On 19th October, the group owned GLIDE House hosted the first ever official GLIDE Awards ceremony, which I was delighted to be a part of.
Housed in a converted Victorian school building and known fondly as the company bar, GLIDE House is also home to a training academy and gym. Opening in the Autumn of 2017 after its purchase earlier that year, it has since provided a base for two Gripple UK Sports days, as well as hosting a number themed social nights and parties, with ever-increasing popularity.
On this occasion, the team truly excelled themselves, transforming the upstairs into a spectacular space in which to hold our very own Oscar-esque awards night. In a black tie event which hosted one hundred and twenty guests, members of the GLIDE group of businesses came together to recognise and celebrate elected colleagues considered by their peers to embody the GLIDE values.
In typical GLIDE style, guests were greeted with a champagne reception downstairs on arrival. We were then allocated tables on the mezzanine to enjoy the main body of the evening, and were delivered an opening speech by James Sallows, GLIDE Chairman. The attendees then tucked into an impressive three-course meal courtesy of the GLIDE House kitchen, washed down with wines including the Whirlow Hall rose, which Gripple sponsors. We made our way through butternut squash soup with goats’ cheese bonbon, followed by a chicken dinner and all the trimmings, before I was defeated by the richest, most delicious but biggest chocolate brownie I’ve ever seen – at which point, Deb Oxley took to the stage.
As a proud employee-owned group, attendees were delighted to welcome Deb, Chief Executive of the Employee Ownership Association, as guest speaker and presenter of awards. In her opening speech, Deb spoke at some length about how the EOA and the GLIDE groups’ principles overlap. One point that particularly resonated was, “Employee Ownership starts and ends with people”, something that is echoed in the GLIDE motto, ‘Our greatest asset is our people’.
The GLIDE awards have been running for four consecutive years and give employees the opportunity to nominate one another in a number of categories, including Community, Communication and Fun and Laughter. Each company is also then given the opportunity to present the main ‘GLIDE Award’, where nominees are put forward by their colleagues as those considered to stand for all the main GLIDE values which the member companies are based around. As part of the presentations, videos were aired of the final two contenders from each area of the business: Gripple Automation, Gripple India, Go Tools, Gripple Inc., PMS, Gripple Europe, Loadhog and Gripple UK. The short videos included interviews with those who nominated them, to explain the reasons behind each nomination. As Deb commented within her speech, “being awarded an award by your peers is the ultimate accolade”, and the awards night was the perfect platform to celebrate that.
For me, it was an honour to be invited to be a part of the night, as someone who nominated Vanessa from Gripple UK for the GLIDE Award. It was great to see each company’s videos, and through them, the appreciation of colleagues that is evident across the group – it really was a special evening. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists, as well as the teams who made the evening possible.