"Employees at Eaga have the best boss anyone can have — themselves. Eaga is an employee-owned partnership where workers have a say in the running of the company and share in its profits.
As one staff member says: ""It is our business and I genuinely believe that we all work hard to make this the great workplace that it is. If some areas need improvements it is our company, our responsibility.""
The 547 staff also take pride in what the Newcastle upon Tyne-based company does, which is managing government energy efficiency schemes, installing central heating and insulation for low-income households thereby helping them cut their bills.
According to our survey, 87% of its workforce feel Eaga makes a positive difference to the world, the second-highest proportion in any of our 100 best companies. Jack Harrison, the deputy chief executive, describes the staff as ""passionate people exceeding customer expectations"".
Another employee says: ""We make a real difference to the lives of the people we deal with, improving their comfort, health and disposable income in the majority of cases.""
Staff have their own council which asks questions and makes recommendations to management. They firmly believe in the leadership of the company — 76% of staff describe themselves as inspired by John Clough, their chief executive, while 83% believe he runs the company on sound moral principles, the latter score bettered in just four other companies. One employee says of Clough: ""He inspires all around him to live and breathe the values of the organisation.""
It's a big — and healthy — business. The company earned a £2m profit on nearly £199m turnover in 2003. The generous package at Eaga, which has six offices across the country, includes flexible working, a non-contributory pension scheme into which Eaga puts 15% of salary, and a 21% profit-share bonus payment last year. Many staff, however, believe their salaries are low at an average of £17,170 for an assessor.
Employees believe Eaga is a fun place to work, helped by events such as ""wrong trousers day"", when they had to wear the most unfashionable and funniest trousers they could find and activities such as clay pigeon shooting, blindfold archery and quad-biking — as well as buffet lunches for those who have been with the company longer than a year and who duly become ""partners"".
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