Gripple Limited: UK EO Award Winner Case Study

Gripple Limited

Model of EO: Direct

Percentage of shares owned by employees: 100%

How it is operated: Since 2004 new employees have been required to buy £1,000 worth of shares within one year of joining the firm. The firm offers loans at the prevailing Bank of England rate to enable employees to purchase equity. Shares that in 1994 cost £1 are now worth more than £21. A third of all post-tax profits are paid as dividends. An internal market operates for the buying and selling of Gripple shares, meaning equity remains in the business when an employee leaves or wants to sell some of their shareholding.

Gripple’s journey: The market-leading manufacturer of wire joining and tensioning devices for construction and agricultural markets, Gripple Limited, was established in the 1990s with its employee ownership being formalised when GLIDE – its share ownership model and holding company – was established in 2011 to allow its founding chairman, Hugh Facey, to pass ownership to the employees.

Today the business is a global success employing more than 670 employee owners, manufacturing 6,000 products and exporting 85% of its trade to 80 countries.

The business’ focus on transparency, two-way communication and recruitment and retention, has seen it define the ‘Gripple Spirit’ – its values – and the ‘Gripple Person’ – a set of behaviours – to ensure it recruits, trains and engages for success, recently launching its own training academy with investment in training averaging 1.8 days per head per year.

Gripple has a strong focus on innovation driven growth with a strategy of 25% of profits being from products that were developed in the past five years.

Its recent measures shows it has  a 98.2% global employee attendance and has recorded its highest ever sales turnover of more than £73m resulting its employees sharing in their biggest dividend pay-out to date.