Company showcase: BT Group

The telco invested £470m in R&D last year.

by MT Staff
Last Updated: 30 Nov 2016


Head office: BT Centre, 81 Newgate Street, London EC1A 7AJ

Number of employees: At 31 March 2016, we had 102,500 full-time equivalent employees in 61 countries, with 81,400 based in the UK. This includes 12,800 who joined the group as part of EE

Company summary

BT's purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. We're one of the world's leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Our principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to our customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services.

Our goal is to deliver sustainable profitable revenue growth by broadening and deepening our customer relationships. The three pillars of our strategy support our goal: deliver great customer experience; invest for growth; and transform our costs. And with the acquisition of EE, our investment areas are evolving to focus on having the best integrated network in the UK and being a fully converged service provider.

Pay and benefits

We compare pay and benefits for our people with companies of similar size and complexity to ensure our remuneration is competitive. In the UK, most of our engineering and support people are paid on terms and conditions negotiated through collective bargaining with our recognised trade unions, ensuring fair terms and conditions for all. Our managers' pay and bonuses are determined by a combination of business performance and their personal contribution to the company. We support our people by providing a range of retirement savings plans. Almost 60% of our people take part in one or more of our savings-related share option plans.


Our people are at the heart of our ambition to deliver an excellent customer experience and sustainable profitable revenue growth. As our business evolves to meet the needs of our customers, we adapt our organisation, redeploying people through the BT transition centre. This helps us avoid redundancies. We recruit talented people to ensure we have a workforce to meet our requirements hiring in key areas, eg, field engineers, graduates and apprentices. We create meaningful roles so that people understand what they're responsible for, and we invest in learning and development.


We continue to focus on the health of our organisation.

From the Academy (which gives people easy access to the knowledge and skills they need when they need it) through to the business initiatives that are driving Continuous Improvement across BT, we are investing in a culture of strong employee engagement. This also benefits our customers.


Diversity is part of our heritage - as far back as 1880 Henry Fawcett, who was blind, was appointed Postmaster General. Improving the mix of our people remains a priority and, in particular we're encouraging more women to take up a career in technology. 19,000 women now work for us - that's 21% of our workforce - and there are more than 11,000 women in our management team. We aim to have at least 25% female representation on our Board, and it currently sits at 27% (three out of 11 Board members).


We believe that BT makes a positive impact on the world.

And that helps us realise our business goal - to deliver sustainable profitable revenue growth.

Our products and services - and the people who deliver them - make a huge contribution to society, the environment and the economy.

We are a signatory to the UN Global Compact principles, have committed to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and also welcome the introduction of the UN-agreed Sustainable Development Goals.

We have a series of ambitions to achieve by 2020 as outlined in our separate Purposeful Business report. 


Our long history of innovation combines scientific breakthrough, practical engineering and commercial purpose. In 2015/16 we invested around £470m in R&D. Over the years we've been one of the largest investors in R&D of any company in the UK, and globally in the telecoms sector.


We own three strong brands: BT, EE and Plusnet. These are at the heart of our efforts to broaden and deepen our customer relationships. The experience our customers have is shaped not just by the service our front-line teams provide but by everything we do: from the products and propositions we design, to the way we communicate with customers.

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