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Winners

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Childrensalon

LOCATION: Tunbridge Wells
KEY PRODUCT/SERVICE: Retail
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 277
ESTABLISHED: 1952
WEBSITE: childrensalon.com

Childrensalon has customers around the world buying designer children’s clothing from its website made by Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli and Gucci.

It has used annual growth of 50% to invest in its staff and create a motivated workforce, often promoted from within the ranks.

“Hiring from within is an important part of our culture,” said director Denise Hamilton.

“We don’t like to hire outside the company. Having people who ‘get’ our culture is important, and promoting from within ensures this. “Career progression is paramount here.”

Almost all its team in its photo studio started as pickers and packers in its warehouse, with similar stories in its buying team, IT and customer service.

About a third of mid-level and senior management came from lower level positions.

It pays the well above the living wage as a Living Wage Foundation employer and works with new mothers to offer home working where possible, along with flexi-time, part-time, sabbaticals and compassionate leave.

Ms Hamilton said: “Childrensalon motivates its employees by giving them autonomy and trust. We believe in letting people do their jobs.

“As we are a very high-growth business, pretty much anyone who starts with us and does a good job is able to get promoted once they have been with us for a year.

“Part of the success and competitiveness of Childrensalon is due to the value placed on diversity and fostering cultural awareness.”

The company aims to provide subsidised meals and childcare subsidies. It runs English-as-a-second-language classes in-house at no cost to staff.

Every new starter has an induction and receives a copy of the company handbook. A weekly internal newsletter shares company news and every employee is invited to a weekly sales meeting. The firm also arranges monthly socials and barbecues.

Ms Hamilton added: “Creating an inclusive culture with an emphasis on team work and sharing ideas is crucial for any innovative company.”

 

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