DOING THE RIGHT thing comes easily to Freeths’ employees, especially if there is chocolate in it for them. When the law firm wanted to highlight the production of CO2 emissions, fairly traded chocolates were placed on the desk of anyone who switched off their PC before leaving the office. The number left on by the end of the week was 64% lower than at the start.
“Doing the right thing” is one of the company’s core values, and its green policies illustrate its commitment to hitting targets while fostering a supportive culture. What began as an attorneys’ practice in Georgian Nottingham has grown into a business with a national reach, a turnover nearing £70m and a 761-strong workforce. The firm adopted its current name in 2014.
The 11 offices use video conferencing for meetings, and the company’s cycle-to-work and public transport loan schemes attract healthy take-up figures. Staff believe its concern for the environment is genuine, giving a 78% positive score on this measure.
The wellbeing of the workforce is also taken seriously. There are lunchtime yoga and mindfulness sessions and — if those do not do the trick — on-site massages can be booked at a discount.
On top of annual staff bonuses, in 2015-16 all employees were given a £100 extra payment with the suggestion they should blow it on something frivolous such as shoes. Everyone also received cake and a posh pen when the Freeths chairman, Colin Flanagan, celebrated 25 years of working for the business.
The personal touch is appreciated. Staff are happy with their pay and benefits (72%) and also say they feel a sense of family (73%).
Learn more about the 8 factors of workplace engagement here
At least 40% of senior managers are women
companies offering either free gym/ sports facilities or offering subsidised gym membership for all employees
Companies offering a final salary, non-contributory pension scheme or one in which the employer puts in at least three times
At least 10 weeks’ full pay or generous alternative
School hours contracts offered to staff
Male : Female: