Telephone answering and outsourced reception organisation Moneypenny was set up by brother and sister Ed Reeves and Rachel Clacher in 2000, whose leadership established that authenticity should be at the heart of its operations.
Joanna Swash, chief executive officer (CEO) of Moneypenny, says: “It comes from personality of leadership, and Ed and Rachel were always very authentic. There was no ego involved. They set up the business on the premise: if I was a team member, how would I want the business to behave towards me? And if I was a customer, what would I want?”
Swash initially joined the business as a salesperson back in 2005, and recalls an early encounter with the owners which made her realise that their values matched her own.
“At the end of my first month, I bought a big box of chocolates to thank everybody for making me feel so welcome,” she says.
“I remember Ed and Rachel looking at me, and that was the first moment that I knew that our approaches to people were aligned. One of my key phrases now is: if you do the right thing, the right thing will happen.”
The business, which employs 950 people in Wrexham and a further 200 in the US, places a strong emphasis on listening to staff, including through social media channel Workplace by Meta, and a business council where employees can raise any concerns or issues.
Moneypenny makes a point of marking 10-year anniversaries, at which point staff receive a £1,000 bonus and flowers, and during the Covid-19 disrupted Christmas of 2020, the leadership team handed turkeys, hams or nut-roasts to staff in their cars, while dressed as turkeys or Father Christmas.
“[Employers] need to delight and surprise people,” says Swash.
The ultimate aim is to create a community rather than a workplace, Swash explains: “People need to feel rewarded, loved and trusted, and safe and secure. Everything we do is a reflection of those core values.”
The organisation is regarded as a local employer of choice in and around Wrexham, and has very low levels of staff turnover.
“It means we can cherry-pick the best people so that we do a great job for our clients,” she concludes. “Then, by looking after them, they choose to stay.”