Case study: Shawston’s 7 year EO journey – igniting leadership and putting people first

When Shawston International became employee owned in 2015, the founders were still the value drivers in the business, with emerging managers coming through. If that had carried on, the business would have plateaued. Being employee owned has allowed the team to create a new and improved version of Shawston International.

For Shawston, the step change started with developing their leadership team. Whilst they are now seeing an uplift in performance, the reality of the journey has not been without its challenges. Being an employee owner hasn’t been for all 130 colleagues across the business – spanning warehousing, transport, fabrication and professional services roles.

In this session you’ll hear from Shaun Imrie, Operations Director about how he and the other senior managers stepped up to become EO leaders, taking on more liability and responsibility and igniting Shawston’s delivery. You’ll also hear how Shawston are empowering the wider team to think and act like owners, helping to generate shareholder value.  Shaun will be joined by Steve Dannan (Head of People and Culture) who supported and coached him and others to become EO leaders.

Shaun says, “conventional leadership training in non EO PLC or Limited company cannot prepare you for being a leader in an EO business. It’s been an incredibly challenging journey to shift the culture of the business, but we’re now starting to leverage the benefits of being employee owned.”

For Shawston #WeOwnIt means empowerment and confidence.  It is the reason Shawston are more likely to survive a recession, to outperform competitors and to see higher levels of employee engagement and retention.

You will learn:

  • How Shawston developed a future leadership team, including more mental toughness to deal with the pressures that come with owning a business.
  • How employees are primed to “think and act like an owner” and the impact this has had – including how managers are empowered to take responsibility for their own team, removing the traditional HR department.
  • The challenges along the way and Shawston’s approach to addressing them.
  • How Shawston recruits and retains the right people with a vested interest in the business, rewarding them both personally and financially.

Hosted by Shaun Imrie & Steve Dannan

Shaun Imrie of Shawston, spear at EOA Conference