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Accessing the power of employee ownership

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Employee ownership is the fastest-growing form of business ownership in the UK, and it’s not hard to see why.

Following the Nuttall Review in 2012 and legislative changes in 2014, the government has wholeheartedly endorsed such employee-owned business models and, consequently, such models have gained further recognition as being in the best interest of employees and clients.

It’s not just about the good of the business and those who work within it.

The Employee Ownership Association has found that there is compelling evidence that such structures raise the quality of services offered to the public.

Without a ruling group of institutional shareholders, we are not obliged to produce short-term returns, which often come at the expense of good, responsible, long-term plans and a better offer of services to clients.

This aside, employee-owned businesses encourage employees to be more involved in the running of the organisations, not only ensuring that plans are in line with the experience of people working at the coal face and boosting productivity and motivation, but also vastly improving employees’ wellbeing and working conditions.

That’s why here at Agilisys, we are proud to announce that we have created an employee-ownership trust, modelled on the approach of mutual companies such as John Lewis.

The trust holds the majority shareholding in the company on behalf of all employees. The EOT exists to secure the continuation of Agilisys as a successful, independent and professionally managed business for the benefit of its employees. The new structure will allow employees to have greater engagement and ownership in how the business operates and ensure that they benefit from its future growth and successes.

Although the EOT will now have an active role within the business, there are no major changes anticipated to Agilisys’ management structure and the founder shareholders and board will continue to actively support the business.

Our existing local authority clients, both elected members and officers, are keen to have a partner providing services with which they have a shared ethos in terms of business sustainability, service continuity and good employee care. Matthew Hancock, the new minister for the Cabinet Office, has singled out Agilisys as a great example of the use of employee ownership and reiterated the government’s “total support” of the model.

We believe the move makes us an attractive proposition for organisations such as local authorities looking to work with an ethical, employee-driven partner.

Charles Mindenhall, chair and co-founder, Agilisys

Column sponsored and supplied by Agilisys





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