Quick facts

About Firefly Communications

In the past three years Firefly Communications has buzzed up the charts from No 79 to become Britain's third best small company. The public relations consultancy does a fine job of promoting its clients but has every reason to feel proud of the way it looks after its own staff too.

The glowing reports start from the top, with the shining example of chief executive and company founder Claire Walker. Firefly's 53 employees are overwhelmingly inspired by their leader, giving her a positive score of 91%, and saying that she and senior managers truly live the firm's values (90%). Walker uses her expertise to devise training courses for every level. Staff feel the job is good for their growth, with a positive score of 89%, and say that the organisation really tries to help them (93%).

On the social side, Walker and her husband, managing director Mark Mellor, host an annual summer barbecue, cooking, laying on drinks and games.

At work, too, a friendly atmosphere is cultivated with a "recharge" room for breaks and prizes for the best team every month. Staff say their colleagues are fun to work with (93%) and that they can be themselves in their teams (90%), the latter the second highest score in among all 100 SMEs.

Holidays start at 25 days a year with a maximum of 40 for senior managers — but further time off can be earned. After five years people become eligible for a five-week paid sabbatical. The company is flexible about working patterns, too, and a handful of people work from home, part-time or staggered hours.

The London-based firm invests £300 per employee a year in a wellbeing programme, including stress-relieving massages and cash for treatments such as acupuncture and homeopathy. New fathers have two fully-paid weeks of paternity leave and emergency leave is available for problems to do with children. Perks include early finishes on Fridays and bank holiday weekends. Staff are not exhausted by their work (70%) — the second-highest score — and find it stimulating (87%).

Charity is high on the agenda and each year Firefly offers pro-bono work to one organisation, while electing to support another. This year, it is renovating a Help the Aged office. Employees feel Firefly is putting enough back into the community, a 77% positive score ranking it third.

Most people earn between £15,000 and £35,000 and staff feel fairly paid relative to others in similar positions in the industry (75%). In all, employees believe their company is lighting the way for others and would heartily recommend it (93%).

Company Statistics

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  • Male to Female ratio:

    34% / 66%

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