Staff at Richer Sounds have two good reasons to go to work: the benefits and Julian Richer, their boss. More than 82% of his employees think he is inspirational — the second-highest score in our survey. He is full of positive energy, say 89%, and 85% have a lot of faith in him.
Richer, the founder and chairman of the company, was 19 when he set up his first hi-fi shop more than 25 years ago. He now has 48 hi-fi and home cinema stores around Britain and has passed down his caring and open approach to his managers. More than three out of four staff say their manager shares important information with them and 77% feel their manager cares about them as an individual.
Salaries are high for the retail industry. A senior sales assistant can expect to earn £19,000 plus profit-related pay (recently £1,500 per employee) and a performance bonus (from £1 to £33,000 last year). A high 66% of staff believe they are fairly paid compared with similar employees in similar companies.
Additional perks include short holidays for staff after five and 10 years’ service and prizes such as helicopter rides or luxury train trips on the Orient Express for the best suggestion each quarter.
An incentive scheme to stop smoking offers employees £100 towards treatment such as acupuncture and £200 if they quit for 12 months. Exercise is made less painful with the help of a subsidy of between 25% and 90% to join a gym or any recreational club such as fencing or golf. An unusual medical scheme allows staff who are unhappy about advice or treatment from their GP to get a second opinion from a Harley Street doctor.
Richer Sounds encourages a fun atmosphere where team spirit is strong. Survey figures substantiate this: 88% of staff laugh a lot with their team, 84% say their team is fun to work with and 91% say there are strong principles for treating customers well. Seven out of 10 members of staff say working with their team gives them a buzz and 79% — a top-10 score — say there is a strong sense of family.
Fun is also encouraged outside work hours, with an annual budget of £345 per person. Social events are held throughout the year for staff and their families. Charitable events are also well supported by staff and Richer Sounds gave away a generous 11% of its pre-tax profits last year.
Number of Staff:
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