It was probably inevitable given the interest in public sector mutuals and social enterprises in recent months that there would be some awards that recognise employees’ efforts in creating a mutual.
The Philip Baxendale Awards for Excellence in Employee Ownership, co-sponsored by the Baxi Partnership and the Employee Ownership Association, will feature a category, the Public Sector ELMO Award, which celebrates “the most impressive group of employees to have spun out of the public sector into an Employee-Led Mutual Organisation (ELMO), and who are showing progress in transforming the service to improve outcomes for their users.”
The closing date for nominations is 19th September 2011. You can read more about the awards here
By David Bicknell
There is an interesting Guardian piece on mutuals published today. It features some quotes from Campbell McDonald, a director of the employee-owned trust Baxi Partnership, which is working with some of the public sector organisations now setting up mutuals.
“If you are going to do it, there has got to be a set of things that are in place,” he says. Strong leaders will be needed to steer the new organisations, as well as support from government and from those commissioning services at a local level. But mutuals could transform services, he believes. “The prize is that you see big gains in productivity and huge rises in employee motivation. That tends to trigger innovation and will free up the organisation to make things happen more quickly.”
“If any of this is going to succeed on scale, we cannot allow new organisations to be set up to fail,” he adds. “The mutual option is not a silver bullet, and without a decent number of success stories to point to in two years’ time this movement will struggle to really get off the ground. The most worrying factor right now is that with so many groups of employees considering a mutual way forward, a huge number are still struggling to get the right support and advice at the right time to give them the best chance of survival.”