Keeping the art of ownership simple.

In 2001, Shawston was the subject of an MBI by the current management team. It had a total of 10 employees with sales of £750k. At that time an equity participating management team joined to run the business; fast forward to 2018 and Shawston is a 120 strong employee owned company with sales approaching £25m.

Awe-inspiring stuff.

The innovative thinking and strategy set by the Shawston management team has allowed Shawston to mature and take stock of the pathway to success. Making strategic business decisions to benefit customers first; when they are happy, Shawston is happy, creating a spiralling effect providing benefits to the company, the employee shareholders and the suppliers. A customer centric focus via the individuals that are responsible for its success.

The Shawston Philosophy

Shawston’s philosophy has always been to put more and more equity into the hands of the employees. In December 2015 the business became fully employee owned and all employees from that point forward owned shares in the company. Each member of the workforce has a vested interest in the success of Shawston, striving to propel it forward at every opportunity.
“The decision to change our employees from wage earners to genuine shareholders was an easy one.” says Rob Davenport, CEO. “Shawston is a company that cultivates long term thinking, so it made sense to make our shareholders custodians of the business. The team you speak to on the phone or meet on site delivering goods are all Shawston shareholders.”

“Our staff retention is unrivalled.” Rob continues, “We are zealous in recruiting & retaining talented, committed staff. The stakeholders in Shawston have a sense of ownership & pride, this has enabled a sustainable business model to evolve.”

It seems obvious that 120 people combining to think and behave like business owners is far more powerful than the delivery from 7 or 8 senior leaders.

Shawston is centred on providing world class customer service, so employee owners go the extra mile, can make their own decisions on the spot as required – not needing to ask for a rubber stamp and above all, offer discretionary effort to delight customers. If customers are happy then it stands to reason, so too are the team, our suppliers, and in good years, employees can share in any dividend that may be payable, as well as see the value of their shares grow at each annual valuation. In challenging times, the team will stick together and not flinch challenges that are presented.

The Future

Fundamentally, Shawston has heritage dating back to the 1970’s, and since the MBI back in 2001 almost one generation has ticked by. The EO business of today is well set for its second generation and we hope, we expect, substantial growth, continuously improving customer service and highly motivated and engaged employees.

It is very empowering working at Shawston. You are valued, and your opinions are valued.  Everyone at Shawston is proud to work for an EO business, and the economic case for EO fosters huge job satisfaction and peace of mind.

It is so refreshing to be treated like a co-owner, to be empowered to make decisions locally, and to know that our number one value is honesty. Knowing where you stand, there are no hidden agendas. There is no red tape at Shawston, no time or emotion lost to irrelevant subjects.

We are focussed to delight customers, enjoy our work and hopefully generate some upside profit to reinvest in the business – we all want the business to be more sustainable, for generations to come. I think many co-owners see themselves retiring at Shawston, a job for life perhaps.

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Shawston London

Units G & H, Hillbottom Road, Sands Industrial Estate, High Wycombe, Bucks HP12 4HS

  • Tel: 01494 460 910
  • Fax: 01494 522 573

Shawston Birmingham

Bay 1, Block D, The Bescot Estate, Woden Road West, Wednesbury
West Midlands WS10 7SG

  • Tel: 0121 556 3400
  • Fax: 0121  506 4669

Shawston Manchester

Great Norbury Street, Hyde,
Cheshire SK14 1BW

  • Tel: 0161 368 4545
  • Fax: 0161 367 8114

Shawston Glasgow

Block 1 Unit 4, Annick Industrial Estate, 31 Sandilands Street, Shettleston, Glasgow G32 OHT

  • Tel: 0141 778 6975
  • Fax: 0141 778 6264

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