Profit-sharing and team choirs have helped make one Cornish law firm one of the top employers to work for in the UK.
Truro-based Stephens Scown has been ranked 16th in the Sunday Times list of the top 100 mid-sized firms to work for.
The firm, which has introduced office choirs and gives its staff an equal share of its profits, is also the highest ranked solicitors in the country.
This is the third consecutive year that Stephens Scown, with offices in Truro, St Austell and Exeter, has been ranked in the mid-sized business category of the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For.
Stephens Scown’s managing partner, Robert Camp, said: “We want our staff to enjoy working here – and it is fantastic to have this recognised at a national level and to be ranked alongside so many other great employers.
“One of our biggest changes this year was the introduction of Scownership – our employee ownership scheme – which gives all eligible members of staff an equal share in our profits.
“There were lots of hurdles to overcome and we were the first large law firm to do this. We persevered because we want to show our staff how much we value them.”
The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work for is an annual survey and 2017 marks its 17th year.
Designed to recognise the well-being and motivation of employees, the survey is widely acknowledged as the most searching and comprehensive research into employee engagement in the UK and the results depend entirely on the opinion of workers.
Carlos Barreto, the firm’s systems and payroll manager, who also sings in the Scown Roses choir and is a trustee of the Scownership employee ownership scheme, said: “I’ve worked for Stephens Scown for 21 years and I’ve always found everyone to be very friendly and supportive.
“A good work-life balance is encouraged here and the firm has gone to great lengths to make changes that have benefited not only the business, but also the staff.”
Stephens Scown has a comprehensive staff engagement programme in place, with many of the ideas coming directly from the staff themselves.
The company also encourages its staff to support local communities and charitable causes. Each of its three offices supports a local charity at the same time as the firm-wide annual charity, which this year is Children’s Hospice South West.
Through sponsored cycle rides, fun runs, abseils, gala balls, concerts and other events, together the staff of Stephens Scown raise thousands for the charities and develop a strong sense of team and community spirit.
Stephens Scown, which employs 290 staff including 50 partners, was given three star accreditation status for the second year running, in recognition of its excellent staff engagement.
The founder and CEO of Best Companies, Jonathan Austin said: “Stephens Scown have achieved the Best Companies three star accreditation status, which represents extraordinary levels of engagement.
“Maintaining that is an incredible achievement.”