Devon business is named one of the best places to work in the UK for the third time
Clinton Devon Estates, the company that manages 25,000 acres of Devon countryside has been named by the Sunday Times as the 24th best small organisation to work for in the UK.
Honoured for the third time in the Best 100 Small Companies awards, Clinton Devon Estates also ranks second for its efforts to protect the environment, and 8th for its contribution to society.
Commenting on the success of Clinton Devon Estates, The Sunday Times report (26th February 2012) says: "This is a workplace run on strong values such as responsible stewardship of the land, improving partnerships and providing for future generations."
With a staff of just 65, Clinton Devon Estates sustainably manages 25,000 acres across North and East Devon with farming and forestry, housing for 1,500 people and premises for over 150 businesses. 15,000 acres of land is designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), including the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths which attracts more than half a million visitors each year.
The Best Companies survey results reveal that 20 of the 65 Estate employees have been with the organisation for more than 15 years with many of them clocking-up more than 30 years of service. This year gardener Brian Stacey will mark his 50th year of service.
90% of staff say they love working for the organisation and 91% firmly believe that Clinton Devon Estates works hard to protect the environment - placing them second of all the companies questioned in the nationwide survey.
The Estates' new headquarters in East Devon at Bicton Arena has won awards for sustainability and energy efficiency and has helped the company reduce carbon emissions by 75% since the relocation from its former headquarters in 2008.
Each year Best Companies and the Sunday Times celebrate the best 100 small, mid-size and big workplaces in the UK. Employees from participating organisations are surveyed, based on a rigorous methodology, enabling Best Companies to compile its authoritative list published by The Sunday Times every other year.
Estates director John Varley congratulated his team on their achievement; "Every single person in our small team plays a vital role in the running of a very complex land management business. We have a huge responsibility to ensure that the land we manage - and the communities that live and work on that land today - will continue to thrive many centuries into the future. It is satisfying to know that the team can recognise the fruits of their labour and feel a great sense of reward for their hard work."
Clinton Devon Estates has previously achieved success in the Sunday Times 100 Best small companies to work for in 2008 and 2010.
What the staff say about working for Clinton Devon Estates
Carla Fanning, Estate Office and Project Administration Manager, has worked for Clinton Devon Estates for two years and is based at the company's Rolle Estate Office headquarters at Bicton Arena. She said: "I only need to go for a walk on the nearby East Devon Pebblebed Heaths and see the wildlife and people enjoying the open space to feel that our small team are really achieving some very important environmental goals. The business has a real focus on making sure we hand over something even better to the next generation and whether that's housing, business units, farming, forestry or providing public open space, it's incredibly rewarding to be part of such a long term vision."
Graham Vanstone, Assistant Accountant with responsibility for property and land insurance and risk management, joined Clinton Devon Estates 35 years ago as a junior clerk in the accounts department. He said: "Compared with other businesses we have longer term goals and targets. Staff are supported to learn new skills which help keep them up to date with industry practice and encourage them to put forward their ideas for improvements in all aspects of our work, from forestry and farming to office-based skills. The essence of what we do is to create a better place to live and work and while profit is important, it is not the be all and end all. All of our work is carefully thought through and everything is done properly, with a real attention to detail."
Linda Stanley has been an administrative assistant with Clinton Devon Estates for three years. She said: "The secret of our success as a team is good communication. Everyone understands the ethos and the objectives of the company and we are all informed at regular team meetings and given an opportunity to contribute ideas. No one day is the same as the next and the variety of work in a single day can vary from a routine tenant enquiry to a report of a deer being in distress."