Employer Branding, News and Events, Uncategorized

Winning Advice from 2018’s Best Places to Work in the UK

“When employees are happy, they are your very best ambassadors,” said James Sinegal, co-founder and former CEO of Costco. This certainly rings true for the 50 companies who were recently crowned the 2018 Best Places to Work in the UK.  Winners were determined based solely on feedback from employees — arguably the best judges of what makes a company an amazing place to work.

Representing different sectors, each winner has their own unique approach and culture, yet they all seem to put the same thing first: people, or rather, the right  people. According to Danny Harmer, Chief People Officer at Metro Bank, named a 2018 BPTW, “Employ the right people, support them, give them permission to be amazing and then get out of their way and watch the magic happen. It’s really that simple.”

Read on for more advice and secrets for success from some of our BPTW winners, which we hope will inspire you to strive to be a best place to work next year.

Trust & Transparency: Openly communicate challenges & priorities

Trust is at the core of everything we do, both with colleagues and with customers. Bromford is moving away from traditional office thinking and embracing new, more flexible ways of working, with a view that “work is what you do, not a place you go”. Transparent communications is key too – we try to be open and honest with colleagues, just like we are with customers.
– Philippa Jones, CEO, Bromford

We don’t hide what is going on in the business from our colleagues – challenges and priorities are communicated regularly with them, and in a timely manner. We are big “bloggers “ (the biggest business user of Google+ outside of Asia), which allows us to constantly keep colleagues updated on the progress of our journey. It also allows two-way sharing right across communities within the businesses (and even across Rentokil Initial globally).
– Phill Wood, Area Managing Director, Rentokil

Our team, in HR, sets the framework for our people to be the best they can be – regular surveys and open communication with our business partners is key. We’re also very open when talking about what’s not going so well and the challenges we face collectively.
– Mike Lynch, HR Director, Capital One

Employee feedback: Give employees the chance to tell you how they’re feeling

We believe it’s important to get regular feedback from our Nandocas on how we’re performing as a business and what we need to work on. We hold regular Nandoca listening forums where Nandocas are given the time to tell us how they’re feeling. We also have a newly created team who look into the outputs from the Nandoca Forums, our internal engagement survey (Heart & Soul) and other listening mechanisms to give us real insight into how we can improve or how we keep doing the great things we do.

But we’re not without our faults; we know there’s a lot of work to do to continue to keep our culture alive. We really value the feedback on Glassdoor, because it helps us identify that we don’t always get it right and we could be better.
– Rob Bray, People Director, Nando’s

Company culture: Hire people who align with your mission & values

Our purpose is inspiring people to be their best, believing that if we offer them the right home and build the right relationship with them every one of our customers can achieve more. We’re really clear about that and we look for people who buy into that shared vision – whether you’re a director, a neighbourhood coach working on the frontline, or part of our central service teams.
– Philippa Jones, CEO, Bromford

Our business model of People – Service – Profit can’t just be words it has to be delivered on every single day and in every decision we make. That underpins the culture of our business.
– Phill Wood, Area Managing Director, Rentokil

Pride, Passion, Courage, Integrity, and Family. Every one of our 15,000 Nandocas works to keep those values alive by following our internal compass and being the best version of themselves. We believe it’s our culture that makes Nando’s a great place to work; we also have a lot of fun in the process.
– Rob Bray, People Director, Nando’s

Recruitment: Create fans out of your candidates, too

We know that we have a responsibility to set people up to win and be at their best in any sort of selection process. That’s why we use approaches which, while helping us reach the right decisions, are warm and welcoming. We want to create fans out of candidates too, whether or not they join us as a colleague.
– Danny Harmer, Chief People Officer, Metro Bank

We have just built an in-sourced recruitment team at Hiscox so hiring applicants directly is our main KPI. In order to attract direct applicants we are working hard to talk more through our social channels about what it is like to work here. Although not everything at Hiscox is perfect, we know we have a great employer brand – we just need to talk externally about this more.
– Vanessa Newbury, Head of Recruitment, Hiscox

Retention: Everyone is an owner

We’re doing something that’s truly different at Metro Bank. We’re disrupting and shaking-up an age-old industry. People are genuinely excited to be a part of that and the career opportunities for those who want them are phenomenal. All of our colleagues are also part of our long term share option plan – everyone here is an owner.
– Danny Harmer, Chief People Officer, Metro Bank

One of the real strengths of Capital One is offering strong and diverse career progression – our CMO started with us as a graduate. We also promote career transitioning all over our business – some of my team have come from Legal, Brand and Tech. This really is a win-win, as we benefit from their company knowledge and the individual can grow and develop.
– Mike Lynch, HR Director, Capital One

We’re committed to talent tracking and ensuring that our incredible people are rewarded appropriately. Performance related pay is used at all levels to ensure our top talent is recognised.
– Natalie Riddick, Head of HR, Explore Learning

Diversity & Inclusion: Don’t just support it, celebrate it

Part of our diversity comes from the way the company was set up. Our founders chose Manchester as a head office location because we needed a multilingual customer service centre and Manchester is a very diverse city. However, now we don’t just support diversity, we celebrate it. It was a really proud moment this year when we took part in the Manchester Pride parade for the first time. Diversity is absolutely a strength for us and it plays a huge part in the vibrant culture that we have here at Rentalcars. If you look at our Glassdoor reviews the majority of them mention our diverse workforce. With colleagues from 72 different countries in our business, it’s impossible to not enjoy the diversity of perspective that brings.
– Ian Brown, CEO, Rentalcars

At Taylor Wimpey we are proud to have a strong and inclusive company culture. Employees at all levels across our business take pride in the work they do to deliver the highest quality homes and service for our customers. We promote from within where possible and invest in development. We have created a number of development programmes to support our staff, including our very own Production Academy, an award-winning graduate scheme and a range of leadership training courses. We have also worked hard on developing a competitive and flexible suite of benefits, to reward a diverse workforce that we know want different things from their remuneration package.
– Edd Jenner, Head of Resourcing, Taylor Wimpey

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