On Friday 21st June we joined the Employee Ownership Association and fellow employee-owned businesses across the country in celebrating the twelfth annual EO Day – the national celebration of employee ownership in the UK bringing together the EO sector and supporters to raise awareness of the positive impact EO has on individuals, business and the economy.

Smile Together became an employee-owned community interest company (CIC) in 2016 to give our employees, as shareholders, a genuine voice in the business and its future development. We’ve positively thrived together in this environment, delivering our patient care to those who need us most across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and reinvesting 100% of our profits back into patient facilities and local communities.

Our elected Shareholder Impact Board (SIB) Reps organised a special lunch at each location to celebrate EO day this year. This was an opportunity to reflect on our achievements and embrace the inclusive culture we are building together at Smile Together. Colleagues enjoyed sandwiches and cream teas which were provided by local Cornish company Grazers. It provided an opportunity for the team to connect with one another and take pride in being part of an employee-owned company.

We also asked our Shareholder Impact Board what being employee-owned means to them. They provided some truly inspiring and uplifting quotes and so we turned them into a fantastic video to share on our social media:

“Being employee-owned means that every member of our company has a say in our success and a voice in our future. As Chair of the Shareholder Impact Board, I see firsthand how employee ownership in Smile Together fosters a culture of collaboration and shared purpose. It empowers us to make decisions that reflect our collective values and ensure that the benefits of our hard work are shared by us all.” Sally Phillipps, Head of People & Culture and SIB Chair/Board Director

“As a newer member of our Shareholder Impact Board, I was unsure of what to expect but can honestly say my experience has been extremely positive. I feel genuinely listened to and I feel our views are really considered. We really do have an opinion in what we, as a company do and how it affects us as employees, but also the wider community.” Sarah Hughes, Dental Nurse

“Employee ownership is everyone having a share and a stake in the company we work for. This makes me feel secure in my work knowing that I work in a community of people working together for a common goal. As a member of an employee-owned company we know that our voice is listened to and we can contribute and bring ideas and thoughts to improve operations and enhance the company’s performance.” Debra Russell, Dental Receptionist

“As an elected representative on our Shareholder Impact Board, I engage and represent my colleagues on all levels.  I have recently been a small part in a big project where the voice of employees has been listened to. We now have an updated, attractive, career progression pathway for clinical staff with a competitive salary. This has been recognised across the whole company.” Helen Cooper, Dental Nurse.

“I think it’s great being part of an employee-owned company. It empowers our employees to be bold, voice their ideas and opinions, which allows them to be part of the decision-making process. It creates a positive work culture, where our employees feel valued and respected. Being a representative on the Shareholder Impact Board for almost a year now, I have seen firsthand how the shareholders thoughts are valued and listened to, and it’s encouraging to see more and more employees come forward with their ideas because of this. I look forward to seeing our employee-owned company grow stronger, and I feel privileged to be a part of it.” Karn Pericival, Trainee Dental Nurse.

You can watch the video here.

Our colleagues were also sent a special video message from our good friend Chris Hines MBE about the importance of employee-ownership. He congratulated our team on all the brilliant work we do on behalf of our patients and our community.

Hosting a special lunch to celebrate being employee-owned was a great way to come together as a team. It’s a reminder of the collaborative and inclusive nature of our business model, and we so enjoyed this opportunity to spend time together. #ProudlyEO.

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