Seven key considerations to ensure you’re ready for employee ownership | Postlethwaite guest blog

As a business owner, you’ve made the decision to become employee owned but are you and your business ready for this transition?

This guest blog from Postlethwaite, a specialist advisor of the Employee Ownership Association (EOA), outlines seven things to consider to ensure that you are ready for employee ownership.

  1. Prepare to give up control: Control of your company will go to the trustees of the employee ownership trust (EOT), and as the owner you will need to feel comfortable with that. It may need some adjustment to your behaviour and mindset.
  2. Trust is key: Is there a good level of trust throughout your company? Is there trust between the employees and leadership team? Or within the leadership team itself? And are the current owners trusted? A survey may help to gauge trust among employees.
  3. Have a clear purpose, a positive culture and strong performance: A clear sense of purpose throughout the business helps to ensure everyone knows and understands what it is they are working towards and how they help drive the company forwards. A positive culture is also important for successful employee ownership. And a strongly performing company, with good growth prospects, provides a solid proposition for employee ownership to the employees.
  4. Ensure your leadership team is ready: You’ll need to access the quality of your leadership team and address any issues before becoming employee owned. It will be essential that any new senior leaders support the plan for your company becoming employee owned. Getting leadership succession right is vital, whether you want to step down immediately, or after the transition.
  5. Ensure you have a clear communications plan: Explaining to your employees about employee ownership, how it works and why you have chosen it will be essential. You’ll need to communicate the plan as early as possible with your leadership team and employees. And don’t assume everyone will understand immediately. Allow opportunities for your people to ask questions, and consider creating an employee ownership steering group.
  6. Keep things as simple as possible: There are several ways your employee ownership trust can be set up and it will be hard to avoid some level of complexity with various moving parts, but it’s recommended you keep it as simple as you can, with flexibility in place to adjust and adapt.
  7. Don’t rush it: This is likely to be one of the biggest decisions for your company, so don’t rush it. Allow plenty of time to plan carefully, do your research and speak to the right people. Ideally, talk to at least one other person who’s done it already.

These seven tips came from a video produced by Postlethwaite, which you can watch here:

About Postlethwaite

As part of supporting businesses to become employee owned, the EOA has a pool of specialist advisors who have a history of helping businesses transfer to employee ownership as well as support their future development – Postlethwaite is one of these advisers.

Postlethwaite is an employee-owned law firm specialising in employee ownership and employee share schemes. Since 2003, its focus has been on helping clients find the approach and structure that is right for them and then assist with putting it in place.

Founder and Managing Director Robert Postlethwaite said: “I became interested in employee ownership early in my career when it was an uncommon, even unusual, way for a business to be owned. It is now in the mainstream, and I and my colleagues feel highly privileged to work with the employees, leaders and founders whose commitment is key to its success.

“Many areas of legal practice can feel like a zero-sum game, but we are proud of the value our firm adds, by guiding companies to a new and, for them and their people, better form of ownership.”

For further information visit its website at:

Related Articles

EOA Podcast: Episode 5 – Considerations before, during and after transitioning to employee ownership

‘Acting like an employee-owned business during our transition journey helped make the process a success’ | LDA Design Blog

‘Give employees time to understand what becoming employee-owned means for them’ | Ovation Finance guest blog

‘Why you need to keep that momentum after transitioning to employee ownership and ensure it doesn’t just feel like business as usual’ | HLM Architects case study