Seetec’s employee-owners’ collective resilience provides stability and structured support to service users through the pandemic

To mark Employee Ownership Day (25th of June), the Seetec Group is celebrating rising five places to 11th in the list of the UK’s top employee-owned businesses but, more importantly, it is using the day to reflect on the unprecedented challenges faced during the past 15 months and how, by working #BetterTogether, everyone continues to play their part as the country moves cautiously towards the end of the latest lockdown.

Employee-ownership is a positive, resilient and sustainable way of transforming lives and communities, enabling Seetec to deliver evidenced-based interventions and better outcomes for society through its business divisions.

Faced with the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19, a big priority has also been the health and wellbeing of Seetec’s employee-owners. The added pressure of balancing homeworking with home-schooling and supporting vulnerable family members during the lockdowns has had an impact.

Seetec’s aim has been to provide the right level of flexibility to its people so that they have the ability to take better care of vulnerable service users. This was achieved through a collaborative approach delivered by the leadership team working closely with employee ownership champions across the business to provide a range of practical, physical and emotional support initiatives.

A survey of 1,000 employee-owners revealed a 12% improvement in employee health and wellbeing scores following the introduction of initiatives, including:

Seetec Associate Director, Employee Ownership, Ann-Marie Conway said: “We have a comprehensive health and wellbeing policy, but the pandemic brought unique challenges for our people.

“We are a people-to-people business and being isolated from colleagues who provided daily support to each other was difficult enough, compounded by dealing with our own family issues. It was clear we could only support our clients and communities when our people were well supported.

“Our network of Employee Ownership champions really came into its own, ensuring the employee voice was heard by the senior leadership team. This approach continues to empower our people to create agile and responsive solutions for the benefit of the business, further embedding the values of an employee ownership culture to boost the support we provide to our service users.”

Feedback from employee-owners has been overwhelmingly positive with comments, including:

Seetec supports thousands of individuals every year to shape their own future through its skills, employment, justice, health and social care services.

Employee ownership has represented an exciting opportunity for individuals to help shape the future direction of the business. Seetec’s collaborative structure and ability to be responsive to the challenges presented by the pandemic has enabled it to maintain high standards of service to the communities it serves.

Employee Trustee Director, Karen Palfreyman explained: “Against the backdrop of the pandemic, it is remarkable that we have managed to not only continue to grow and develop the business, serving communities impacted through the biggest economic and social upheaval in several generations, but also establish the right foundations for our own employee ownership culture to succeed.”

Chief Executive of the EOA, Deb Oxley OBE said: “At the EOA we believe in better business together – our EO networks support individuals, businesses and the economy to unlock their potential, something we are delighted to be celebrating this EO Day.

“It is great to see the impact of being employee owned is having on employee owners at Seetec, who we have been delighted to see developing strong and robust governance supported by good engagement and communications that is driving benefits for all.”

Seetec is delighted to be shortlisted for Best Health and Wellbeing Initiative category, recognising the company’s commitment to colleague’s health and wellbeing at this year’s prestigious CIPD People Management Awards.

For more information about this year’s Employee Ownership Day, with its #BetterTogether theme, follow this link:

To hear from Seetec’s employee-owners about what employee ownership means to them, follow @SeetecInspire.