Success for UKFast at The Times Best Companies to Work For

Article date: Wed, 13 Mar 2013 15:44 GMT

The Sunday Times Best Small Companies to Work For

UKFast, the Manchester hosting provider that aims to double its workforce to 400 by 2014, has placed in The Sunday Times Best Small Companies to Work For list for the fifth consecutive year - climbing 20 places from last year's spot.

After investing more than £100,000 directly into out-of-the-ordinary team rewards last year - including a music festival, an exclusive movie premiere and trips to prestigious events including the Royal Variety Performance - the cloud hosting and colocation specialist scored higher than ever before, reaching 25th.

On top of continued investment in the health and wellbeing of the team, UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones spent £70,000 on UKFest, an all-expenses-paid music festival for employees and their families, and sent members of his sales team to Las Vegas after they successfully met lofty targets.

Jones said: "A happy, healthy team is a productive team and we have always placed a huge emphasis on building teams who support each other and maintain the family feel that's at the core of our culture.

"Our team-building trips to Snowdon are well-documented. All new employees come along and it helps to instil a team spirit from the very start of their UKFast careers. Investing in the team like this may seem like a huge layout at the offset but in the long run it has enabled us to maintain our strong culture throughout a huge growth spurt."

The firm last year revealed plans to double staff numbers and recently completed a landmark property deal for No1 Archway, the 50,000 sq ft building based in Manchester Science Park to house the ever-growing team. The new office is set to rival those of tech giants Google and Facebook, with slides between floors, a gym and spa facilities and an auditorium.

Jones added that staff engagement does not have to involve spending thousands of pounds. He said: "In the early days of UKFast when we didn't have the money to invest in our team, we invited them around to our house for a barbecue or spent Friday night in the pub with the team. The little things count as well."

A company's score within the Best Companies list is derived from an anonymous employee survey and is dependent on how highly staff rate the firm in eight categories - Leadership, My Manager, Personal Growth, Wellbeing, My Team, Give Something Back, My Company and Fair Deal.

Ninety-eight per cent of employees said UKFast was a 'great place to work'.

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