Many of the staff are literally mortgaged to the firm at Yorkshire building society — but, happily, it is a perk. The mutual, which generates a strong family spirit and aims to be moral and environmentally friendly, offers employees a staff mortgage as one of their benefits.
Known to all as “the Yorkshire”, it is home to 2,063 employees. Just under three-quarters of staff told us that chief executive David Anderson runs the firm on sound moral principles and the same proportion have a great deal of faith in him. There is a strong sense of family (something 70% of staff mentioned) and when the grandson and nephew of two members of staff became ill and subsequently died from leukaemia, they were astounded by the financial donations and messages of support from people who did not know them but felt connected through the company.
The building society supported Denise Salter, an employee who wanted to go back to work after having had surgery for hearing problems. “Against my doctor’s advice, I wanted to return and could only do this with the full support of my employers,” she says. “Not only has the Yorkshire welcomed me back with open arms, it continues to support my personal development. On November 1, 2001, I was appointed branch manager at our Penistone office.”
Yorkshire’s revenue was £676.1m last year. Although customer advisers are paid a basic £11,314, everybody (except a tiny group of managers who have sales-target-related payments) received a profit-related bonus of 7.8% of salary last year. There are branch awards such as weekend breaks, prizes for exceptional work and a scheme giving points for investment and mortgage sales, with the prize of a fun event and gala dinner.
In 2001, the firm donated £395,000 to 517 good causes, and there is an environmental policy that means 80% of head office waste is recycled, while old computers are given to schools and voluntary organisations.
There is a final-salary pension that two-thirds of staff have joined, a gym at head office for £15 a year (and special rates at local gyms for the others), flexible work for a fifth of staff, and identical pay and leave for natural mothers and adoptive parents. The firm spends £1m on training every year.
Number of Staff:
Male to Female ratio:
Under 35 to Over 55 Ratio: