May 24, 2024

2020 Awards: The UK’s Best Workplaces have adapted fast to look after employees

On the 20th Anniversary of the UK’s Best Workplaces™, Great Place to Work® UK has announced the 2020 winners. Salesforce heads the Super Large category. The Sovini Group  takes the top spot in the Large category, with Foundation SP and McCarthy Recruitment heading the Medium and Small categories respectively.

Ben Gautrey, Managing Director of Great Place to Work® UK, said, “This year, for obvious reasons, we couldn’t hold our annual awards gala to celebrate our Best Workplaces. All the same, I congratulate all the UK’s Best Workplaces™, and particularly the No.1 ranked organisations, on continuing to prioritise the employee experience.”

The full list of 162 awarded organisations is available here and is also included in Best Workplaces™, the annual publication which this year looks at the changes in the employee experience over the past 20 years.

The rigorous Best Workplaces™ evaluation process focuses on the employee perspective, particularly trust of leadership and belief that their workplace is a ‘great place to work for all’. Employee survey data from the Trust Index© survey makes up approximately 75% of the ranking. The remaining 25% comes from an in-depth look into a company’s culture and practices, through Great Place to Work’s® Culture Audit.

During this unprecedented time, Great Place to Work® has also looked at how the ranked organisations are reacting to the coronavirus crisis, again with a focus on the practices and measures to support employees.

Ben Gautrey said, “It’s not surprising that many of our recipients this year have moved rapidly to develop and follow best practices. What they have put in place inevitably depends on their size, available resources and overall workplace culture. But we are seeing common themes of economic assistance for staff, regular communications about work and engaging virtual activities. This has helped organisations to make working from home as simple and productive as possible.”

As an important measure, several 2020 UK’s Best Workplaces™ are doing their very best to support employees financially. This ranges from guaranteeing jobs for three months, to an emergency fund for employees or their loved ones facing hardships, to providing funding for home-office equipment.

Communications channels are particularly important. All the No.1 ranked organisations in their category are running video calls with the CEO and/or the executive team at least once a week to provide updates on the business and answer questions. They are also holding online social events such as quizzes, virtual coffee catch-ups and even fancy dress activities, all of which are particularly important, especially for those employees living alone.

A third, and very important theme, is helping employees’ mental wellbeing by providing valuable online resources. This ranges from content developed internally by the organisation to encouraging the sharing of wellbeing practices amongst staff. A good example is Salesforce, which has run a series of internal wellbeing webinars with luminaries including Arianna Huffington, David Agus and Deepak Chopra.

Lastly, we’ve seen organisations provide support for parents with school-aged children. This includes a guarantee that parents will be able to work at home for as long as schools are closed and providing resources to help occupy children during what can be very long days.

Ben Gautrey said, “It is well-established that a better employee experience leads to higher retention rates and a stronger overall performance. When we finally come out of this crisis, I have no doubt those organisations that have provided sufficient care and support for their staff will be the ones that recover the best.”