Sitting for a portrait doesn't usually come in the job description but at Morris & Spottiswood it's part of the company's strategic vision to "create a special place to work". Last year, through a programme with a graduate of Glasgow School of Art, portraits of staff were commissioned for the company's offices. An American artist has started on a series of works for the firm's three sites in Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The Glasgow-based property solutions business, which specialises in interior fit-out and facilities management in the retail, leisure and social housing markets, has a reputation for nurturing its employees. Staff development programmes range from in-house courses on subjects such as health and safety and IT to a management training programme run with Durham University.
The company spent about £500 per employee on training last year and also runs an apprenticeship scheme teaching trades such as French polishing, plumbing and joinery. The investment is reflected in positive attitudes — there's a 78% score from staff who feel they can make a difference to the organisation and a 69% positive score for finding the work stimulating.
Staff, who are offered home working as well as generous maternity and paternity benefits, are a content and healthy bunch — the 65% score for happiness with the balance between work and home life is respectable and the 82% scores for work not affecting staff health and the absence of stress-related symptoms in the past 12 months are among the very best. Although there's an absence of pressure (76% positive) and work for the most part does not interfere with life at home (68%), the company ranks as low as 65th for staff saying they spend too much time at work (with a 54% positive score).
Morris & Spottiswood has introduced initiatives from healthy breakfasts to keep-fit classes and stress management to promote wellbeing among the workforce. Directors mix with staff in the firm's three gyms while chairman George Morris, great-grandson of the founder, has breakfast meetings with employees. Workers like him — he gets a 79% positive score for doing a great job and 81% for workers having a great deal of faith in him.
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