Best Company To Work For – Formula For Success

Best Company To Work For – Formula For Success

The Sunday Times recently published its annual Top 100 Best Companies To Work For list. This one is for “Mid-Size” companies (between 250 and 4,999 employees).

270 companies entered the battle to get into the marbled halls of the Top 100. This is down quite sharply on the 320 entries in 2011 (and indeed the 347 entries back in 2010). My last blog post noted a similar trend amongst the SME market too.

The #1 ranked Mid-Size organisation was the UKRD Group – which operates commercial radio stations – which should be congratulated managed the enviable feat of retaining its top position. You can see the entire Top 100  list here.

There is some interesting analysis published in the pull-out section from the paper. It doesn’t all appear in a single article, so what I’ve done is gather together several strands of their analysis into a single theme.

It is clear that questions around “My Manager” and perceptions about “Leadership” are the two factors in the survey which have the strongest link to an organisation’s overall ranking.

Leaders and senior managers who are both dynamic and “visible” are held in awe by their staff. However, it is line managers (“middle-managers” in the overall structure) that play the most important role.

This is nothing new. We all know that when people resign, they leave managers rather than the organisation. However, there are a handful of key questions within the survey which focus on middle managers where the best-performing companies score really well.

The Formula

  • Having confidence in the leadership skills of your manager
  • Managers who support their team and allow them to fulfil their potential
  • Having middle-manager role models who care how satisfied team members are
  • Treating everyone fairly
  • Having (senior) managers who listen rather than just tell people what to do [/content_box_green]

So, if you’re going to consider entering The Sunday Times Best Companies List in 2013, you’d better start by taking a quick temperature check on these factors before you get started. If you need help doing this, just contact me via email or comment on this post.

On a separate note, for the first time The Sunday Times has made specific mention of a “super eight” group of companies. This is their term for organisations which have appeared on the list for the best part of a decade. The roll of honour is;

  • Admiral
  • WL Gore and Associates
  • Beaverbrooks
  • Metaswitch Networks
  • Denplan
  • American Express
  • Deloitte
  • Mills & Reeve

I am very proud to say that I’ve been working with Mills & Reeve on their bi-annual bespoke employee survey since 2002. In partnership with the law firm, I created a tailored online questionnaire which we continually adapt and improve. The resulting strategic analysis and action planning which forms part of each of our surveys is designed to increase levels of employee engagement within the firm. The proof that this is working brilliantly is that Mills & Reeve has been an ever-present in The Sunday Times Top 100 list each year since 2004. I’m pleased that they have now been publicly recognised for their efforts in creating an engaged workforce.

The last word goes to Malcolm Walker (Chief Exec of Iceland, the Top Big Company in 2012). When asked about the secret of their success he says; “Most retailers would say it is our products, prices and quality. We have something else; staff morale. It really is of overwhelming importance.”