25 February 2016

Do you ever have your whole day planned out, only for it all to change completely before your eyes?

Yesterday was one of those days!UKFast Best Companies 2016

I’d been planning on attending a few meetings in Manchester and ticking off a few jobs on the to-do list. However, at 10pm the night before, my comms team were on the phone: Sky News wanted to record me talking about our events coming up this week!

Thankfully, that also meant I’d be able to attend an awards dinner I’d been looking forward to but unable to fit into the schedule. With the agenda shifted, and my executive assistant, Ginny, doing an extraordinary job of rearranging the week, we set off for London.

Meanwhile a cross-section of the team boarded a tour bus that we hired, the same style that rock and pop stars use, and were on their way to London to attend the Best Companies dinner. Hiring the bus to take everyone down there was the perfect move; they’re all rockstars after all!

I arrived at Sky to talk about Employee Motivation Day, which happens to be today. You can watch the footage here [http://news.sky.com/video/1648224/morning-stories-look-after-staff]. Talking about the things we do to keep our team motivated and why it is important was particularly timely, considering we were heading off to the Best Companies event straight afterwards.

I am still often asked why we bother to do what we do. Why have an unusual office? Why take people skiing? Why hire an exclusive tour bus when the train and a Premier Inn would do?

It makes perfect sense! We’re put on this planet to make a difference to other people and to make other people happy.

At the event we were awarded the ranking of 33rd in the Top 100 Best Small Companies to Work For. Whilst, of course, I am always looking to take the number one spot, I am exceptionally proud to be named in the top third of great places to work in the UK.

We also received the special recognition award for the most improved score over the year. We’ve worked hard to listen to feedback from the team and from last year’s survey over the past year. We’ve introduced yoga, changed the maternity package and worked on our pension. We’ve flown more people than ever over to Switzerland to stay in the ski hotel we bought for the team, and we’ve begun work on the redevelopment of our Snowdon training ground. We’ve almost finished the office and the gym classes are now in full swing – from kettle bells, to spinning, to running club.

We’ve also done the simple things that people really appreciate like changing the chairs or having more kettles on each floor.

Last night we celebrated as a team, raising a glass to what’s to come. I already can’t wait to enter next year; the plans we have in place are extraordinary – although many would say they expect nothing less of UKFast!

Ultimately there is nothing more important in life than making a positive difference to those around you. Seeing UKFast feature in these lists is one of my proudest achievements as an entrepreneur.

Here’s to being number one next year

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