Embedding a productive ownership culture takes time, it is important that everyone understands what it really means to be an employee owner. For this to work, everyone has to understand how the business works. What’s the vision for the company? Where does the money come from? What do we spend it on? How can we make sure we’re the first choice for our customers?
There’s often a requirement for developing some of the softer skills like how to run effective meetings, how to encourage engagement, and how to communicate.
Importantly, people have to understand the concept of ‘ownership’. Working in an employee owned business doesn’t mean management by committee, or that all individuals decide whether or not to come to work. There will (usually) be a board of directors with legal responsibility for running the company, and a professional management structure who are responsible for the delivery of the company’s goals.
At Ownership Associates we are able to help new employee owners to understand the ownership concept and give you advice and training to ensure the vision of successful employee ownership becomes a working reality.
Usually, employee ownership is something employees weren’t expecting. It’s not easy to change the ’employee mindset’ after years of being one, but for employee ownership to work everyone must think, feel and act like an owner.
This doesn’t happen overnight. It takes skill to make a success of owning a business – people have to understand how the business works, how decisions are made, and how their voices can be heard.
This skill is not intuitive, but it can be learned. We offer workshops which are primarily aimed at
employees with elected employee positions (trustee, director, council member) but they are open to all employees within employee-owned businesses who want to gain a better understanding of how employee ownership works.
Fun, interactive sessions to reinvigorate employee ownership within the business and engage employees in working together to achieve the company’s goals. These workshops last 90 minutes and look at how the company is owned, what employee ownership means, examines the balance of rights and responsibilities and how employees can contribute to making their company more effective.
Elected employee induction
It can be rather daunting to find yourself elected to a position on the company’s board or trust. We can also deliver a half day induction session for newly elected employees. We will talk through what the legal responsibilities are, how best to approach the role, work through some theoretical scenarios all designed to ensure the individual is well equipped to perform the role.
This is an excellent refresher on how to function as an effective board and leadership team.
We examine the statutory responsibilities of directors, the necessary business skills, strategy setting, and also look at how to achieve that perfect balance of cohesion and challenge that leads to sound decision making.
Managers are fundamental in making the company successful, yet they are often overlooked when it comes to their important role within the business.
We look at the range of management functions such as strategy, communications, people, operations, marketing and finance, all set in the context of an employee owned environment.
OAUK can input to and provide content for your inhouse training strategy.
An effective board is critical in leading an employee owned company where there is an additional layer of transparency and accountability that can bring challenge to the role of a director.
We can provide individualised support covering the legislative and organisational factors in the governance structure, and in the human elements in the board composition. These sessions will mix information giving with analysis and information sharing, with the aim of achieving a shared understanding of the requirements of the board and directors’ roles and how the team can function cohesively for the benefit of the company and its employee shareholders.
Not a lot changes when the company moves to employee ownership. Indeed, this is one of the attractions for owners who sell to their employees; it’s possibly the least disruptive succession option there is!
The company’s board remain legally responsible for the business, and the company’s management continues to ensure that tasks are executed efficiently, customers are happy, and sales keep coming in.
The main difference in terms of governance structure is that the company is now owned by a Trust.
There will be trustees appointed who will make sure that the board operates in accordance with the trust deed, and acts in the best interests of the employees as beneficiaries. It’s usual for one or two of these trustees to be non-board employees.
Employee ownership trusts are an innately stable structure for a company. The issue of succession is removed for the long term and the company can continue in this form for as long as the employees want it to – and of course as long as the business continues to be successful!
Recruitment & Onboarding
Working in and with an employee owned business is both rewarding and satisfying.
At Ownership Associates we are often asked to find dynamic people to join employee owned companies in a number of senior positions including management, independent trustees and non-executive directors.
The latest opportunities are listed below.
An Independent Trustee is a useful addition to the Trust Board, providing neutral input and helping
trustees assess board performance with a detached view. We are looking to add to our pool of
Trustees and are particularly interested in speaking to individuals who meet the following criteria:
Direct experience of working within an employee-owned business
We would expect all prospective independent Trustees to have attended one of our Programmes
Non-executive directors can bring valuable insights into an organisation’s performance, trends, strategy, and culture. We would be interested in speaking with people who have:
A sound knowledge of corporate governance
An understanding of employee ownership
A successful business career
Usually, employee ownership is something employees weren’t expecting. It’s not easy to change the ’employee mindset’ after years of being one, but for employee ownership to work, everyone must think, feel and act like an owner.
This doesn’t happen overnight. It takes skill to make a success of owning a business – people have to understand how the business works, how decisions are made and how their voice can be heard.
This skill is not intuitive, but it can be learned.
We offer training sessions which are primarily aimed at employees with elected employee positions (trustee, director, council member) but they are open to all employees within employee-owned businesses who want to gain a better understanding of how employee ownership works.