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People occasionally act like zombies at Feather Brooksbank. When a few jokers wanted to recreate the video of Michael Jackson’s Thriller for the Christmas party, employees were happy to volunteer as “office drone” backing dancers.
One member of staff made a wimpy Rocky, while the recruitment team became the Fembots to chairman Giles Brooksbank’s Austin Powers. These videos, some of which are posted on YouTube, are testament to the fun people have in their teams here (an 88% positive score). Feather Brooksbank, a media planning and buying company, has been on the Sunday Times Best Small Companies lists since 2005. Last year, with many companies reducing their advertising budgets, Feather Brooksbank introduced a policy of not replacing people who leave. The company explained that its 88 staff would have had to work harder to cover the gaps, but people don’t feel they are spending too much time working (67%) or feel exhausted most days (61%). Instead, staff say their colleagues go out of the way to help (88%) and care for each other (91%), both top 20 scores.
The Edinburgh-based firm, founded in 1991 by Brooksbank and Stuart Feather, managing director, gets its highest rank for team spirit (86%, 23rd overall). Last year the company introduced a “£1,000 challenge” inviting junior staff members to submit proposals to develop areas of the business. The best of these won the cash, and every team now has a senior manager to help
convert ideas into action. Bosses at this firm, which also has offices in Manchester, Glasgow and Leeds, listen rather than just tell (83%), are open and honest (87%) and care about people as individuals (85%), all top 30 scores. Media planners and buyers typically earn more than £27,000, and have 25 days of holiday plus up to 10 days of unpaid leave annually. Staff also have
private healthcare, an employee assistance programme, life assurance and critical illness cover. A contributory pension matches their investments of 6% of salary.
Worthy causes aren’t just supported for good publicity (75% and the sixth highest score). The firm matches staff fundraising, and offers up to six days a year of paid time to volunteer. Meanwhile, there are spot bonuses for exceptional work (including passing exams) and more than £30,000 is set aside for fun. The Christmas party is still on for 2009, so people are already hard at work on home-made videos with an MTV Awards them
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At least 33% of senior managers are women
Companies offering a minimum of 25 days annual leave
At least 10 weeks' leave on full pay
Male : Female:
Male to Female ratio:
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