“Employee Ownership changes everything. People are more committed, more open to being flexible and more driven to succeed and I’m sure that our customers feel this and benefit from this in so many ways.”
What does EO mean to you?
Personally, it’s given me the opportunity to take my career in directions I never imagined. I know that when I go to work I’m listened to and my opinion matters. And, I know that if I were in a company that wasn’t Employee Owned, I probably wouldn’t have access to the directors or leadership team in the same way.
The financial rewards that come as a result of our profit share scheme obviously make a huge difference, but I think being an employee-owner means more. To me, it feels like a lifestyle choice that encourages you to be more balanced about what matters, and that’s not just financial reward. Being an employee-owner has made me more conscious about things like health and wellbeing. It’s made me grow in confidence as a person, which is worth so much to me.
What does it mean for the business?
Being an ‘employee-owner’ engages you in a very different way to the traditionally owned and run businesses I’ve worked for. You always know what’s happening, there are no ‘secrets’ – we all know when we’re doing well, and equally, we know when we’re not doing well. The difference is that when times are tough everyone pulls together. They’re not doing it to keep the bosses happy, they’re doing it because they care that we succeed and grow.
Employee Ownership changes everything. People are more committed, more open to being flexible and more driven to succeed, and I’m sure that our customers feel this and benefit from this in so many ways.
What difference does it make to the way the business operates and behaves?
For a start, the culture here is so different to anywhere else. In other companies it can often feel like you’re doing what’s right for the business as opposed to what’s right for the people. When I look at Aber, I know we’re in this together.
Although we’re all employee-owners, we’re not all bosses, and we have to be even more aware of each other’s differences and personalities. There are a lot of voices to listen to, and it’s essential that we listen to them all equally. As we’ve grown we’ve learnt to split into groups: so we have a Charity Group, an Environment Group, an Innovation Group and our Employee Council which means everyone still gets heard, but everybody isn’t having to try to focus on everything in one sitting.
I’m part of the leadership group, and I’m on the employee council. You have to take every person’s opinion into consideration, which means sometimes decisions can take a bit longer, but I honestly think the outcomes we reach are so much better because of this.
Has Employee Ownership changed the way you think and feel about work and your own career?
Absolutely! I’m sure you can find companies with a great ethos, but I’d struggle to work for a company who isn’t Employee Owned. Knowing what I know now, Employee Ownership would be one of my number 1 deciding factors in terms of choosing where I wanted to work, and I really want more people to know about how great it is.
Employee Ownership means so many things… but at its heart, it’s about the people you work with, your fellow employee-owners and the way they care. I love the people and I honestly believe that if you fit here, you’ll be here for life.