There’s a subtle complexity, a hint of spice and just a whiff of brambles about this public affairs consultancy, which has given one member of staff £250 to spend on a wine appreciation course.
PPS Group works with property and development firms advising them on how to engage with local politicians, communities and the media. It also knows the right sweeteners for its own staff, with perks including this £250 personal training allowance which has been spent on cookery, Pilates and language courses. Based in London, and four other locations, it tries to encourage a “whole company” feeling with a retreat every year. Last year, the organisation put on a PPS Olympics.
The firm gets its best overall score for the fair deal it offers its 53 employees, with a positive result of 78% overall. Almost half of staff earn between £25,000 and £35,000 a year, and people say they are happy with pay and benefits (84%).
Holiday ranges from 23 to 25 days a year, but everyone can also “buy” or “sell” five days, in exchange for salary. Most people have a car allowance, can take part in the give-as-you-earn scheme and, after six months, can join a contributory pension. Under the flexible benefits scheme, they can opt to put as much as is legally permitted towards a pension, or keep the cash.
The firm is flexible about work, with some people job-sharing or working part-time (including one board director). Sabbaticals are available and expectant mothers get the statutory minimum, plus enhanced maternity pay in the form of a return-to-work bonus after six months of 10% of annual salary. New fathers receive two weeks’ leave on full pay.
People feel the firm’s support of worthy causes isn’t driven by a desire for good publicity (68%), and they have paid time off to work for charities, with the organisation matching any money they raise.
Performance reviews take place every six months and there is also mentoring. People aren’t scared to voice concerns to management (84%) and Stephen Byfield, managing director for 17 years, is not remote, with his “tell all” approach to the financial situation of the company.
Employees help to put together statements of vision and values. As well as being “expert guides” to their clients, they “want to offer a friendly and supportive workplace, and testing and fascinating work”.
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