Officially a Very Good
Company to Work For

Officially a Very Good
Company to Work For

Officially an Outstanding
Company to Work For

Officially an Outstanding
Company to Work For

Officially a World Class
Company to Work For

Officially a World Class
Company to Work For

Officially a Good
Company to Work For

Officially a Good
Company to Work For

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Best Company to work for in the UK
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Best Company
to work for

“OUR SALES STAFF have a three-minute challenge,” explains Dean Cartledge, 4Com's telemarketing director. “They have to find out what type of biscuits the managing director likes at a company we are hoping to do business with, and chat about anything but telecoms to make the call memorable.” His bouncy team, cold-calling small and medium-size companies, do their research: then sales people take along the cookie of choice to sweeten the first meeting. This personal touch extends to its employees, helping 4Com to top our mid-size league having grown large enough to qualify, after four years as a Best Small Company. Founded in 1999, it supplies 10,000 UK firms with telecommunication systems, software and hardware, including its jazzy new touch-screen handset. Based in Christchurch, Dorset, 4Com ranks top for Leadership, Wellbeing, Fair Deal, Giving Something Back and the 257 employees' connection to My Company. There's a real sense of family, too, winning a top score of 91% positive. Cartledge is just one of many employees with a relative here — his wife, Lynda, is human resources director. But this cosiness doesn't stop them being sharp about business: the office dress code is ultra-smart, and product manager Jon Guerra Fernandez describes a culture of quick innovation. “People are quite slopey-shouldered in corporate environments,” he says. “Here, we get excited. It's easier to innovate in a company that supports it.” Senior managers such as chairman Daron Hutt listen (87%) and many staffers are shareholders themselves, since they typically get an allocation through an EMI (enterprise management incentives) share scheme after every five years of service. Fernandez also describes the place as a “crazy family”, and there's certainly a sense of kinship in the shiny fleet of low-emission or hybrid company vehicles. Nobody feels that health suffers due to work (90%), thanks to a breakfast bar and salad lunches when they hit targets, flower-filled offices and music and disco lights to keep up morale in the call centre. Everyone has private healthcare for the whole family. Cartledge, who also heads the 4Com Foundation, organises a host of sponsored activities and spent last Christmas day at Poole hospital with the charity Amelia's Rainbow, giving out presents to sick children. “I've run up a lot of hills in my life, but this was a bit different — it was very humbling,” he says. www.4com.co.uk

Featured Workplace Factors

Giving Something Back

99% of staff agreed

My organisation encourages charitable activities

Last year saw the introduction of a free healthy breakfast bar three days a week, where staff can consume juices, smoothies, fruit and even healthy breakfasts. Throughout the year on the remaining two days 4com offer a salad and noodle bar in the Summer and a soup bar in the colder months. These are free of charge to employees and all healthy options. The company also have had a masseur in the office to relieve back and neck problems and improve posture, as well as free flu jabs for office staff and flu jab vouchers for remote workers. More recently, as part of their annual '4Com's Biggest Loser' campaign, they have linked voluntary staff weight loss with money donated to the Foundation. They regularly invite a nutrition and weight loss coach to provide dietary advice to staff members. The latest initiative they have at 4Com is the introduction of a 'Chill Out' area away from the hustle and bustle of the business, where staff can relax in a quiet environment away from the canteen or pool table areas. They are flexible with break times and maintain an open-door management policy to promote communication at all levels. The staff healthcare package includes confidential counselling as required. As a first this year, the telesales staff have received emotional intelligence training from an external specialist to enable them to control their own mind set and resilience more effectively.

My Company

98% of staff agreed

I believe I can make a valuable contribution to the success of this organisation

4Com plc's Senior Management Team have been part of the organisation for many years and still like to promote a family feel, despite a continuous increase in its staff base. There is a constant commitment to engagement at all levels and rewarding staff for the contribution towards the success of the business. The business has a culture of 'Excellence at Everything' and there is always the investment of funding or other resource-support for training, research and development, as well as any infrastructure required to do the very best they can. The Best Companies survey acts as a benchmark regarding engagement and wellbeing of staff is at the forefront of everything 4com do. The monthly 'Free Food Friday', company update and staff awards engage staff at all levels and the lunch that follows gives them exposure to senior management. The Chairman and MD Daron Hutt was present at Tough Mudder South West to witness 41 members of his staff tackle the gruelling course for charity, seeing first-hand the camaraderie and all-round effort required to be successful. Every three months a video card is produced and posted to employees and their families detailing the company's achievements over the last quarter, what the next quarter holds and any charity/community updates. This is particularly useful for those remote workers who rarely get the opportunity to attend the 'Free Food Fridays'.

My Team

98% of staff agreed

My team is fun to work with

4Com plc's Senior Management Team have been part of the organisation for many years and still like to promote a family feel, despite a continuous increase in its staff base. There is a constant commitment to engagement at all levels and rewarding staff for the contribution towards the success of the business. The business has a culture of 'Excellence at Everything' and there is always the investment of funding or other resource-support for training, research and development, as well as any infrastructure required to do the very best they can. The Best Companies survey acts as a benchmark regarding engagement and wellbeing of staff is at the forefront of everything 4com do. The monthly 'Free Food Friday', company update and staff awards engage staff at all levels and the lunch that follows gives them exposure to senior management. The Chairman and MD Daron Hutt was present at Tough Mudder South West to witness 41 members of his staff tackle the gruelling course for charity, seeing first-hand the camaraderie and all-round effort required to be successful. Every three months a video card is produced and posted to employees and their families detailing the company's achievements over the last quarter, what the next quarter holds and any charity/community updates. This is particularly useful for those remote workers who rarely get the opportunity to attend the 'Free Food Fridays'.

Benefits

Private Healthcare

Companies offering private health insurance to all employees.

List Positions

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Best Small Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Small Companies to work for in London
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Best Companies to work for in Yorkshire & The Humber
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