After a roller coaster couple of weeks politically speaking, we find ourselves with a new Prime Minster, Theresa May, formerly the Home Secretary.
Whilst she continues with her cabinet reshuffle, including some surprises (hello, Boris Johnson), we wait with intensifying interest to find out what the events of the past few weeks will mean for business moving forward and specifically how Mrs May’s agenda will impact.
So what do we know of Theresa May? Daughter of a vicar, Oxford graduate (again), MP since 1997, Minister from 2010, quiet Remainer, “bloody difficult woman”, nice shoes…and based on her statements this week, we think she might also be something a fan of employee ownership. Why? Well, she has spoken about installing employees on company Boards, tackling the inequitable behaviours of big business, an economy that works for everyone and this “We need to reform the economy to allow more people to share in the country’s prosperity”. All of this speaks to us of a corporate landscape with more employee ownership.
This of course is welcome news to us: in our recent Brexit response blog, we set out some thoughts on how employee ownership contributes to a more inclusive form of capitalism, with staff rewarded for their contribution and commitment to the business the work for and sharing in the successes they are helping to create.
One of things that we notice about the employee owned businesses that we work with is that they tend to have a clear purpose or mission if you prefer, enabling the teams to galvanize themselves and push in the direction of the shared goal. Employees in businesses without this sense of drive and purpose feel a disconnect, that their purpose is purely to hit revenue targets for ‘the boss’ rather than ‘the team’.
A strong sense of purpose creates an environment where staff can feel valued, look to innovate and improve the way the Company functions, it’s productivity and how it delivers to the end user. In this environment, strong bonds are created, employee engagement is enhanced and a sense of community can grow. Ideally, employees will develop a strong sense of pride in the business and their own role in it.
We shall watch with anticipation to see if Mrs May sticks to her agenda of what sounds like very significant societal and economic reform. In the meantime, if employee share ownership is something you would like to learn a little more about, we have some great animations on our YouTube channel.