Cultural & Performance Change

To identify training and the support required for staff to move into employee ownership through the introduction of the “Employee Share Ownership Plan” (ESOP), C-Mac needed to understand the current situation. Consultants were engaged to undertake a survey and make recommendations. The report was titled:

Employee Ownership, Performance Management and High Performance: A Report on the Performance Culture at C-Mac Industries and the firms’ readiness for Transition to Employee Ownership.

Undertaken by Dr Anthony Jensen (Founding member of the Cooperative Development Network)

Below is the Introduction from the report:


The purpose of this report is to support the vision of the owners of C-Mac to transition ownership of the firm to its employees over four years. With its move to make shares in the business available to its employees, C-Mac’s owners and its leadership team have shown that they are forward-thinking and prepared to embrace change.

Importantly, whilst C-Mac has received national recognition for its forward-thinking through its being awarded the ESOP of the Year, 2011 the prospects for its vision of ownership transition are at risk if the firm relies solely on the mechanism of the ESOP.

Equally, there is the potential for C-Mac to be a pathfinder for this type of transition both in Western Sydney and Australia if it gets it right.

This report lays the foundation for ensuring that all the firms’ objectives for employee ownership are achieved and the owners’ vision realized. In doing so, this report has three aims:

  1. It will explain how a firm can maximize its potential and become a high-performance firm through its people and their relationships
  2. It will measure C-Mac’s culture through an analysis of data gathered from two surveys, each of 21 employees. C-Mac’s responses were then benchmarked against other high-performance employee-owned firms.
  3. It will draw conclusions about cultural, performance, and management readiness of C-Mac to successfully transition its ownership to employees.

A high-performance firm is one which achieves sustainable economic value over the longer term. High-performance firms are marked by:

  • Transparency
  • Participative management and
  • Employee ownership

High-performance firms are more resilient than other firms. When measured against other firms, they are shown to perform incrementally better than non-high-performance firms in terms of:

  • Sales revenue
  • Employee turnover
  • Productivity and

High-performance firms source ongoing specialist support in the transition to and management of employee ownership.

High-performance firms are also more innovative.

Because of the long history of employee ownership overseas, the relative newness of the concept in Australia, and the scarcity of comparable data from Australian firms, our benchmark data are drawn from high-performing employee-owned firms which we have measured in Spain and Italy.

In common with C-Mac, these businesses are small-medium enterprises. These firms have continued to perform well even in the face of the global financial crisis and the ongoing ………..

If you want to get an understanding of Australian culture and employee ownership in the workplace; the book “Swapping Desks – Pioneering Business Succession via employee ownership” explains a family business succession to the employees and the struggles he faced.

Contact Blue Tongue Coop

Frank Webb CPA

Frank Webb CDN Administration Officer (mobile: 0413 826 634)

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