25 years. Staff wellbeing was therefore top of the agenda.… Read more

Maslins – Our EO Story: ‘Working together to keep the complicated simple’

One of the first meetings called by employee council leader Tom was to discuss Maslins’ values – highlighting what was important to us, our clients, and the community. A common theme that came up again and again was simplicity, and so the Maslins tagline was born “Working together to keep the complicated simple”.… Read more

Alfa Leisureplex Group – Our EO Story: EO culture integral to our ‘phenomenal bounce back’

At Alfa Leisureplex Group, culture is the key to delivering our mission – which is to provide memorable holiday experiences to our customers. After the worst two years of our company’s 30-year history, we have achieved a phenomenal bounce back.… Read more