Construction management training company Esteem Training Limited has become the latest successful Scottish business to secure its future as an employee-owned enterprise.

With immediate effect, shares in Glasgow-based company previously owned by founder and director Trudy Mackenzie and fellow directors Ian Grigg and Martina Höfner have been transferred into an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). Benefits of the transition to EOT include rewarding the contribution of its dedicated team for whom the development safeguards job security while ensuring that ownership of another successful independent, growing business remains in Scottish hands.

As they celebrate their 35th anniversary we catch up with Martina Höfner, operations director at the company and Clare Alexander of Co-operative Development Scotland to find out why employee ownership is their crowning achievement.

Esteem Training Photograph copyright Martin Shields

“Esteem Training enjoys long-term advanced vocational training partnerships with leading Scottish construction and civil engineering companies including Cala Group, Bell Group, CCG Group, George Leslie Limited and Haldane Construction Services through funding programmes managed by Skills Development Scotland. Esteem Training’s senior management team will remain involved with the business for the foreseeable future though now in the role of employees.

“Ethical business practice, celebrating diversity and nurturing talent to create opportunity lies at the heart of everything that we do. Research has shown that a combination of shared ownership and employee participation results in a business that is more engaged, productive, innovative and sustainable. We’re therefore delighted to make this important move to employee ownership to reward our outstanding team, ensuring that the future direction and ownership of the business remains in their capable hands,” says Martina Höfner, Esteem Training’s operations director.

Clare Alexander, head of Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) who funded the employee ownership feasibility study said: “The move to employee ownership is a first-class way for Esteem Training to celebrate its 35th year in business, as well as giving recognition to the ongoing dedication of its workforce. Companies that embrace more inclusive business models such as employee ownership see higher levels of staff engagement, have much lower staff turnover and are usually more profitable – so it is both a good thing to do from a people perspective and it makes great business sense too.”

The EOT transition was project-managed by Co-ownership Solutions with legal services from Lindsays and financial input from Time 2 Adapt Limited. To read more about Esteem Training Story please read the full press release here.

To date, there are more than 170 employee-owned businesses operating in Scotland and more than 120 of these are Scottish-headquartered companies. To find out more about the support available to become employee owned please visit our web pages on the Scottish Enterprise website.