Three reasons why employee ownership is great for the economy

Employee ownership isn’t just good for the companies that adopt it. It also benefits the country’s economy

By Ernest Richardson

As we count down to Employee Ownership Day on Friday, 28 June 2019, we’ve been recounting some of the benefits of co-ownership for businesses.

    ...employee ownership also yields considerable gains for the wider economy.  

But that’s only half of the story, because employee ownership also yields considerable gains for the wider economy. Here are three reasons why it’s great for UK PLC that a growing number of companies are making the switch to employee ownership models.

1. Co-owned companies make a significant contribution to GDP

According to the Employee Ownership Association, businesses that are owned or partially owned by their employees contribute 4pc to UK GDP, which equates to around £30 billion per year.

Peter Foy, a director at Just Recruitment Group Ltd who project-managed its move to employee ownership in 2017, says that the figure is expected to grow in the years ahead.

“Thanks to fiscal incentives and practical support from the government, it’s very appealing to make the switch,” he reports. “As a model for businesses, employee ownership has a huge amount to recommend it.

“It’s a way of business founders and owners selling their holdings without simply disposing of the business to a competitor or third-party investor. And it consistently delivers increased efficiency, higher productivity and a more engaged workforce – all factors that contribute to the economic output of the country as a whole.”

2. Co-owned companies tend to prize ethical business practices

As high-profile examples like the John Lewis Partnership and Arup demonstrate, there is often a connection between a company’s decision to adopt co-ownership models and their commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility. The result is a more moral economy, which benefits everyone.

“It is striking that co-ownership is often part of a really strong corporate ethos that prioritises doing the right thing,” reflects Mr Foy. “To give an example, employees at Arup are encouraged to behave well in every aspect of their business activities, and to immerse themselves in the culture of Ove Arup, who founded the company. And John Lewis puts employee wellbeing, ethical supply chain management and customer respect at the heart of its activities.

“It’s the same for Just Recruitment. We chose to pursue employee ownership because it felt like a natural outworking of our ethos. We’ve always been committed to ‘Placing People First’. By entrusting our own staff with ownership of the company, we’re enshrining that commitment in the most visible way imaginable. Our staff are encouraged and empowered to act well, because their identity is inextricably linked with that of the company they co-own.”

3. Co-owned businesses tend to offer a fantastic customer experience

It’s probably no accident that John Lewis and Richer Sounds, which recently moved to employee ownership, are consistently named as the UK’s best retailers.

By showing their employees how much they’re valued and giving them a direct influence on the destiny of their company, these businesses secure a deep emotional investment from the workforce. The results are a strong desire to deliver the very best customer experience, as the American Management Association has reported.

As a result, consumers benefit from a more pleasing purchasing experience, whatever the business they’re trading with. That makes them more likely to spend, generating a positive multiplier effect that benefits the economy as a whole.

“Just Recruitment has always prided itself on serving candidates and clients with efficiency, courtesy and care,” says Mr Foy. “But we have definitely noticed that employees feel even more engaged in the customer experience since moving to a co-ownership model, and that’s undoubtedly yielded an increase in sales.

“I don’t think this is just about staff feeling good about working for a co-owned company,” he continues. “It’s also a shrewd business decision. If you have a stake in a business, you’re more likely to see the benefits of going the extra mile for your customers. After all, any increase in profits stands to benefit you personally, as well as the business and the wider economy. It’s a win for all parties.”

Published: 27 July 2019

© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

If you enjoyed this article, you may like: Five top tips for branding success

You may also enjoy: Just five benefits of employee ownership (to businesses)

Jobs currently available

New job
QA Manager
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Saffron Walden
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910873
About the role

Our client is seeking an experienced Quality Assurance Manager to join them on a permanent, full-time basis. This opportunity offers stability, longevity and professional development.

Reporting directly to the MD, the Quality Assurance Manager will be responsible for:

  • Maintaining and improving the Company's Quality Management System and ensure internal compliance
  • Working with all departments to ensure their procedures are being followed and to improve their internal and cross-functional processes and procedures
  • Ensure that the quality of current and newly introduced products is compliant and traceable
  • Coordinate Quality activities with all over departments
  • Develop and improve quality relationships with all customers of the Company
  • Responsible for all Quality activities and personnel in the Quality Department for the Company
  • Provide strong leadership in the day-to-day operations of the Quality department and mentor the members of the team
  • Establish performance goals for all departmental employees and monitor performance on a continual basis
  • Oversee all hiring, appraisal, training and discipline of Quality personnel
  • Member of the Company's Management team
  • Produce the Quality element of the company's annual Budget
  • Formulate the departmental strategy aligned to the overall Company strategy
  • Embed a Continuous Improvement culture within the Quality Dept and contribute to the Continuous Improvement programme across the site


  • HND or equivalent qualification in Engineering or a related technical field required
  • Minimum 5 years experience in a Manufacturing environment
  • Ability to articulate (verbally and in writing), defend and negotiate Quality expectations with internal and external customers at all levels of management
  • Good interpersonal skills with the ability to guide and educate/train at all levels
Read more
New job
Customer Service Administrator
Sector: Customer Service
Salary: £22,000 per annum
Location: Halstead
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910871
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting a well-regarded organisation at the forefront of its sector that is looking to add a Customer Service Administrator to its team, due to growth – based on the outskirts of Halstead.

The main purpose of the role is to service current and prospective customers by receiving and processing orders, enquiries and general information in a timely and courteous manner.

Key tasks include:

  • Answering incoming calls, giving product information, lead times, dealing with general enquiries and queries, redirecting calls to relevant departments
  • Raising and inputting orders and proforma invoices
  • Raising quotations
  • Amending orders, as required
  • Scanning documentation
  • Liaising with Areas Sales Managers and responding to their requests
  • Arranging couriers and/or carriers as required
  • Any general office associated duties

Key requirements for the role:

  • Excellent computer skills
  • Good eye for detail
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • Courteous

Previous experience requirements:

  • Previous Customer Service Administrative experience gained within an office environment
  • Excellent telephone manner with the ability to communicate at all levels
  • High level of attention to detail and accuracy
  • Good working knowledge of Microsoft Office and experience of in-house systems
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritise own workload
  • Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Understanding of the importance of data protection and adherence to the process

Offering free parking and an excellent working environment, this is a great opportunity to join a growing team.

Working Monday to Friday 37.5 hours per week - offering a competitive salary and company benefits.

Read more
New job
Production Operative
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £8.91 per hour
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Temporary
Job ref: 910811
About the role

Want to work in a safe, clean environment?
And have the possibility of ongoing work?

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Temporary Production Operative to be based in Needham Market.

Duties include:

  • Ensure all final and completed products are packed to the customer specifications                               
  • Informing Line Leaders of defects found in the products
  • Keep machines supplied with packing materials and labels
  • Assist the Line Leaders with handovers and changeovers
  • Responsible for general cleanliness of the production area and removal of production and general waste
  • Check products on the line for quality and defects
  • Basic production duties carried out in a fast-paced environment

Working hours:

8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday

Read more
New job
Logistics Coordinator
Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: £24,000 per annum
Location: Ipswich
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910869
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting, a well-regarded, family-run business on the outskirts of Ipswich.

You will be responsible for assisting with the loads out operation of the business by ensuring that the process from collection to arrival at the final destination is fully supported by the relevant goods in haulage documentation.

You will also be supporting the sales function of the business by dealing with customer queries in terms of both sales and operations as well as assisting with various ad-hoc marketing campaigns. This is a very varied role and requires flexibility, commitment and a substantial desire to learn and grow with the flourishing business.

Duties will include:

  • Process orders and oversees the order to completion of paperwork
  • Facilitate the shipping of products from one destination to another
  • Arrange transportation with outside hauliers
  • Receive paperwork from the Weighbridge department and check and complete the paperwork within the allocated time allowed
  • Answer calls and emails relating to customer queries and log them on the CRM system and resolve any outstanding issues raised
  • Keep CRM records up-to-date
  • Work with the sales and operations team to ensure that high customer service levels are achieved and delivered to all customers you are responsible for at all times

Skills required:

  • Good Microsoft skills including Word, Outlook & Excel
  • Ability to work proactively on an independent basis as well as be a good team player
  • You will have the interpersonal skills necessary to develop and sustain effective relationships with team members of other departments and with all customers
  • Good attention to detail and analytical skills
Read more
New job
Legal Secretary (Part-Time)
Sector: Law and Security
Salary: Up to £11.00 per hour
Location: Witham
Role: Part Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910868
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting an established business, based in Witham looking to add a highly-skilled secretary to their long-standing team.

The role will involve, audio typing, preparing documents, answering the phone, dealing with enquiries and assisting colleagues as well as directing queries as needed.

Key responsibilities to include:

  • Audio typing – dictation
  • Preparing letters and drafting documents
  • Handling diaries and booking appointments
  • Answering the phone and dealing with queries
  • General secretarial and office-based duties

As well as having experience in a secretarial position, you will have audio typing experience and excellent typing skills. The role requires you to have a good level of IT literacy, experience of Word (essential) and Excel would be useful. You will take pride in your work and have a caring and sympathetic nature.

Please note this role is part-time.

This is a great opportunity, offering a good pay rate and company benefits.

Read more