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Kite blog

We are celebrating Employee-Ownership day

By Jake Kirk • Friday 01st July 2016

That time has come around again when we celebrate Employee Ownership Day. A fantastic time of the year to recognise the global movement that is employee ownership, and encourages employee-owned businesses to share their success stories.

Employee ownership can take one of three forms and it may be a decision that is made when the company is founded, or further down the line.

Types Of Employee-Owned Businesses 

Kite Packaging was founded on the principle of employee-ownership. Back in 2001, our Chairman Bruce McInnes, along with the founding partners, decided to create a company in which employees could share in wealth creation, and provide customers with a best-in-class service, driven by employee’s motivation to create success for the company and themselves. “Customer satisfaction matters so much more when you own the business”.

We are known as a ‘Direct’ employee-owned business, meaning we, as employee partners, own the majority shares in Kite. This gives us the advantage of making strategic decisions from the ‘front line’ and encourages us to help the business, our colleagues, our customers and our suppliers, creating a true partnership approach.

‘Indirect’ employee ownership refers to when shares are collectively held through a trust or other means, on behalf of employees. The most obvious example for this is John Lewis, who hold their employee shares in a Trust, which their employees (or Partners) are beneficiaries of.

Some businesses combine these two paths so they have a combination of individuals who own shares in the company, and a collective.

Benefits of Employee Ownership

Whichever way your business decides to become an employee-owned association, the important thing is that you reap the rewards of being part of this great movement. Employee-owned businesses continue to flourish in the UK, the economic contribution of employee ownership in the UK is significant and is growing, delivering 4% of UK GDP annually.

Co-owned companies tend to be more successful, competitive, profitable and sustainable and therefore the employee-owned business sector in the UK is growing is growing.

Here are a few reasons why we love being employee-owned:

Innovation – Our staff are encouraged to take full ownerships of their role and are and to be involved in making key strategic decisions. We have the ability to make quick decisions that immediately benefit our business as we aren’t governed by a Board or external shareholders.

Commitment – Because all Kite employees are personally invested in our company, we have an incredibly low rate of staff turnover. In fact many of our employees have been here since day one!

Sustainable – A business isn’t a business without its employees, and to have them constantly investing in your business and helping to make decisions based on what they experience on a day to day basis, ensures a much better sustainability strategy than individual ownership.

Success – Employees that have a stake in your business are often far more motivated to make it a success. Work becomes a personal thing, and everyone is willing and committed to making it successful.

As we have said since starting from zero in 2001 – “Customer satisfaction matters so much more when you own the business.” And here we are, over 200 employees, over £40 million turnover, and having been the recipients of numerous awards, notable The London Stock Exchange Group, who included us in their “Top 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain in 2016” report. We are showing no sign of stopping.


Happy Employee Ownership Day, to everyone who has supported Kite and our philosophy.