"Working life is running smoothly for employees at Total, the UK sales and marketing arm of the French-owned petrol company familiar for its red and white livery, which is making its debut on our list.
Based in Watford and 14 other branches, the 705 employees target commercial, retail and private customers. Total fosters team spirit, and wants staff to be communicative and flexible. This is reciprocated: 71% of employees are stimulated by the work they do (a top 50 score), while 77% believe they can make a valuable contribution to the success of the organisation.
Less than a third of employees would leave the company tomorrow if they had another job offer and as a result staff turnover is very low: less than 8% last year. A typical area manager earns a shade under £28,000 a year, and promotion prospects are good, especially in the upper echelons: all 27 senior managers and directors appointed last year were internal candidates.
Personal development is encouraged: the company is helping 120 employees improve their computer skills, while 50 are being supported in education, including course fees and time off for study. Two further groups of 50 are learning a language and working internationally within the Total group. Three-quarters of staff say their manager supports them when they need to learn new skills, another top 50 score.
Under a new policy introduced this year, staff are able to take two days off a year on full pay to do voluntary work. They are entitled to take unpaid career breaks, and are able to buy up to five extra days of holiday each year. Special achievement is recognised by the award of Red Letter Days vouchers.
All employees are invited to a ""we care"" lunch with Malcolm Jones, the managing director, within a year of joining the company. The balance between work and home life is recognised in a double bonus for mothers returning to work after maternity leave. They are paid an extra month's salary after three months, and again after six. Parents are sent a £50 Boots voucher on the birth of a baby and get days off to attend their child's first day at nursery and infant school.
Importantly, given the product it sells, more than two-thirds of staff believe Total UK works to protect the environment, good enough on this measure to rank the company in the top 25 among the 100 best companies.
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