Clearcut Sound Studios announced today that it has become majority employee owned. The company, whose recent work includes high profile campaigns for Diet Coke, Volkswagen and Radio 4, has confirmed that 80% of its shares are now owned by its staff.
The studio’s move exemplifies the groundswell of interest in employee ownership now spreading across the private sector. Employee owned companies like retail giant John Lewis and engineering consultancy Arup have been lauded for outperforming competitors over the course of the economic downturn, and last month Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg called for the creation of a “John Lewis economy” characterised by widespread employee share ownership.
The studio has been advised throughout the transition process by employee ownership experts the Baxi Partnership, who were first brought in by the founders in November to run a collaborative assessment of the opportunities presented by an employee owned model. Over the following months, the Baxi Partnership supported the company in structuring the transfer deal so as to meet the founders’ and employees’ shared aspirations for the business.
According to a recent study into employee ownership by CASS Business School, employee owned businesses create jobs faster, and are in certain circumstances more likely to survive difficult economic conditions than others. The study also found that absenteeism and staff turnover tend to be lower in employee owned businesses, whilst job satisfaction tends to be stronger, and wages tend to be higher. A HMRC study conducted in 2008 found that a majority of businesses with employee share schemes reported improved organisational performance as a result.
Christopher Wrigglesworth, Managing Director of Clearcut Sound Studios, said: “Our move to a model where every employee owns a stake in the business will harness our team’s energy and commitment, and help us continue to grow whilst doing exciting, high profile work.
“The Baxi Partnership has been instrumental in driving this process forward. Their experience and expertise in employee owned business has ensured this transition serves the long-term interests of the studio, whilst fulfilling our founders’ and employees’ shared vision for the future success of the company”.
Jacqui Mitchell, from Baxi Partnership, who project managed the transition said: “When employees have an owning stake in their companies and a say in how they are run, they are naturally more invested in their work. That’s why employee owned companies show greater productivity, lower staff turnover, and greater resilience in tough economic times. The model works equally well for small and medium sized businesses, and Clearcut serves as a pertinent case in point. It’s no surprise that an increasing number of companies across a growing range of sectors are waking up to the tangible benefits of substantive employee ownership”.
For more information, please contact Dan Dolan on 07771 374 925 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Baxi Partnership host free seminars on a regular basis for anyone wishing to find out more about this model. See http://www.baxipartnership.co.uk/courses-and-seminars/introductory-seminars-on-employee-ownership/