Officially a Very Good
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Officially a Very Good
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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 Good
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Officially a Good
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Best Company to work for in the UK
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Best Company
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On a whim last summer, Freedom Finance boss Rupert Webb installed a free ice cream van in the car park for a month. "That went down extremely well. I like one-off things like that — and the staff loved it." Not the most orthodox "thank you" in business circles, but it's this kind of gesture that keeps employees happy and motivated at a company where recognition is as important as money.
The business has offices in Spain, Sweden and Ireland, and plans to expand within the UK. It is one of the leading national finance brokers in personal loans to homeowners and mortgages, and 84% of the 423 staff say they care for (a top 20 score among the 100 companies) and laugh a lot with the people in their team.
Based in Wilmslow, Cheshire, the firm has introduced a quarterly "open forum" in which employees can express any concerns to senior executives and management. More than two-thirds say their senior managers do more listening than talking. Susan Jones, 31, a credit control rep, says: "I have never been with a company which takes so much pride in the staff. They get the job done because they treat their staff so well."
Employees report some of the lowest rates of job-related stress (the 20% rate puts Freedom Finance among the best 20 companies) and unrealistic work deadlines are not common; just a dozen companies scored better on this. However, the 46% who say they are not stretched by their job and the 38% who say they don't find their work stimulating are both the highest rates among our top 100 companies.
Communication is the buzzword within the company. Nearly three-quarters say their manager shares important knowledge and information with them.
Contact centre adviser is the most common job, earning a basic of £13,000, though support staff (human resources, IT) are eligible for an annual or biannual bonus. Other positions, in sales roles such as loan officers, broker account managers and mortgage sales advisers, differ in wages, and monthly bonuses are available if targets are achieved. Nearly 64% of staff profess themselves happy with their pay and benefits. The latter include 25 days' holiday a year, corporate rates for Bupa, subsidised meals in a smart new canteen and membership of the Footloose sports and social club.
Team incentives culminated in trips to Amsterdam and Dublin last year, with more in the pipeline. Christmas parties, summer conferences and bowling evenings punctuate regular nights out socialising with colleagues. A new training suite stands away from the main building and staff use its resource centre to develop their skills by means of a variety of CD-Roms and computer-based training (CBT) packages.

Featured Workplace Factors

Giving Something Back

95% of staff agreed

My organisation encourages charitable activities

Manager's competency is assessed so that bespoke training and development can be provided on a regular basis with checks to ensure quality. L+D works to support managers by regularly assessing their training and coaching skills, providing feedback and development to improve this. Managers attend induction training to embed the vision and values and lend valuable context to their work across the business. L+D works hard to coach managers to provide the best feedback, support and development utilising a sports coaching methodology, ensuring that all staff at all levels of the business can expect the same consistent level and format of support. Lead Advisors are supported on their unique development path by L+D Managers to ensure their vision of a new career in management is fulfilled.

My Company

90% of staff agreed

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

Freedom Finance has a charity committee. The committee holds various activities and competitions where all proceedings go to their chosen charity, St Anne's Hospice. At the end of each month they hold a dress down day where employees have to pay £1 to participate, the event has proven to be extremely popular with employees. Employees have participated in the Manchester Midnight Walk for St Anne's Hospice and also helped and attended a Quiz Nights and Bake Sales. Other events that staff have organised for another charity called Brainwave are a sponsored 5k run, fancy dress days, and formal dress Wednesdays. Freedom Finance holds an annual event called Freedom Festival, which is run across the entire workforce for their chosen charity. The activities that were in this year's festival included mangers participating in several events across the week such as limbo, races and treasure hunting events.

My Team

90% of staff agreed

My team is fun to work with

Freedom Finance has a charity committee. The committee holds various activities and competitions where all proceedings go to their chosen charity, St Anne's Hospice. At the end of each month they hold a dress down day where employees have to pay £1 to participate, the event has proven to be extremely popular with employees. Employees have participated in the Manchester Midnight Walk for St Anne's Hospice and also helped and attended a Quiz Nights and Bake Sales. Other events that staff have organised for another charity called Brainwave are a sponsored 5k run, fancy dress days, and formal dress Wednesdays. Freedom Finance holds an annual event called Freedom Festival, which is run across the entire workforce for their chosen charity. The activities that were in this year's festival included mangers participating in several events across the week such as limbo, races and treasure hunting events.

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

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