Chris Morling, managing director of comparison website money.co.uk, has been dubbed Britain’s best boss by the UK media. Claire Muir talks to money.co.uk’s Laura Rettie to find out why…
We hear you’ve got an award or two to your name; tell us more!
Yes! We’ve featured in the top ten of the Great Place to Work Awards for three consecutive years; we were rated outstanding in The Sunday Times Best Company Award 2017 and Chris has been shortlisted in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for two years running – and that’s just a few!
What makes Chris such a good boss?
Last year he re-invested £3 million into our headquarters; just one of the many steps he’s taken to create the ultimate work environment. We work out of a 10,000 square foot Victorian castle, which has been designed to keep staff engaged and energised: meeting rooms include an ice cave, ski lodge and library with a secret passage. Each room is fitted with state-of-the-art technology to create optimised workspaces and the castle offers a range of onsite luxuries, such as a Star Wars-themed cinema, complete with popcorn machine and beer fridge. The money.co.uk team were asked for input on their ideal office before the designs for the revamp were created, so our feedback guided the redesign.
How does he show appreciation for staff?
He’s always asking the team how we’d like to be incentivised, and we vote on this. We’re treated to monthly socials, both in the evening and at lunchtime. There’s also an arcade machine, pool table, table football and game consoles for entertainment. When it comes to bonuses, we’ve received an annual boost of up to 45 per cent in recent years and the team enjoy an allexpenses- paid mini break abroad each year to destinations such as Florida, New York, Budapest, Dubrovnik and Copenhagen.
And what about the Christmas get-together?
We have an offsite, all-expenses paid party, which includes a three-course meal, alcohol, entertainment, taxis and hotels. Partners are invited too, at no extra cost to the employee.
How’s the work/life balance?
The money.co.uk team are treated to free breakfast, flexible start times and staff can work from home. There’s no late work culture, with a strict home time of 5.30pm. We finish early on a Friday (with weekly beers and wine to celebrate!) and are rewarded with extra annual leave for each year we work.
Is Chris supportive of employee wellbeing?
Yes – we have a free, on-site gym and enjoy weekly games of basketball and football, which he gets involved in, too. This year, the team’s taking part in the Upton triathlon and a 40-mile charity walk, Trek the Night. Staff choose from five different office chairs; designed to optimise good posture, and everyone has a laptop and at least two screens to make sitting at a desk as comfortable as possible. We’re trained on how to set up our desks to ensure maximum comfort. Private healthcare is offered, and there’s a cycle-to-work scheme too.
Abi Francis, PA to MD Chris Morling, Money.co.uk
|What Chris’ PA says
“Working for Chris is demanding, but rewarding. He is very much in high demand, so juggling his diary can be tricky. Over the three years I have been PA to Chris, we have managed to develop a very good system to enable things to run smoothly. He is a firm but fair boss and I very much enjoy working with him.”
What about training?
Everyone has a personal development plan, which is regularly reviewed and staff get up to a week a year for training. We choose the training we’d like to do and coaching is also offered to all team members.
What are your internal communications like?
We have an intranet, instant messaging software and project management software for collaboration. Chris sends weekly emails called ‘Know your Company,’ asking a series of questions and encouraging feedback – both positive and constructive. We have quarterly update meetings too, with presentations from each department.
Do you use any interesting technology to improve the work environment?
We’ve improved the temperature control, with fresh air circulating every ten minutes. We also have an incredibly energyefficient lighting system, which can be dimmed and tailored in each section of the office according to personal preference. There are TVs throughout, which are bespoke in each area, showing everything from the news for the PR team, to live Facebook engagements for the social media team. And we have touch screen control panels outside meeting rooms which allows you to book in real-time.
Finally, what are Chris’ thoughts on CSR?
He donates 10 per cent of all company profits to charity (the team gets a say in which are chosen) and staff get three days each year to volunteer, choosing what they’d like to take part in. Employees have also each received £5,000 to donate to a charity of their choice, totalling up to a quarter of a million. Finally, if a member of the team raises any money, Chris will always double it.
Do you have a great boss?
The Executive PA Awards are now open for nominations: www.executivepaawards.com.au
Want to encourage your MD to create a similar culture?
Chris’ top tips for a happy, engaged team are:
- Challenging and fun work
- A working environment fit for purpose
- Rewards for great work