EMPLOYEE Ownership Day was marked by firms across the county as part of a national celebration.
The Knight & Lee department store in Southsea hosted celebrations to mark the John Lewis Partnership’s week of celebrations for Partnership Day, held in conjunction with Employee Ownership (EO) Day, earlier this month.
EO Day is a national celebration of the benefits of employee ownership.
Partners at Knight & Lee had the opportunity to try out new roles in branch, work on departments they had worked on in the past, learn the history of the building, take part in a quiz and fun photo opportunity and enjoy high tea.
Badges were also presented to a number of partners in recognition of their long service.
John Smith, head of branch at the store in Palmerston Road, said: ‘The ownership structure of John Lewis and the Partnership is what makes our business so special, so it is a privilege to be able to join the celebrations.
‘The team took time to learn new skills and had some fun along the way. It was a pleasure to celebrate this important occasion with my team.’
Also taking part was Insync Technology in Petersfield.
The company, which provides product design and manufacturing services to broadcast and related markets, has been employee-owned since 2013.
It invited dignitaries – including East Hampshire MP Damian Hinds – and students from The Petersfield School to have a look around its base.
Lee Hunt, who has been at the company for 13 years, said: ‘It means a lot to me to have my voice heard and have a say on how we move forward.
‘Being employee-owned means we have shares in the company, which means that if we work well and put a lot of effort in then we reap the benefits from it.’
Gavin Murphie, operations section manager at Waitrose Southampton, was also at the day.
He said: ‘Being employee-owned is all about rights and responsibilities.
‘We are all working towards a common goal and every single partner is valued and gets the benefits of a rise if we perform well.’
Employee Ownership Day is organised by the Employee Ownership Association and is in its fourth year.
Employee-owned businesses are totally or significantly owned by their employees.
Employee ownership delivers four per cent of UK GDP annually.