Guest Blog

This is for articles submitted by key contributors to the EOA


Educating Leaders in Financial Services about Employee Ownership

Margaret Willis, CEO of Unity Trust Bank, explains why she is committed to working with the Employee Ownership Association to help boost the number of employee-owned businesses in the UK and how they are a force for good. The core purpose of Unity Trust Bank is to lend to organisations which make a positive social, economic and environmental impact and help to create a better society. It is now widely recognised that employee ownership helps to create dynamic and successful businesses which also deliver those vital outcomes. However, although the employee owned ...

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Naomi Climer – Automation, AI and Putting People First

A recent piece of research at the Institute for the Future of Work showed that voting patterns strongly correlate with the perceived risk of job automation in an area. You can read our report here. It’s clear to me that uncertainty about the impacts of automation is a top of mind issue for many people, especially in regions with industries where the likely impact of automation is very visible. AI, automation and new ways of doing things online have already transformed some industries - such as manufacturing where we’ve seen a reduction of workforce as lower ...

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The art of identifying and creating future leaders in an employee owned business

Organisations are complex human systems with a unique combination of relationships and circumstances. They demand a tailored approach to most critical decisions around its people. And arguably, the most important people-based decision in a business will be leadership succession. When you look at this alongside employee ownership succession, having the right successor identified with the necessary support to lead in a business where employees have a stake and a say is even more crucial. The CEO is going to be a steward for the business and will need to consider its ...

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Guest Blog: UK EO Award sponsor Baxendale on retaining a family business legacy

Over many years, and often over generations, family owners nurture and grow their businesses. Family businesses often have collective stewardship, responsible risk-taking and a focus on long-term business goals as their core values. These values, combined with the family’s loyalty to their employees, commitment to a geographic location and a sense of pride in their success and independence, create the family business legacy. This is a legacy that families quite rightly strive to build upon and want to protect. When it comes to succession planning, families ...

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Judges insight Nicola Ryan – UK Employee Ownership Awards 2019

Nicola Ryan
Nicola Ryan, Joint Director of People Services, Rowlinson Knitwear said: I’m really delighted to be a judge for the UK Employee Ownership Awards for the second consecutive year. My professional passion is employee engagement that drives performance.  As a judge, I get a valuable insight into the many ways that EO businesses empower their people to be the change that leads to success. These powerful stories inspired Rowlinson in our journey to become employee owned in 2015. It’s my experience that the awards offer the opportunity to reflect on and showcase ...

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Our culture is essential for our sustainable growth

Gripple Culture
By Michael Hodgson, Gripple Gripple is 100% employee owned, which means that every one of our employees has a vested interest in it and play a significant part in our growth. Founder of Gripple, Hugh Facey OBE once said: “Look after the people and the business will look after itself,” which is one of the key beliefs within the business In our 30th year of trading, we have a proven model for sustainable growth, which is driven by our people. Through that growth, our shared values remain the same and we expect our people to be passionate, team players that are ...

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Employee Ownership Top 50 commentary

by Nigel Mason, RM2 It’s been an interesting year with conversations about employee ownership and employee share ownership in the political mainstream. At the same time the squeeze on the High Street has seen many household names such as House of Fraser collapsing into administration and Debenhams reducing its number of stores by 50 after a string of profit warnings. While our own number one in the Top 50 largest employee owned businesses, retailer John Lewis Partnership, has also seen a fall in both profits and head count, its independence and stable trust ...

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Baxendale’s 10 Key Benefits of Employee Ownership

Baxendale’s 10 Key Benefits of Employee Ownership 1: Continuity When becoming employee owned, the business continues with minimal disruption, unlike the alternatives to selling to employees. 2: A fair price You don’t need to find a buyer and convince outsiders of the value of the business; your employees are already aware of its potential and will pay a fair price. A misconception is that selling to employees means selling at a discount. 3: Financial incentives There are tax breaks – introduced in the Finance Act of 2014 – when you sell to an ...

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Guest Blog; Chris Budd, The Eternal Business

In June 2017, I had reached a point of great frustration with the business I had founded in 2000, financial planning company Ovation Finance Ltd. For the previous seven years, I had been following a deliberate plan of making myself the least important person in my business. My original objective was to eventually perform only the roles that I enjoyed. Ultimately, however, I came to realise that the bigger picture was succession planning, and in particular the fact that I didn’t actually want to sell the business. Instead, I wanted to see it continue after I left. I ...

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Guest Blog | The EOA Awards – A Judge’s Thoughts

As a first-time judge last year and after being fortunate enough to be invited back to judge again this year, I’ve been asked to share a few thoughts on the judging process with the aim of encouraging employee-owners from all corners of the UK economy to consider entering this year’s UK Employee Ownership Awards. As ever, the winners will be announced at the Gala dinner of the EOA Annual Conference in November - the highlight of a great evening that celebrates the best of our sector. Entries for the Awards close on Tuesday, July 24th, so there’s still time to ...

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