REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL: THE CORPORATE SOLUTION

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Whatever the harshness of the financial climate, some companies believe that investing in their staff breeds creativity and commitment. Below are a number of large firms who know how to look after their own - and may just command extra loyalty as a result.

The advertising agency J Walter Thompson throws extravagant staff parties at such auspicious London venues as the Natural History Museum and the Hurlingham Club in Chelsea. Other events include a "Masterclass" at which a visiting celebrity gives a talk; guests have included the former Eurythmic Dave Stewart, who also played a set, and the Blackadder producer John Lloyd. Other inspiring events come in the form of annual awards for the best creative teams, the primary winners of which go to lunch in Paris.

British Airways offers its staff a combination of free and heavily discounted flights. Employees rarely pay more than 10 per cent of the flight price and can also procure cheap hotel accommodation via deals offered to the company. British Airways also rewarded its employees with a record bonus of pounds 94m in the last tax year, an equivalent of nearly one month's salary for everyone who had been with the company for a year or more.

Senior staff at Ford Motors get a company car and free petrol, too. Ford also offers a discount purchase scheme to all employees and their immediate family irrespective of their job. Many Ford employees are offered favourable rates by local businesses advertising in Ford News, the company magazine.

Employees of John Lewis have their loyalty rewarded by sharing in the company's profits. They are provided with affordable holiday centres in Dorset and the Lake District as well as two country clubs in Berkshire and Hampshire. Staff can claim subsidies on plays, operas, ballets, films and concerts.

American firms have a reputation for treating their staff well and the investment bank Morgan Stanley is no exception. One of its London offices benefits from a free in-house dry cleaning service and a hair and beauty salon.

Marks & Spencer has a visiting dentist and chiropodist attending most stores and also offers a hairdressing service. The company gives long service awards to staff employed for 15 years or more. Even after retirement, M&S gives birthday cheques and discount vouchers to various selected staff.

ABIGAIL RAYNER

Comments