At the Good Business Charter we recognise there is significant overlap between seeking to do business responsibly and being employee-owned. We are excited to have 100% employee-owned Jerba Campervans Ltd as one of our founder members and recently caught up with Jerba’s co-founder and Director Simon Poole.
Jerba Campervans started in 2006 with the conversion of one campervan and they soon discovered there was quite a market for their high-end product. They have since established their own building, grown annual turnover to £3,000,000 and the staff team to 14 people. Yet it was since they became employee-owned that they have really seen productivity increase. They are making more vehicles, making less mistakes and improving their systems through good administration. Everyone has taken on ownership for the overall product, not just their own area of expertise.
The Good Business Charter absolutely prioritises staff and believes if staff are paid well, with secure jobs, where their wellbeing is properly catered for, they have a genuine voice in the workplace and feel included a business can only thrive. It seems an obvious conclusion yet too many businesses still fail to highlight the importance of their people! Caring for your employees makes good business sense.
Simon told me that becoming employee-owned pushed them to have a definite structure to ensure they hear from their employees using specific working groups as well as taking everyone on the journey to understand the impact of increased profits and the link with bonuses. There are many different ways to ensure that employees are heard and it is definitely not a case of one size fits all.
However, what we love at the Good Business Charter is to see how that employee voice actually impacts on our other components and in general through doing good for the local community. It is as a business listens to the suggestions of its employees that it is more likely to realise ways it can have an impact in the local community such as volunteering for a day or choosing a local charity to fundraise for. Employees are often quite passionate about our environmental impact also so turning to your employees to hear their ideas on how you can reduce your environmental impact is a great place to start and strengthen your environmental responsibility.
We hope many more employee-owned organisations follow Jerba Campervans’ example and join the Good Business Charter. As Simon Poole said when they announced their accreditation to the press, GBC accreditation cemented that what they were doing was worthwhile.
“It’s fantastic to be able to join the growing number of companies that are signing up to the Good Business Charter and we look forward to displaying the logo and promoting the accreditation with pride. As a 100% employee-owned company Jerba Campervans is committed to being a fair and inclusive employer, and playing our part in creating both stronger local communities and a more equal overall society.”
Given the additional demand for holidays close to home, it has been a busy time for Jerba with orders booked right up until August of next year. We wish them well and are thankful for their support and commitment to responsible business and spreading the word about the GBC.