NEW telecoms company TenTel has set out to challenge the market by taking an innovative approach to business which includes paying all staff a minimum of the living wage from the outset.

Despite only starting up in 2014, the independent Scottish firm has already experienced huge success, growing from a modest team of three to having around 60 members of staff and moving to new larger premises at Edinburgh’s Shawfair Park.

TenTel is the UK’s only broadband and telecoms provider that specialises in no contract and short-term contracts. TenTel also offers superfast fibre optic and is focused on the residential lettings market. The firm is challenging the dominance of the bigger telecoms companies by offering tenants live broadband and telephone services the day they move into a new property, with no hidden fees.

Company bosses credit their provision of the living wage as one of the reasons they are able to attract and retain a high standard of employees to deliver a world-class service.

They are also committed to a “one team” culture, eschewing the standard hierarchical approach to running a company. This includes bringing different departments and employees who work in different roles together by providing monthly lunch events, for example, where staff who would not usually get the opportunity to socialise with each other can get to know each other over a home-cooked meal provided by a member of the senior management team.

Their provision of the living wage as a minimum to all members of staff regardless of their age is one of the reasons they received accreditation from Investors In Young People Scotland, which recognises their work towards supporting young jobseekers and employees.

“As an accredited living wage employer we understand that better paid staff nurture a happier, more productive working environment,” said managing director Robert McKechnie.

“Our workforce has shown exceptional commitment, driving our young business to flourish in a competitive market. We have also found that we’ve experienced less employee absence than the national average, something we certainly attribute to the positive work environment we have created. We believe employees are our company’s greatest resource and deserve to be treated accordingly with a decent wage.

McKechnie added: “We knew from the start that we wanted TenTel to be different to our competitors – a company that would uphold our personal and professional values. We are determined to ensure TenTel is an attractive place to work for a variety of reasons, such as the provision of a good wage and our ‘one team’ culture, and we are very proud that we have created an inclusive and desirable workplace for our employees.

“By offering the living wage we have been able to attract a high calibre of employees. As we always expected to provide the living wage as a minimum, there was never an issue about adjusting our business plan to allow for the increased spend in wages.

“We knew it was the right decision for TenTel, even as a new company just starting out.”

Since it was launched in April 2014, more than 500 organisations in Scotland have signed up to the scheme to become accredited as official living wage employers, giving their workers at least £8.25 per hour.