Sheffield-based Gripple Limited, the manufacturer of wire joining devices, has made its 170 workforce, and all of its 105 overseas employees, shareholders.
Staff members invested a proportion of their taxed income, each contributing an average of £12,500 during their employment.
Shares, which are valued not on the whim of the stock market but on the financial performance of the business, have to be purchased, and are not awarded or purchased at a discount via share options. An investment made in 1994 has increased in value by more than 20 times.
The company’s staff are involved in every aspect of shaping its growth and development. Having invested for the long term, employees benefit financially from their own hard work, enjoying the ups, and also enduring the downs. Gripple reports an overall absence rate of below two per cent and a staff turnover of six per cent.
Gripple managing director, Mark Edmonds, said: “The company is in the hands of entrepreneurial and innovative staff and, as such, we are custodians of each other’s money. Employee ownership fosters open-ness, trust and ensures everyone has an opportunity to learn about the business and become more involved, if they so wish. Commitment levels have always been high, but I think 100% employee ownership gives us that extra sense of accountability and common purpose.”
Last year Gripple was awarded the Phillip Baxendale Award at the Employee Ownership Association annual conference for promoting an employee ownership culture.