Friday 3rd July marks the annual celebration of Employee Ownership - one of our favourite days of the year, and a chance to recognise the many benefits of employee-owned business. Last year, we toasted our 25th Anniversary; our business has evolved greatly in those 25 years and it’s the employee ownership model that has allowed our people to continually challenge the status quo, progress their own ideas and help keep Gripple not only at the forefront of major markets across the globe, but entering exciting new ones too.
Now in our 26th year, the focus, as ever, is on new product development in-line with a key business objective – for products less than 4 years old to make up 25% of turnover year-on-year - inspired by employee ownership and developing a sustainable business which will last for generations. Our founder and chairman Hugh Facey set up GLIDE in 2011, with a vision to ensure the business was never sold and stayed in the hands of its employees. GLIDE sets out aspirations which are rooted in its member companies constantly evolving to provide for their employees; rather than striving for significant growth or large profit margins, capital is a servant for GLIDE members and their welfare is the driver.
Such is the dynamism for positive change here, our recently formed Gripple Automation team has been busy building machines for external businesses this year, having been initially set up last year to build machines in-house to manufacture our own products. The team are reaping the rewards of open-minded investment in our own people and ideas, and we’ve found that by affording people the opportunity to own the business they work in, there’s a real drive to progress it forward.
As we say, it’s not just about growth and profit; we like to put some emphasis on enjoying what we do every day too, and 2016 has been no different. Last month, to commemorate our 25th anniversary, we put on a cinema day at our sites across the globe, inviting all employees to a premiere of ’25 Not Out’ – a film produced to celebrate our first 25 years of business. Our own marketing team served free hot dogs and popcorn, the company’s directors were re-imagined as the cast of The Full Monty on some ‘just for fun’ re-works of classic film posters, and there was even a life-size cardboard cut-out of Mr Facey to greet attendees. It’s our own ownership which inspires events like these; GLIDE states we aspire to work in a business infused with “fairness, respect, learning and fun” and we take pride in moulding this kind of environment because it’s ours and we want our business to reflect who we are.
Next Friday, we’ll be welcoming in #EODay with free ice cream for all our employees here in the UK. We believe our business thrives because we have a business of owners and a business of people who embody the spirit of challenging convention and having fun doing so. If that doesn’t merit a ’99 with sprinkles, what does?
We’re celebrating all those people who quite simply, ‘own it’ this week and we’d like to invite you to do the same. Follow our updates and join the conversation by finding us on Facebook & Twitter or searching #ownit.