Who are Six Degrees?
Six Degrees Social Enterprise CIC is an employee owned organisation, similar to the model that companies such as the John Lewis Partnership work to, but yet different in its own right.
Employee ownership is when a business is fully or part owned by the employees themselves. The model aims to give staff a sense of belonging, accountability and a right to have a say about the running to the organisation along with future plans and opportunities. Six Degrees is such an organisation and gives all permanent staff the opportunity to apply for a share, that brings with it the opportunity to get involved.
The principles of employee ownership are closely aligned to those of a social enterprise and therefore appropriate to Six Degrees.
What does it mean to be a staff shareholder?
Staff share ownership provides individuals with access to information and a voice in the company. This means that they have a voice in the organisation’s affairs by attending, speaking and submitting motions to be considered at members’ meetings and voting at members meetings. These meetings will usually take the form of an annual general meeting (AGM) at which a report of the organisation’s performance in the previous
year, and forward plans for the current and next year will be presented.
Day-to-day operation of the organisation, and related decision-making, is carried out by the management team, the performance of which is overseen by the board (consisting of executive and non-executive directors). AGMs shall therefore also include the election of non-executive directors.
Being a shareholder gives staff a stake in the company and a sense of ownership, which is encouraged by participation in events, specifically attendance at the AGM. It means staff feel engaged and involved in the success of the organisation and part of the bigger picture. Because they’re run in an open way, organisations with staff shareholders tend to have a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility and involvement in the communities they operate in. Staff also tend to be more entrepreneurial, innovative and committed to the organisation and its success.
Members of staff who meet the following criteria can apply to be a shareholder:
- Have a permanent contract of employment with Six Degrees
- Have completed an application for membership.
Eligibility applies to staff regardless of working hours/patterns (full-time-part-time, job share…), job role and location. Volunteers and independent professional carers cannot be shareholder but may be eligible for community membership.
Joining and leaving
To join the scheme individuals must complete and submit an application form. The application form and further details can be found on the HR portal or a form can be requested via the company secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org. New members of staff are also provided with information as part of the onboarding process.
There are certain circumstances when share ownership will cease, the most common of which is when an employee leaves Six Degrees. On such occasions the shareholding will cease to be valid.
The small print
There are further details you will need to be made aware of and full details are contained within the organisation’s Articles of Association available from Companies House (https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/07576751/filing-history).