CMG is not only interested in employing computer experts — the IT services company wants people who can deal with people. “A good manager is someone who makes staff feel important,” goes the company motto, and all are treated with openness and respect. Salary details and company performance, as well as minutes from management meetings, are available to every worker, however junior.
Managers sit among the rest of staff in open-plan offices and the only thing that distinguishes benefits is the salary level. The firm has come a long way from the £7,000 annual sales made by CMG when it launched in 1964, selling the technology to operate company payrolls. Two years ago, CMG merged with the Admiral IT consultancy to double in size.
Offering business information services, IT consultancy and software such as trading systems for banks, CMG staff are based at 24 sites, with a head office in London. The firm joined the FTSE 100 in 1999. However, the effects of September 11 have hit hard and last October it announced 470 job losses. It was demoted to the FTSE 250 at the end of last year. The share price dropped by almost a third to 216.5p, and has since hovered between 200p and 300p.
Despite these difficulties, the staff look on the bright side: “My work is often a wild intellectual adventure,” said one, “and my colleagues are fascinating individuals, always there to share the trials and tribulations of project life.”
Work can be hard, and 87% of staff say people are willing to give extra to get the job done. The majority appreciate the lack of hierarchy, and 73% say they are treated equally, regardless of position, and that management is approachable.
Benefits are basic, but fairly distributed. Staff are offered unpaid sabbaticals after two years’ service and have a flexible benefits scheme. There are chances to move to different departments, career plans are reviewed twice a year, and there are paid-for training and development programmes.
A quarter of staff are women, but there is no extra maternity leave or time off beyond the statutory minimum and there is no paternity or adoptive leave.
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