Employees invest to share in Gripple success story

SHEFFIELD-based Gripple has achieved a new milestone with every one of its employees now holding shares in the business.

All the 170 people based in Sheffield, plus the 105 overseas employees, invest a proportion of their taxable income to become a Gripple shareholder, with each contributing an average of £12,500 during their employment.

The shares are valued on the financial performance of the business and are not awarded or purchased at a discount via share options.

An investment made in 1994 has increased in value by more than 20 times.

The company staff are involved in every aspect of shaping its growth and development and Gripple reports an overall absence rate of below two per cent and a staff turnover of six per cent.

Gripple managing director Mark Edmonds said: “The company is in the hands of entrepreneurial and innovative staff and, as such, we are custodians of each other’s money. Employee ownership fosters openness, trust and ensures everyone has an opportunity to learn about the business and become more involved, if they so wish.

“Commitment levels have always been high but I think 100% employee ownership gives us that extra sense of accountability and common purpose. We’re absolutely delighted to have everyone on board.”

Last year Gripple was awarded the Phillip Baxendale Award at the Employee Ownership Association annual conference for promoting an employee ownership culture.

The judges said: “The remarkable thing about Gripple is that it can back everything up with evidence. Many nominees say how great their company was but couldn’t prove it. 

“Gripple sustains a positive working culture in a successful business environment.  Attendance rates and retention levels are strong indicators that Gripple is a great place to work.

“The fact that Gripple employees have seen their share value grow so significantly is tangible proof that Gripple gets it right. The company is genuinely a beacon of employee ownership.”