The News Business Excellence Awards: Employer of the Year

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EMPLOYEES get to play table tennis, ride around on Segways and don’t even need to wear shoes to work.

So it’s no wonder Just Develop It has been crowned employer of the year.

Just Develop It were crowned 'Employer of the Year. 'Picture: Mick Young

Just Develop It were crowned 'Employer of the Year. 'Picture: Mick Young

The property investment company, based in Whiteley, has around 300 employees spread across the business.

The dress code is relaxed, healthy meals are cooked on site by a chef and managers operate an open-door policy.

One in five members of staff have been with the company since it started – another fact which impressed the award judges.

The firm has a portfolio of commercial properties across the area, including The Astoria in Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth, and Skylark Golf & Country Club in Whiteley.

Chris Phillips, chief executive officer of Just Develop It, said: ‘We put a lot of effort into everything we do.

‘We thought that in making the business a nice place to be, we wouldn’t need to ask people to do overtime as they would just want to anyway.

‘By making it friendly and an environment where people are all friends with each other, people don’t want to go home.

‘There’s no structure in terms of when people have to come in.’

While the company picked up other awards, Chris said he was most proud about being named employer of the year. ‘All of our hard work has paid off,’ he said.

The company also owns Red Lounge, a steak and lobster restaurant, and Indian tapas bar Kassia, both in Drayton, Portsmouth.

There are plans to open more Kassias. ‘We’re looking to grow the business all the time,’ said Mr Phillips.

The judges said everything the company did was designed to bring out the strengths of each employee and the ‘enthusiasm of the staff shines through.’