Financial Freedom Shakes up EO Success for Award Winner

Employee owners are feeling free to push performance to its maximum as their business 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan becomes Employee Owned Business of the Year.

The UK Employee Ownership Award winner, which is a 100% employee owned business, employs 265 and sells diet food that it proudly manufactures in Corby. It has seen the continued evolution of its culture, engagement and performance on its 9-year employee ownership journey.

In the past year they have recorded a 74.8% employee satisfaction rate, turnover is up 23% and this year 10% profit has been distributed in a dividend to all employee owners.

The EO journey began when the three owners made plans to retire but wished to preserve the unique culture of the business, and to protect its independent future. This was actioned in two stages via an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) attached to a company ethos: “Together, we can make a difference in transforming more people’s lives”.

At times, that transition from founder and owners to employees has not been easy. However, judges felt the next 9 years seemed certain to be even more successful as the employee owners become united behind a rebrand and £4.5m investment, which marks the early repayment of the funding used to transfer the ownership to the employees, almost a decade ago.

Investment has not just seen the rebrand but also investment in product development and additional factory space.

The culture and commitment to engaging and communicating with its employee owners has seen the business awarded the Investors in People Award several years in succession. This has been done at the same time as keeping their 6,000 consultants who sell the product well-supported and feeling part of the business, with supporting testimonials about how they feel about the business.

Judges notes: Judges heralded 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan as an all-round performer with a culture that unites its employee owners behind a common purpose which drives ambition, innovation and optimized performance for the business alongside great commercial acumen.