In 1993, four engineers who had worked together in a consulting arm of a major UK plc, established Mason Communications with the help of venture capital company 3i. In 1997, the company, a £6m telecom and IT consultancy, employed 80 people, with offices in Manchester, Edinburgh, Dublin, and Dallas. Chief executive Dave Mason says the company’s competitive advantage is its culture. Investors in People accredited, it has an employee share option scheme, profit-related pay, and a training program called “Mason University”, which puts on weekly seminars. Employee turnover hovers around 5%, well below the industry average. Last year Mason appointed a full-time “culture and training” manager. She immediately organised a team-building event in which the climax of the day-long event involved the entire staff harmonising on Samba drums.
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