Employee ownership scheme boosts productivity at Gripple

Hugh Facey, chairman of Gripple, which manufactures wire joiners and tensioners for the agriculture and viticulture markets, has no doubt that employee ownership has had a positive impact on his organisationā€™s productivity.

Gripple

He says: ā€œA sense of pride exists among all our staff and has allowed employees to take control of the destiny of the [organisation], thereby creating a culture of working together for the benefit of each other.ā€

Measures of success include attendance levels that are significantly better than the industry average and a culture of innovation. ā€œIt is the policy of the [organisation] that 25% of sales should come from new products less than four years old,ā€ explains Facey. ā€œInnovation is therefore key to the [organisationā€™s] growth and plays an important part in driving the business forward and keeping ahead of the market.ā€

Gripple, which features in the Employee Ownership Associationā€™s top 50 employee-owned organisations, like its sister company Loadhog, is now 100% employee owned. Employees are asked to purchase at least Ā£1,000 worth of shares after their first year ofĀ service, with the employer providing a loan to help staff who need financial support to do so.

Employee ownership is not optional for the 441 Gripple staff or the 50-strong workforce at Loadhog: it is central to the ethos and structure of the two employers.

Indeed, Gripple has taken the employee ownership model a step further by establishing a private employee-owned company called GLIDE (Growth Led Innovation Driven Employee), which receives gifted shares from the chairman and vice chairman over a 10-year period with the aim of ensuring that Grippleā€™s culture and founding principles are maintained by future generations of employees.