Horizon Platforms Marks Employee Appreciation Day by Sharing Success Stories of Employee Ownership

Employee Appreciation Day takes place on March 1st and is a day that highlights the importance of recognising and valuing the contributions of employees to the success and growth of their organisations. Celebrating this day, Yorkshire-based access platform hire and solutions company, Horizon Platforms, shares their insights and experiences in creating a culture of appreciation.

Horizon Platforms became the first powered access company to become employee-owned in February 2021. As of June 2023, the total number of employee owned businesses was at 1,418, a 37% increase on the number recorded the previous year*.

Since becoming employee owned, between 2020 and 2023 Horizon Platforms has gone from strength to strength with revenue growth reaching 61.2%.

As an employee-owned business, employees have the potential for annual bonuses associated with the performance of Horizon Platforms but do not directly own shares, allowing ownership to be transferred without the team needing to source funds to buy into the business.

Horizon Platforms also have a Trustee Director, which is an elected role from anyone in the business, and form part of the We Are Horizon board, meeting four times a year. They champion the interests of all co-owners, gathering feedback, facilitating discussions, and ensuring effective communication across the business.

Ben Hirst, Non-Exec Director and Founder of at Horizon Platforms, shared his experience of creating an employee-owned business;

“I believe that even before becoming employee-owned, Horizon Platforms had already created an aligned, empowering, and collaborative culture. There’s no question though, handing ownership to the team via an Employee Ownership Trust has enhanced it further.

I link my thinking around this to two innate human needs – security and purpose – and I find it helpful to reflect on some similarities to home ownership. I guess it is safe to say that the majority of us wish to, at some point in our lives, own our own home. This provides us, and our families with security. I also regularly come across people who dream of building their own homes, wishing to influence the look and feel of a place they not only own but will spend significant time within.

Allowing great people the opportunity to enjoy the security of working in a business they collectively own, as well as the opportunity to craft the look and feel of that same business plays straight into these human needs. Hence why I was, and still am, thrilled to have been able to facilitate this for the team here at Horizon Platforms.”

Kelly Burgess, Head of Partnerships started working at Horizon Platforms in 2011 and shared her feeling about the workplace culture;

“I truly believe we were ready for an EOT Ownership, the reason I say this is because I don’t see or feel a difference if I am being completely honest… it feels the same. Even before we were employee-owned, we always had a close family team doing what they do best to go above and beyond. Maybe it has just brought us closer.”

Malcolm Briggs, Marketing Manager at Horizon Platforms, joined the company in January 2023 and shares his experience as a new member of the team;

“Horizon’s values are not empty words, everyone embodies them and plays them out daily. That’s why we have excellent customer feedback and co-owner engagement. The structures in place mean everyone is supported and given the tools to do their job to the best of their ability. Vision and strategy are communicated coherently, and everyone has sight of it. More importantly, everyone plays an active role with a shared voice and empowerment to act to fulfil the vision and strategy.”

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