TensCare – Our EO Story: Culture built up in business empowering employees
At TensCare, we’re committed to supplying reliable, safe, effective, drug-free solutions that will improve the quality of life of all users by helping them feel better naturally, and we believe the culture built up in our business is empowering employees and benefitting the business.
Company culture has always been important to us at TensCare, even before we made the decision to become employee owned. Our company ethos is encouragement, cooperation and caring, this not only helps us look after our customers but also each other, and our EO team culture.
TensCare to us is not just about doing the work, it is about staying relevant at the current pace of change, continuous improvement of our practices and ourselves, and ensuring the future generations of TensCare owners will enjoy the full benefits of our joint success.
Employee ownership culture taps into our human spirit, potential and energy; giving purpose to work, creating a sense of belonging and connection, helping individuals grow both personally and in the wider corporate sense, to progress meaningfully and give back to themselves and in turn the community around them.
It is a well-known fact that having content staff results in a more productive workforce. By giving each and every staff member the authority, accountability, leadership, direction and control they deserve as an owner, we are nurturing our EO culture and ensuring staff happiness and longevity, customer satisfaction and excellent business growth and success.
We have implemented many practices to protect and grow our company culture, the most noteworthy and well received being:
- Staff-elected Board of Trustees
- Member Host Sessions
- Online Feedback Hub
- Monthly Social Activities
- Weekly “5 to 10” Meetings
Board of Trustees
Our diverse, staff-elected, and rotating Board of Trustee directors represent the employees and offer a bridge between the directors and the owners. This ensures a clear path of communication, and that as an EO company, decisions are made with everyone’s opinions and ideas in mind.
Allowing owners to elect their own Board of Trustee directors on a rotating basis has multiple benefits, it not only means that everyone has a chance to be a Trustee director, but also that owners feel confident in who they have chosen to represent them and take care of our EO culture. We also elect an external Trustee, to gain valuable outside insight and perspective on company matters.
This Board of Trustees not only offers owners the chance to gain valuable experience as a Trustee director, but allows every owner to have their say and be kept in the loop without having to attend as many company meetings, freeing up valuable time and minimising “zoom fatigue” which in turn boosts morale.
Hand in hand with this, directors are kept better informed of all areas of the company and therefore spend less time in catch-up meetings with section heads. The less time we spend chasing, catching up, and collating, the more time we have for building the business.
Member Host Sessions
We hold quarterly sessions where Owners provide feedback to a Trustee director in the form of small group meetings either online or face to face. Groups are chosen to include a well-dispersed mix of new and long-term staff from all departments in order to get the best feedback.
The aim of these meetings is to encourage the suggestion of new ideas, talk over issues and hurdles and how to overcome them, and discuss how to improve our EO culture. Questions are issued in advance so teams can think of any points they want to bring up in relation to them, as well as the end of the meeting being a free flow for ideas, issues, and any other business.
Feedback has shown us that, as a result of these sessions, owners feel heard and are more aware and passionate about their stake in the company. They also give new staff a brilliant insight into what EO is all about and the full extent of the voice and ability they have as an owner.
Online Feedback Hub
Our Online Trustee Feedback Hub is an anonymous online suggestion box where those who do not wish to personally bring something up can anonymously submit what is on their mind.
Although we remind staff members on a weekly basis that the Feedback Hub is there, we have seen very little use of this which we see as a huge plus, as it shows staff feel confident using their voice as owners within the company and the Trustee and director bridge is well maintained.
Monthly Social Activities
Every month a new team of owners plan a social activity, from online bingo to BBQs, we have had it all, but regardless of what we do it always results in a lot of fun, excellent stress relief and great team bonding.
The monthly socials are something that has become very looked forward to, with an element of friendly competition on which team can plan the best social activity! This seemingly small addition to our proceedings was a huge step in encouraging owners to act as owners, as staff were given the responsibility and trust as an owner to plan their company-wide event without any interjection or supervision from directors or management.
We find this has resulted in a great amount of pride and proactivity from owners, with the teams enjoying the activities and a much better attendance than we were used to seeing at optional events.
Weekly ‘5 to 10’ Meetings
Every Thursday at 9:55am (5 to 10) we hold a company-wide meeting; this meeting is named after our goal to progress from a £5 million annual turnover to £10 million. As such, in this meeting we discuss the company sales figures, any upcoming fluctuations in revenue, as well as our plans to grow the business.
This meeting is also the home of the sharing of company or personal news such as work achievements and pregnancy announcements, the theatre hall of TensCare’s famous out of sync Happy birthday singsongs, and a chance for us to all catch up despite being spread across the world.
This meeting where we can be together, celebrate our achievements and plan our future success is so important that we changed our WFH schedule to allow everyone to be in the office to attend each week. The comradery surrounding this has been great to see, and it has restored a sense of normality we had not quite got back since Covid hit.
We can talk about the success of what we have implemented to protect and grow our culture, but the proof is in the people. Our people. People who tackle adversities with a smile knowing we will come out of it together and stronger, people who embrace being an owner, who treat the business as their own and give up precious free time to pitch in when it is needed, people who care just as much about the success of TensCare as we do about each other, and the family we have built around our company culture.
We were already a family, but being employee owned helped us take it one step further and has allowed us to come together and work in a way we never thought possible. All for one and one for all, we are united, we are together, we are employee owned.