Embedded software specialist, Bluefruit Software, has elected four new trustees for its Employee-Ownership Trust (EOT). The EOT represents the interests of employee shareholders, who own most of the company, so a fair election was important.
In October 2019, Bluefruit became 51% employee-owned, and a Trust was formed to hold the resulting shares on behalf of its members—the EOT. As majority shareholders, this Trust has the biggest say in the company’s running.
Bluefruit elects EOT trustees every three years. Any employee can nominate themselves for the position, and all employees get an equal say in who is elected. This year, the number of EOT trustee positions increased from two to four, allowing for a more diverse, more inclusive Trust, from all areas of the business.
The new trustees: Tess A’Lee (Software Tester), Judith Coughtrie (Team Lead), Heather “Meeds” Flockton (Junior Developer), Chris Wright (Senior Client Success Specialist (Indirect)).
Judith Coughtrie, who was elected for a second term, said: “I am passionate about keeping the fantastic work environment we have. I value how unique Bluefruit is, and I will do my best to protect that.”
The benefits of employee-ownership
Bluefruit is one of 1030 employee-owned businesses in the UK—a number which has almost doubled in the past year. Such organisations enjoy several significant benefits, including greater productivity, fewer sick days, improved staff retention, and more. However, the employees benefit, too.
Empowerment: As shareholders, everyone at Bluefruit gets a say in how the company is run. Whether it’s company ethics, office location, perks, bonuses, or something else entirely, anyone at Bluefruit can put their ideas to the EOT.
Profit-share: Everyone working at an employee-owned company shares in its success. When Bluefruit is profitable, the EOT can decide to share that profit with the shareholders. This means everyone can receive up to an additional £3,600 tax-free, each year. The profit is split evenly and calculated pro rata, so everyone receives their fair share—regardless of role, seniority, or time at the company.
Satisfaction: Bluefruit recently conducted an Employer Net Promoter Score (eNPS) survey. The eNPS rates employee satisfaction and loyalty and gives an overall score from -100 to 100. The business scored 53, which is considered “excellent”.
Bluefruit Founder, Paul Massey, talks more about the benefits of employee ownership in a company blog post.
Opportunities at Bluefruit
Bluefruit values its people—not as a commodity, but as individuals pushing toward a shared goal. Employees are empowered to make decisions about how the business is run, to work how they work best, and to share in the rewards of their hard work.
As a growing company, Bluefruit is regularly recruiting. Open positions are posted on the Bluefruit careers page and here, on the Software Cornwall Jobs Board.