Wales

Majorca trip for 500 staff at Cardiff-based Creditsafe

A company based in Cardiff is flying its entire staff of 500 people to Majorca for a long weekend to celebrate its 15th anniversary.

Creditsafe, which provides financial information on businesses, is paying more than £300,000 for the trip.

It says the pay-out is worth it for the "buzz" it is creating in the company.

Mark Harries, a team leader in the Caerphilly sales office said: "No-one has heard of anything like this ... it's going to be a great gathering."

Motivation is important wherever you work, but if you work in a telesales operation having to make on average 190 calls to get a result, then it is particularly important.

That is what many of the sales staff in Caerphilly do for a firm called Creditsafe which also has its HQ in Cardiff Bay.

The company sells a service to businesses that provides information on the creditworthiness of other companies.

In a world of tight credit it is more important than ever to know if new customers are likely to pay you and, if so, when.

More than half of the Creditsafe workforce are in Wales. The rest are in seven countries in Europe, and it is about to expand into the US having committed to buying $12m worth of data.

'Great gathering'

The Majorca trip will cost Creditsafe more than £300,000. The company says it has been worth every penny because of the buzz it has created in the company.

That was reflected by Mark Harries, a team leader.

He said: "It's very exciting. I talk to friends, I talk to family and no-one has heard of anything like this, to have 500 people going from the same company. It's going to be a great gathering."

The chief executive Cato Syversen says he spends much of his time looking at the motivation of his staff, and it is not all about money or even trips to Majorca.

He said: "The people who are on sales to new business have a high level of commission in their salaries but it's funny because that is not their driver.

"For them it's about hitting targets and winning. We have got a wall with a big projector on showing the telesales people in the Creditsafe group.

"For them getting into the top 30 is a big thing. For being the top salesperson in Caerphilly for the month is a big thing. It's a lot about kudos."

The importance of hitting sales targets is evident to anyone who visits the offices in Caerphilly.

As I walked through the door, the first person I saw was a sales operator running across the room to ring a bell to loud applause and cheering because she had just landed a sale.

Image caption The chief executive said staff are driven by hitting targets and winning

Mr Syversen also insists a big part of the motivation comes from the real possibility of internal promotion. Some 70% of the management used to work on the phones.

Creditsafe came to Caerphilly after a difficult early beginning in the UK in central London.

The chief executive said: "I had three weeks to recruit 24 people to set up two sales teams.

"I was sitting down in a job centre in Caerphilly and there were all these people in tracksuits and I thought 'wow this is brilliant' because I could tell the hunger was there.

"These people would give 110% because they were desperate for a job.

"It was much harder having 15 people on sales in London than 150 in Caerphilly now."

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