“Employee Ownership brings everybody closer together – I think of Aber as my second family.”
Manufacturing Quality Coordinator
5hat does EO mean to you?
I joined Aber just prior to Employee Ownership being formalised, but it was clear that even back then everyone was already being encouraged to think and act like an ‘owner’. It was part of our ethos which was a real eye-opener for me… where I used to work, I was just a number.
My experience is very personal – I’ve recently become a dad. This time last year I thought “I don’t want to be doing all the hours and have all the responsibility… I want to shift my work-life balance and have more flexibility to be at home”. And, I know that if I’d have been working for another company I probably wouldn’t have been confident enough to have even asked if that was possible.
But here… we’re all equal, we all matter. It changes the way you think, you know? You’re able to approach the leadership team or anyone else with an idea and start a conversation.
What does it mean for the business?
Our ethos and culture are very different to anything I’ve experienced. Employee Ownership encourages people to think differently – and I think; as a result to act differently too – and this comes through in the way we treat our customers, or how open we are to being flexible with requests and demands. We just naturally go the extra mile.
I also think that increased awareness of Employee Ownership will have a big impact on us being able to attract talented people to join us, and encourage them to stay.
What difference does it make to the way the business operates and behaves?
There are obvious differences, especially around things like decision-making, which involves everyone in the business. We all meet at least once a month – imagine a departmental update, but with everybody involved. That might sound overwhelming, but it works. It means everything in the business is transparent. We’re all responsible, and we all have a say – it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been here or what you’re role is. It also means that we all have an understanding of how the business works and where it’s going. And because of this, there are stronger bonds outside of just your immediate team.
The most obvious thing I guess though is that we all know that if we do really well as a business, that every one of us as employee-owners does well personally. That keeps everyone focused as one big team.
Has Employee Ownership changed the way you think and feel about work and your own career?
Definitely, I don’t think I could imagine working in a business that wasn’t Employee Owned. I can honestly say the business cares, because we are the business. I care, and I know my colleagues care the same way. So, if there’s an issue we try and solve it as a team. We do what’s best for the Aber family, and that feels very special. At the end of the day, the Employee Ownership model brings everyone closer together. And, as a result, I love Aber. It’s my second family – I come to work because I love the people.