Reflecting on two years since pioneering the Employee-Owned Trust (EOT), Force 8 deems the strategic decision a resounding success, providing a unique and lasting solution to staff retention challenges in an industry grappling with shortages
Force 8, a trailblazer in the aluminum industry, marks a significant milestone as it commemorates two years since the introduction of its pioneering Employee-Owned Trust (EOT). The strategic decision has proven to be an outstanding success, offering a unique and lasting solution to address staff retention challenges amid shortages in the industry.
In an industry facing staff and skill shortages, Force 8 has strategically navigated these challenges through the implementation of its Employee-Owned Trust. The last two years have seen other companies within the sector following Force 8’s lead, adopting similar schemes to enhance staff retention strategies.
The window and door market currently grapples with a notable shortage of skilled staff, posing operational challenges and increasing pressure to meet growing consumer demand for energy-efficient solutions. Force 8 views the EOT as a key component in addressing this shortage, ensuring sustained growth, maintaining quality standards, and meeting customer expectations in a competitive market.
Lisa Mottershead, Operations Director for Force 8, explains, “An EOT (Employee-Owned company) is one where 51% or over of the shares are in a trust for the benefit of all employees. The trust, which oversees the management of the company, includes shop floor representatives and one non-working independent person. Companies embracing employee ownership frequently witness heightened productivity, decreased absenteeism, augmented revenue streams, and enhanced profitability.”
The decision to place the full 100% of shares within the trust has been pivotal for Force 8. Every eligible staff member, employed for over 12 months, can receive a tax-free amount of up to £3600 within the fiscal year. The tangible benefits, including a recent £500 tax-free bonus for the Easter holidays, manifest the company’s commitment to recognizing and rewarding its dedicated workforce.
Dennis Sumner, Founder of Force 8, reflects on the impact of the EOT, stating, “The EOT has totally altered the company dynamics and created the perfect team spirit within the workforce. Everyone has become a quality control expert, ensuring every product is perfect and delivered on time.”
Over the past two years, Force 8 has implemented several enhancements, including the establishment of an in-house paint facility and specialization in two profiles for the bending process, Veka and Halo. These initiatives resulted from collaborative efforts and transparent discussions, reflecting the company’s commitment to inclusivity and shared ownership.
Force 8, the first to implement an EOT in the industry, has set an example that others have followed. While not a sole remedy for the skills shortage, the company sees it as a pivotal piece of the puzzle successfully addressed. The positive impact is evident in the team’s longevity and unwavering support, showcasing a workforce not only staying but thriving within the company.
Dennis Sumner reflects on the EOT decision, stating, “Opting for the EOT was among the best choices we’ve made. I only regret not making it sooner. If you are contemplating the EOT route for the future and would like some insights, I’m open to a conversation. I’d be glad to share my experience and offer assistance where possible.”