Forward

Hidden mission statement
http://www.forward.co.uk

Officially a Very Good
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Officially a Very Good
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Officially an Outstanding
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Officially an Outstanding
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Officially a World Class
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Officially a World Class
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Officially a Global*
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Globally*

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Best Company to work for in the UK
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FORWARD INTERNET GROUP is not backward about listening to staff, with bosses giving employees up to 20 days' “innovation leave” to develop business ideas they like the sound of. In consequence, staff at the media technology firm, based in Camden, north London, believe they can make a valuable contribution to its success, with a positive result of 86% the 15th highest. This creative approach has its roots in founder Neil Hutchinson's bid to pay off his student loans in 2004. After typing “make money online” into Google, he downloaded a programme that led to the launch of a marketing campaign and eight months later he quit his job as a web designer to set up TrafficBroker, the forerunner to Forward. It has since established web businesses around the world and in 2009 acquired uSwitch, the price comparison site. On its website, Forward lists the names of employees whose appointment represents a milestone, from its 10th recruit Marcin Ciszak in 2006 to Michael Cottom, its 350th last year. Employees say working here is a key part of their life (82%, placed 21st), and they are free to choose their start and finish times, as long as they do a 40-hour week and meet agreed objectives. The company has its own registered charity, the Forward Foundation, which helps young people in crisis, and employees do not believe the company's support of worthy causes is driven by a desire for good publicity (67%, a result exceeded by only 10 others). The charity focuses on small entrepreneurial projects in London and Africa, and Forward workers are encouraged to volunteer to help out directly as well as through donations. They say the business puts its fair share back into the local community (72%, 15th). Members of staff also care for the others in their team (82%). There are monthly events bringing employees together, involving food, drinks, entertainment and socialising, and there have even been Christmas parties in Las Vegas, with the company covering the costs of flights, accommodation, meals and entertainment. An employee-assistance programme has been brought in with a full concierge service, as well as counselling and advice. Staff do not feel they are under too much pressure at work to perform well (73%).

Featured Workplace Factors

My Company

96% of staff agreed

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

Forward allows staff to take twenty days innovation leave. If employees have a new product or business idea they can put this to their investment team who will then decide if the new business idea is viable. If they are viable Forward allows employees to take innovation leave and work on them with a view to turning the idea into something profitable. As a business the company foster a culture of innovation and improvements and give employees time and resource in order to move their ideas forward.

My Team

89% of staff agreed

My team is fun to work with

Through offering a flexible benefits package that includes a bike to work scheme, gym membership and private health. The company also offer free yoga, pilates and climbing to all staff as well as other sporting activities. They have introduced a new Employee Assistance programme that provides a full concierge service to staff as well as counselling and advice.

Personal Growth

87% of staff agreed

The experience I gain from this job is valuable for my future

For the second year in a row the company were lucky enough to be taken to Las Vegas for their company Christmas party in December 2011. The company covered all costs, flights, accommodation, meals and entertainment. This was a fantastic team building event and was also seen as a reward for each employee's contribution to the company's ongoing success.

Quick Facts

Organisation established in
Total number of employees
Number of UK locations
Employee average age
Male : Female employee ratio
Employees earning £35k+
Employee turnover (voluntary)

Benefits

Maternity

Companies offering at least 10 weeks’ full pay or generous alternative.

List Positions

National Ranking
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62
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62
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62
Best NFP Organisations to work for in the UK
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