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Company Culture and Employee Ownership Schemes

Employee culture

Organisations big and small need to put company culture at the top of their agendas in order to manage and retain their valuable staff. It can be the difference between a “getting by” company and a GREAT company.

What is “company culture”

Company culture comes in many forms. According to Breath HR, “It’s how a company cultivates business growth by offering each employee a voice, while encouraging healthy day-to-day attitudes, behaviours and work ethics.”(1).

It is everything from a fruit bowl in the staff room to Friday evening drinks after work. Some offices have football tables and others have weekly 1-2-1s. Budget ultimately has a hand in exactly how far a company can go in terms of perks but opportunity, employee satisfaction and two-way communication (engagement) is at the heart of it.

Hunter Dunning Architecture Recruitment Consultant, and resident HR guru, Miranda Butler said: “The culture of a practice is becoming increasingly important for our candidates to the point where it can make or break a placement, especially those who are not moving for financial gains. Equally, we are finding more and more companies embracing the promotion of a healthy workplace culture, for example through implementing employee ownership schemes”.

Employee Ownership Schemes

Hunter Dunning clients, BB Partnerships Ltd (BBP) has more than embraced this concept and to celebrate it’s 25th birthday it has moved to 100% Employee Ownership. Claiming the model underpins the long-term stability of the practice, Director of BB Partnership Limited, Julian Williams said: “Employee trust ownership is the way that most architects practices will one day be owned. This was our clear conclusion after reviewing how best to plan for management and ownership succession in the practice”.

International law firm Fieldfisher advised BBP during this significant move forward. Partner at Fieldfisher, Graeme Nuttall OBE said: “Employee ownership is very popular among architects’ practices. There are numerous successful examples of practices that have adopted this improved way of working since the 1990s. But BB Partnership is the first firm to assert that employee trust ownership will become the norm for architects. Architectural schools need to teach this method of owning and running a practice alongside other business models, and firms built around the reputation of a named architect should consider employee ownership as the way to sustain that practice.”

Chief Executive of the Employee Ownership Association, Deb Oxley said: “We congratulate BB Partnership on its 25 years in business and its move to becoming 100% employee owned through an Employee Ownership Trust. The professional services sector is one of the Employee Ownership sector’s key growth areas and architects in particular seem to find this model suits their business.

“In most professional services companies the main assets of the business go home at the end of each day, so it makes real sense that those assets, the people, have a real stake in the business and a vested interest in seeing it perform well”.

[extract taken from Field Fisher (2) with permission]

In conclusion

The main message here, is company culture and employee engagement are paramount to the success of any business. See all of our Employer advice including more on this subject here.

Find out how to speed up your recruitment initiatives to secure valuable candidates here.

1. Down, R., Breath “What is company culture and why is it important?” https://www.breathehr.com/blog/what-is-company-culture-and-why-is-it-important?utm_source=linkedin&utm_medium=paidsocial&utm_campaign=breathe%20culture%20campaign&utm_content=sponsored%20content_what%20is%20company%20culture%20and%20why%20is%20it%20important 6th February 2019
2. Field Fisher “BB Partnership Limited moves to employee trust ownership: “how most architects practices will one day be owned””, https://www.fieldfisher.com/media/2017/02/bb-partnership-limited-moves-to-employee-trust-ownership-how-most-architects-practices-will-one-day-be-owned#sthash.YfnWRBaa.dpbs 13 Feb 2017