Connick Tree Care: We Own, We Care

On 27th of January 2023, Connick Tree Care, an owner-managed business for thirty eight years, became employee owned; making all of its eligible seventy five employees co-owners of the business.

The business was founded by Mike Connick in 1985, and under his leadership the business built an excellent reputation for the quality of its work and the development of its people, the care of trees always at its heart.   As Mike began to investigate options for future business succession, it was essential that any solution ensured that Connick Tree Care remained true to its values, remained independent and continued to offer opportunities for progression and development to its people.

Mike became aware of employee ownership as a possible succession solution to deliver on these objectives some years before the business changed ownership. He explored the model in some depth, working with the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) and speaking with employee-owned businesses about their experiences.  From this research he became sure that an employee-owned model would be the best fit for the business and all its people. Mike built a good understanding of how an employee-owned model, using an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) might best be applied to his business. Mike discussed with several providers before choosing Baxendale Employee Ownership to support the business into employee ownership. Once engaged, Baxendale helped him to design and develop the governance structures for the business, undertake the legal work to implement the transition and communicate the changes to the employees.

Employee ownership via an EOT is a very flexible model of ownership, which applies to businesses of all sizes and sectors.  At Connick Tree Care, a business operating across several sites, with employees working on site a large proportion of the time, employee voice and participation to create a culture of ownership was key.  To facilitate this a democratically elected Employee Council was established, to ensure that employee voice was heard and to provide a link between the employees, management of the business and the EOT.    The council also collects feedback from employees on any issues or ideas such as quality and working practices and the future direction of the business.

Reflecting on the transition and his work with Baxendale Employee Ownership Mike said:

I am extremely pleased with the transition to Employee Ownership and very grateful to Emily and the team at Baxendale. They were supportive, structured, skilled, pleasant to work with and fully orchestrated the move, thank you.

Following the move into employee ownership, the company re-worked their logo, to include the statement “we own, we care”, which is now worn by all of their employees, wherever they are working – a reflection of how the move into employee ownership continues to grow their culture of ownership, benefitting both employees and customers, with the care of trees at the core of everything they do.

To find out more about employee ownership and employee ownership trusts and how they might work for your business, contact Emily Alston emily.alston@baxendale-eo.co.uk

Emily Alston

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