Why this year’s EO Day theme – #TheEOeffect – is close to our hearts as we become 100% employee owned | Postlethwaite guest blog
Guest blog by EO Day 2023 sponsor Postlethwaite Solicitors
At Postlethwaite Solicitors, we are proud to be sponsoring EO Day 2023, particularly as we’re celebrating a couple of big milestones ourselves this year.
April marks Postlethwaite’s 20th anniversary, and we’ve also just become 100% employee owned through an EOT, so double celebrations are in order!
“This year marks a very exciting chapter for Postlethwaite Solicitors, and we are delighted to mark the occasion by sponsoring this year’s EO Day,” our founder and MD, Robert Postlethwaite, said about our transition.
“As always, EO Day is a great opportunity to reflect and celebrate the amazing achievements of the sector so far, while the release of the latest EO stats and insights helps create the fuel for future growth.
“The theme of this year’s EO Day, #TheEOeffect, aligns with our thinking and is particularly relevant and close to our hearts as we ourselves became 100% employee owned.
“We truly and wholeheartedly believe in the ripple effect EO can have on a business, its people and our wider society.”
Having set up Postlethwaite in 2003 with the core purpose of helping businesses introduce employee ownership as a foundation to success, that purpose still very much rings true today.
Postlethwaite has always had employee ownership through a company share option plan, and we’ve now gone one step further and become 100% employee owned through an Employee Ownership Trust, bringing #TheEOeffect into full force within the company.
The plans to become 100% employee owned had been in the making for a while, and now with a few significant hires in 2021/22 bedded into the team it felt that the time was right to press the button.
Robert plans to remain as a director for the time being, and generally it will continue to be business as normal for the firm, with employee ownership building on our existing, open and collaborative working culture.
Below, we’ve shared our thoughts on #TheEOeffect:
Longer term thinking
As we face an accumulation of interrelated global challenges, including a cost-of-living crisis and the climate crisis, there’s still plenty we can do to improve our lives over the coming decades. Two of the key things we need for this are political will partnered with our greater willingness to think longer term.
Employee ownership can play a role in this. In fact, it already is. 2014 saw the creation of the Employee Ownership Trust (EOT), and there are now an estimated 1,300-plus UK employee owned companies after a boom in the growth of the sector in recent years.
Employee ownership, by enabling the fruits of a business’s success to be shared with its employees, offers a compelling way to improve the financial situation of employees, not by simply redistributing wealth, but also generating new wealth that is then widely shared with those who’ve created it.
In most cases, a company’s transition to employee ownership will involve the trust paying the retiring shareholders, funded by the company’s profits. So, although it’s wise to start as soon as possible to share the financial rewards of ownership with employees, in many cases it may take a few years before they can reap the full financial benefit of their ownership.
Employee ownership and its positive impact
Nine years after the EOT’s birth, it is fast becoming part of the mainstream in UK business, bringing positive change not just to how rewards are shared but also how companies engage with their employees and determine their future direction. Improving lives, it is an object lesson in the positive impact a well thought through and executed vision can have.