Thousands of employee owners up and down the country came together to celebrate EO Day recently – and the MindWorks team was no exception.
Growing by a whopping 28%, representing 100 new businesses since the last EO Day, the sector – one we are proud to be a part of – now boasts 470 employee owned businesses in the UK. And, we’re in good company as we stand alongside John Lewis and Partners, Lush Cosmetics and Aardman Animations.
Our desks may be further apart than usual while we work from home, but we weren’t going to let a small detail like that get in the way of our celebrations… instead, we took them digital!
Kicking off the day with a presentation from our two elected Colleague Reps, we brought the entire company up-to-speed with what’s going on in the EO sector and celebrated our own achievements, including our ongoing feeling of togetherness and collaboration, despite the current pandemic forcing us to work apart. We’ve all continued to embrace the EO culture by supporting each other with new ways of working, being understanding of each other’s home-/work-life juggling and have continued to help each other – one colleague even reported that “everyone is embracing the ethos of employee ownership now more than ever!”
In the spirit of collaboration, and tying in perfectly with the EOA’s #EOIsTheAnswer theme for the day, we opened up the floor for an open forum discussion, where everyone was encouraged to share their ideas and suggestions for what our new future could look like, with many expressing their pride at how well we’ve all adjusted to working from home and their excitement at the prospect of creating an even more flexible workplace in the future.
The company then took part in a fun team challenge – again, making the most of digital platforms like Teams and Zoom to break out into smaller groups. Inspired by BBC’s The Apprentice, we were tasked with reimagining party isle, Ibiza, without the clubs – we were to market it as a destination and pitch our ideas to our very own Claude and Karren! A fantastically creative challenge that involved carrying out research, creating the idea, designing an advertising campaign and, of course, choosing team names and project leaders who would pitch the ideas to the panel. Gill Pegram, who was a member of the winning team, said, “A team of people made up of every department brainstormed and brainwaved throughout this fun task under the guidance of our calm and motivational project manager, (sorry, Emma, for volunteering you on your first day back from furlough!).
“We quickly realised our ‘Secret Ibiza’ idea could be applied to loads of organised ‘happenings’, from beaches and historic site tours to foodie events which was exciting. Designer Ryan’s ace idea to make everything accessible only if you got sent the secret coordinates gave it an intrigue and must-have element and was also perfect for monitoring social distancing protocols and visitor numbers. I think we should put the idea to the island’s tourism board!”
Rounding off the day with our weekly (virtual!) pub club, we were treated to yet more celebrations with our annual Appreciation Awards, where four colleagues were recognised by the Board of Directors for making a real ‘step change’ to the company over the last 12 months. And there was an added bonus of a Colleagues’ Choice award that, this year, was awarded to our Managing Director, Michelle, following a company-wide vote throughout the day using Slido.
Speaking of the day, Michelle said, “EO Day is a staple date in the MindWorks calendar – it’s a chance for us to come together to reflect, have fun and celebrate all things EO and what it means for MindWorks. I’m incredibly proud of the entire team for their hard work, commitment and unfaltering dedication – and I echo my colleagues’ sense of pride for being a part of a really special employee owned business!”