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Employee ownership

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The beginning

Make has always been 100% employee-owned. When setting out to form a new practice in 2004, Make founder Ken Shuttleworth wanted to do something different. He imagined a democratic workplace where everyone’s opinions mattered, ideas were free-flowing and decisions were made together.

He quickly landed on the ‘John Lewis model’, in which every employee is an owner, receives an annual profit share and has a say in how the business is run. By the time we opened our doors, Ken had signed away his ownership rights and placed the company into an employee trust.

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The business

This business model has provided a robust foundation for building an incredibly successful practice. Since 2004, we’ve grown to 150 employees across studios in London, Hong Kong and Sydney. Our structure has turned out to be a strong factor in recruitment and retention.

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The benefits

Our employee-owned structure has proven to be the perfect fit for our collaborative culture. Together, they create a workplace of equals, regardless of role or seniority.

Decision-making is a big part of it. In the Make Forum, Makers discuss issues such as performance reviews, design process, diversity and knowledge-sharing. This transparent consultation process provides a platform for Makers to voice their questions, concerns, interests and opinions – all of which feed into the decisions we make.

The annual profit share is another key benefit of employee ownership. It’s a perk that makes everyone that much more invested in the success of the company, which ultimately benefits both employees and clients.

 
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