UKFast has been named the best medium-sized tech company to work for in the UK, placing fifth overall in medium category of the UK’s Best Workplaces 2016.
The Great Workplaces lists rank the UK’s workplaces based upon culture, health and wellbeing and engagement through employee surveys and external recognition.
UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones is well known for his unconventional approach to employee engagement, believing that having an engaged team is the key to having an energised and successful business.
Jones said: “It’s a business no-brainer to invest in your team and create an environment which people love coming to work in. We employ great people based on values and skills you can’t teach. That’s what drives our incredible culture.
“We’re constantly listening to feedback from our team about what builds engagement and trust within UKFast and we’re always ready to make the changes to help ensure that our team is one of the happiest and most motivated in the country. Today’s results show we are heading in the right direction.”
Jones’ investment in staff rewards during 2015 included an ice-rink outside the office at Christmas, regular ski trips to Switzerland, two private movie premiere screenings and a ‘Zoofari’ at Chester Zoo. Summer also saw UKFast’s car park transformed into a full-scale beach, allowing the team to take advantage of the good weather.
He continued: “The perks and days out are nice things to have, but I’ve learned that to make UKFast a truly great place to work we had to focus on giving people the opportunity to learn and develop.”
UKFast’s training and development centre represents a £4.5 million investment from Jones, who puts education and training at the heart of UKFast’s engagement and growth strategy.
Jones said: “In July 2013 we recruited two full-time teachers with the view that people are more satisfied and more motivated by learning and development than by money. The results have been phenomenal and we now employ five!
“We’ve created something far beyond what I first imagined; a small school within the business. We’re now a top 100 apprenticeship employer, we’ve won numerous awards for staff development, we work with dozens of schools in Greater Manchester and influence 35,000 kids.
“Our work is becoming more and more closely linked with tech education. It’s a big part of what makes us a Great Workplace.”