New research carried out across the UK* has revealed that employee-owned businesses (EOBs) are outperforming the UK’s national productivity trend by being between 8-12% more productive than non-EOBs, based on Gross Value Added (GVA) per employee.
South Yorkshire headquartered Gripple was part of this research project, which compared nine per cent of EOBs in the UK and contrasted them with a comparable control group of non-EOBs. This included interviewing the company’s management team and many other businesses to better understand the decisions that are driving economic, social and environmental impacts.
Ed Stubbs, Gripple’s Global Managing Director, said: “It is really satisfying to see the results of this recent survey. As an employee-owned business, we know the difference that having employees engaged in all aspects has on productivity. It means we all are committed to the quality of our products and services – something that is not easy for our competitors to match. We’re all working towards the same targets, and we all benefit when we meet them, so the focus on maintaining high standards is consistent across the business.”
The study revealed that:
- EOBs return twice as much in bonuses and dividends to employees.
- EOBs were five times less likely to make people redundant in the last three years.
- EOBs tend to pay higher minimum annual wage by roughly £2,900 and are over twice as likely to hold accreditation for fair pay.
- EOBs provide more supported access to private healthcare, mental health resources and flexible working.
- EOBs invest on average 12% per annum (£38,000) more in on-the-job training and skills.
- 83% of EOBs reported increased employee motivation since adopted an EO model and 73% reported increased job satisfaction.
As well as being more productive, the research project found that EOBs were more profitable and were more likely to re-invest that money into the economy by creating more jobs and investing in improving their products and services.
Gripple, which has been an employee-owned business since 2004, concurs with these latest findings, as the company’s EO culture gives all its people direct responsibility and encourages them to be actively involved. This, in turn, empowers them to drive improvements, and ultimately, contribute to the business’ success.
Ed Stubbs adds: “We are proud to be working alongside the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) to encourage and support other UK businesses that are transitioning to an Employee-Owned model – the research really does back up our experience!”
Commenting on this latest research, James de le Vingne, Chief Executive of the EOA, said: “This is a new baseline in our understanding of the scale and impact of employee and worker ownership in the UK, contrasting EOBs with non-EOBs for the first time across economic, social and environmental outcomes. The findings are remarkable.”
“They clearly show that this small but growing section of the UK economy is punching above its weight across multiple dimensions to impact on individuals, businesses, communities and the wider economy. We urge policy makers to work with us to super-charge this responsible productivity our country so sorely needs.”
More information is available to businesses interested in employee ownership through the Employee Ownership (EO) Knowledge Programme. This was launched by the EOA in 2022 and is led by Ownership at Work, working in partnership with independent research firms, including WPI Economics and DJS research. The Knowledge Programme aims to increase understanding of the scale and impact of employee and worker ownership in the UK, contrasting EOBs with non-EOBs for the first time across economic, social and environmental outcomes.
Gripple currently employs 559 people across seven manufacturing facilities in Sheffield and has over 900 employees globally. All Gripple employees have had the opportunity to own a piece of the business since 2004 and in 2011, GLIDE (Growth Led Innovation Driven Employee) Company was born. GLIDE is an employee-owned private company which represents all the 900 shareholder members working in its partner companies.