Let’s take a quick tour of 10 companies that are making work a better place.
These are a range of companies that have made shortlists, made bold moves, or have just made an impression on me.
But all of these companies have one thing in common: they have a great understanding of how important a foundation of culture are when building a business.
Talon Outdoor is one of the Top 100 Small Business to work for, according to the Sunday Times.
Although the out-of-home advertising agency is just six years’ old, this year they’ve made the shortlist for the third year in a row.
Building a culture of respect and transparency in their 100-strong, growing organisation has been key to nurturing and rewarding staff, according to Mapara Syed Fernandez, Talon’s Head of People.
By keeping track of engagement and motivation, Talon know where they can improve, and also encourage their managers to be more aware of what’s happening in their teams.
Another company that’s dedicated to improving analytics is information company Experian.
With several thousand employees in the UK alone, the HR team have adopted a data-led approach to improving employee experience, retention & engagement. As a result of this, Experian has seen global attrition reduced by 4%, saving the business $14m over two years.
Through these methods, Experian has encouraged non-technical HR business users to use the tool across their business, while the use of predictive modelling has helped create a diversity strategy that’s improved the retention of female talent.
Although employees at Experian might not know the details of the analysis, it’s certainly making a difference to their everyday experience of work.
Belron, the owner of vehicle glass repair and replacement brands Autoglass, have staked their position as leaders of the auto industry by building a shatterproof employee brand.
With several initiatives to help the company publicly celebrate their success, such as the Spirit of Belron Challenge, Best of Belron and the Belron Exceptional People Awards, the company ranked #3 medium-sized Best Place to Work in the UK by Great Place to Work awards.
These events help the company distill its strategy, introduce a culture of high performance, and create an event which helps everyone feel at home – at work.
You’d expect an employee referral platform to have some great perks, and Mention Me delivers just that.
Employees are given an individual training budget, access to a mentoring program, a personal challenge fund, flexible working, massages and a childcare scheme.
When you double in size every year, there’s a lot of pressure to attract talent. These perks help Mention Me gain the edge against their hiring competition. And it’s not just about the perks themselves, it’s about the tone these perks set.
Although when I look at their website, I don’t know what their Wheel of Wow is, it sounds like a lot of fun. And that’s a huge part of what I’m looking for from a place of work.
Founded by food blogger Ella Woodward and her husband Matthew Woodward, Deliciously Ella have built an amazing place to work.
Part of their office, located in the centre of Soho, London, is given over to a kitchen. Not a kitchen where people keep their lunchbox before it goes into the microwave, but a kitchen where delicious meals are cooked every day as research for Ella’s cookbooks.
Making the kitchen such a big part of the workplace makes it feel like home, and also provides the perfect backdrop for Ella’s Instagram videos. Meanwhile, activities like yoga encourage employees to see other parts of the space as more than just a place to work.
This water utility company knocked Google off the top of the best companies to work at list in the UK this year on Glassdoor.
So what’s so good about working at Anglian Water?
According to one Glassdoor contributor: “Coming from other companies Anglian water is head and shoulders above the rest. There is plenty of support, training and fantastic opportunities to further your career, for the first time in my career I feel more than just a number. Good rate of pay along with several benefits including bonuses.”
This, along with the other reviews, show that, when executed well, traditional benefits have more sway than perks and gimmicks.
Let’s quickly mention Google, since they’re everyone’s go-to example of a great place to work.
Glowing reviews of the company on Glassdoor shows that their combination of high salaries, quirky workspaces, and a challenging work environment are all paying off in the drive to hire.
And with 146 jobs to fill in their London office, they’ll need it.
The development programs offered at GlaxoSmithKline are hugely popular with staff, according to their Glassdoor reviews.
That’s such an important part of retention. When you’re working within a huge company, you expect to benefit continually from development programmes.
And for GSK, this makes sense too. Employees will quickly look elsewhere if they feel as though their journey within a company has stalled or reached a dead end.
Best to encourage employees’ continually development within the company, than to risk them leaving for a competitor.
If most companies told their employees that they no longer had a job title, those places might fall apart. But that’s what media agency The7Stars does.
With this unconventional approach to building culture, they might appeal to the few – but know that these few would be strongly drawn to the company.
The founders say that this approach is true to the philosophy of community spirit that drives the company.
You can’t please everyone – and you shouldn’t want to, either – because that could mean diluting what you’re really about. And if you don’t know what your company stands for, you’re already on the back foot when attracting talent.
Like with many start-ups, employees like working at WeWork because of the added responsibility they get working for a company in hyper-growth.
Then layer on a host of perks, including free breakfast, unlimited drinks, exotic all-company away days, flexible working, above-industry salaries, massages and something called puppy therapy, and you’ve got an enviable workplace.
But surely that’s what you’d expect from a company that plans to redefine the workplace as more than somewhere to slog out the 9-5.
By Alan Wanders, Growth Manager at Motivii
Alan is responsible for growth for Motivii, a performance and engagement platform. He has a background doing PR for high-growth Silicon Valley companies including Dropbox & AppDynamics.