Scotland's largest independent travel agency, Barrhead Travel, has been named the UK’s best travel employer in an independent survey published this week.
The company was one of just 10 Scottish organisations to be recognised on the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 2010 list, which recognises dynamic, effective and highly-engaged workplaces. It was also the only UK travel agency to make it in to the top 100.
Launched in 2000, the Top 100 Best Companies to Work For celebrates firms who value their staff and provide a positive working environment. Employees are asked to answer a comprehensive questionnaire on 8 clearly-defined areas including Leadership, Wellbeing, My Manager, My Team, Fair Deal, Giving Something Back, My Company and Personal Growth.
Barrhead Travel scored especially high in the My Team and My Manager categories. The firm ranked 8th out of the 100 companies for how staff felt about one another and was judged to be in the top 10 based on employee feedback of managers.
Barrhead Travel chief executive, Sharon Munro, said: “I am delighted, but not surprised, by the positive responses we had from our employees. Barrhead Travel has always been a company that works hard and plays hard and I'm really pleased that our emphasis on teamwork, motivation and reward is working. Our philosophy is that if we look after our employees, they in turn will look after our customers”.
The organisation also scored highly in the Wellbeing category with 82% of staff reporting their stress levels were low, and 77% saying their home life was not affected by work.
A key contributor to Barrhead Travel’s success in the poll was the firm’s in-house training department with 81% of employees stating they felt they could make a valuable contribution to the success of the firm.
Sharon said: “We believe that it is vital to commit to training and development, as well as improving skills, it motivates and develops our staff and keeps them moving forward.
“We also place great emphasis on external supplier training, and send as many of our employees as possible on trips to familiarise themselves with new products and destinations. I believe the results we've seen are a direct response to the effort we have put into this area.”
Barrhead Travel has set its sights on expansion in the coming year. The firm already has a substantial presence in Scotland with branches in all major cities including Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh and has aspirations to extend operations south of the border. This energy and ambition is echoed in the attitude of the firm’s employees with 83% stating they are excited about where the company is going, a score that was 4th highest in the Top 100.