Construction workers are turning their builder’s brew green as they celebrate national Employee Ownership day today.
Lindum Group has given all its 640 employees reusable mugs, supporting the global effort to reduce the number of disposable plastic cups being used.
The gesture has been made to mark EO day, which is held to celebrate the business and personal benefits of being employee-owned.
Lindum, a large local construction company based in Lincoln, Peterborough and York, has followed this business model since it launched its company share scheme in 1994. It was brought in as the business looked to foster a deeper level of ownership and interest among employees.
Chairman David Chambers said: “We are pleased to be an employee-owned business. By allowing people to buy into the company, it was felt employees would be more involved and, in the main, this has been a positive move.
“Of our 640 employees, 420 are currently shareholders. I believe that allowing people to become part of the business in this way has helped to keep us competitive and keeps us interested in what we all do.”
The Environmental Audit Committee estimates that the UK throws away 2.5 billion coffee cups every year but less than 1 in 400 are actually recycled.
Some national chains are offering discounts or reward points to customers who bring their own cups into their stores.
Mr Chambers added: “The gift that has been given out today is a small gesture, but it’s one that reflects our Group value of reducing the amount of waste which goes to landfill. It’s also a useful, reusable product too.
“As it happens, the idea of handing out mugs came from a member of the team - which is a good sign in itself.”
Among the employee owners at Lindum is Business Park Manager, Lynn Ritson. She said: “You don’t get many opportunities where you can invest in a company like Lindum, so why wouldn’t you take advantage of the Lindum share ownership scheme?
“There is a huge difference between being just an employee and becoming a shareholder in the company.
“Tax benefits, twice yearly dividends and an increasing share price are just three of the reasons why everyone should seriously think about joining.”
Meanwhile, York-based Estimator Roger Rutherford said he signed up to the share scheme after encouragement from his managers.
“We all have days when we sometimes feel a bit low or we don't perform as well as we would like to,” he said.
“But being a shareholder - and the potential rewards it offers - is most definitely a 'carrot' and gives you that little self-kick you need at times. After all, we are all human aren't we?
“I feel that being a shareholder spurs me along and makes me think just a little harder about 'keeping the pencil sharp' and winning projects at the right price.”
At Lindum’s Peterborough office, Project Estimator Rob Burton said he would encourage everyone to sign up to Employee Share schemes if they get the opportunity.
“I’ve been part of the Lindum scheme for ten years but I’ve always joined company share schemes, if they’ve been available, wherever I’ve worked,” he said.
“My main reason for joining was financial and twice a year, when the dividends are paid, I’m reminded that it was worth it.
“I’ve never really missed the money that comes out of my salary each month and now that I’m looking towards retirement, I am very glad I made the investment.”
Lindum is a member of the Employee Ownership Association (EOA), which organises EO day.
Deb Oxley, CEO for the Employee Ownership Association, said: “Companies such as Lindum are great examples of the economic and social benefits that can be achieved in an employee owned environment. The EOA is proud to lead the sector-wide celebrations of employee ownership on EO Day 2018, as part of our activity to raise awareness and move employee ownership further into the mainstream of business structures.”
With numerous events running across the UK and the involvement of thousands of employee owners and other partners, EO Day is an integral part of the EOA’s events calendar and was introduced to raise awareness of employee ownership as an economically strong and balanced business model.
The benefits of employee ownership have been proven in EOA-led research, and include improving employee health and wellbeing, increasing productivity and fostering creativity and innovation across an array of industry sectors. In addition:
• UK employee owned companies contribute over £30 billion to the UK economy annually
• Employee-owners have higher levels of job satisfaction, feel a greater sense of achievement and job security, and are more likely to recommend their workplace than employees in non-employee owned businesses
• Employee owned businesses operate in a range of sectors including healthcare, social care, education, transport, manufacturing, retail and professional services
Photo above shows Lynn Ritson central with Lincoln Receptionist Bev Credland (left) and new recruit Sally Wilkinson (right) Receptionist at York.