The Car Finance Company

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

Officially a Very Good
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Best Company to work for in the UK
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WHEN FORMER ROYAL Navy detective Mark Smith founded the Car Finance Company from the spare bedroom of his Portsmouth home in 2007, he had more than a hunch he was onto something big. His instinct turned out to be correct. The second-fastest growth business in The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 last year, the company, which offers hire purchase deals to people with poor credit records who are struggling to get loans from their banks, generated revenues of £45m in 2014 — more than the previous year. More expansion is in the pipeline. The firm, which opened its first international office in Vancouver in January last year, aims to more than treble its annual lending to £500m over the next three years. Staff believe that they can make a valuable contribution to the success of the organisation (an 87% positive score, ranking the company seventh nationally on this measure). There is excitement about the future of the business, which is new to our list this year (82%, a top-20 result). War-pensioned after 14 years of service in the Royal Navy as a result of injuries, Smith, the managing director, subsequently spent 10 years working in speciality consumer finance. He encourages a collegiate atmosphere. “There is a bit of leading by example, a lot of positive encouragement to do things the right way,” says the inspirational leader (78%) in whom people have a great deal of faith (84%, another top-20 ranking). The firm, which has an overall target rather than individual ones, funds quarterly team-building activities, ranging from ball-pit and trampolining sessions to racing boats at Cowes Week. Smith is a big fan of teamwork.“Everybody has to work as a team on a boat,” he says. The 284 staff, who operate from a range of locations­ — head office, home or in the field from dealerships — all come together for the annual conference and the Christmas party, which last year was held on board the historic warship HMS Warrior. People love working for the Car Finance Company (77%) and go out of their way to help each other (80%). This camaraderie is no doubt helped by the fact that the firm employs many individuals who are friends or family of existing staff members. Some departments could work better together, say staff, giving just a 42% positive, but that doesn't seem to affect their wellbeing. Employees report that they don't feel under too much pressure (68%) and their health is not suffering because of their professional duties (77%). Perks at the firm, which is a sponsor of the League Two football club Portsmouth and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines boxing team, include free private healthcare, a quarterly discretionary bonus based on company performance and a share options scheme. Staff are also given share options based on the time they have served, seniority and their job role, and they own 5% of the business. www.thecarfinancecompany.co.uk

Featured Workplace Factors

My Company

83% of staff agreed

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

Quarterly town hall meetings are held for all Line Managers and round table meetings for all employees in order to discuss issues and recognise successes which have proven to be particularly effective given that the business is growing so quickly. The Car Finance Company have previously put on workshops where everyone participated in deciding the priorities for the following quarter, as well as one that focused on what Managers would do to make sure they had great communication across the business. In order to communicate the company mission, vision and values they are printed on posters and mugs so they are always present within the office. Performance is also reviewed against the values.

My Manager

83% of staff agreed

I feel that my manager talks openly and honestly with me

The Car Finance Company use the 70:20:10 model as the basis of their learning and development strategy in order to focus development on topics that Managers have the opportunity to put into practice immediately in order to be the most effective. Their Leadership and Development Manager has facilitated meetings being held by the Leadership Team as part of their development programme. A group of Team Leaders are presenting at their departments conference for the first time, so they have been supported to develop their presentation and to deliver it building their confidence. A group of Managers took part in a workshop on performance management ahead of the company's quarterly review process. They believe this is a more practical approach and allows delegates to put changes into practice more effectively. Employees can also get involved in coaching and mentoring programmes, which the company find to be more useful as short technical training sessions. Finally performance is always measured against quarterly objectives.

My Team

76% of staff agreed

People in my team go out of their way to help me

The Car Finance Company use the 70:20:10 model as the basis of their learning and development strategy in order to focus development on topics that Managers have the opportunity to put into practice immediately in order to be the most effective. Their Leadership and Development Manager has facilitated meetings being held by the Leadership Team as part of their development programme. A group of Team Leaders are presenting at their departments conference for the first time, so they have been supported to develop their presentation and to deliver it building their confidence. A group of Managers took part in a workshop on performance management ahead of the company's quarterly review process. They believe this is a more practical approach and allows delegates to put changes into practice more effectively. Employees can also get involved in coaching and mentoring programmes, which the company find to be more useful as short technical training sessions. Finally performance is always measured against quarterly objectives.

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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