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The Best U.K. Workplaces Prioritise Fun and Great Management

Great Place To Work’s 2024 ranking of the best companies in the United Kingdom includes Cisco, DHL Express, ServiceNow, and Sumillion Limited.

By Maggie Mancini

Over 250,000 U.K. employees have told Great Place to Work that U.K. employers shouldn’t underestimate the power of fun at work. Fun along with great management are key factors to them when rating their workplace. Using the data gathered from research-backed and anonymous employee experience surveys, Great Place to Work has announced its annual U.K. Best Workplaces list.  

Each entered business is studied against a thorough and rigorous criteria, to rank and reveal which workplaces earn a place on the 2024 list. Considering both culture audits and employees’ perspectives from a whole variety of industries and company sizes, respondents covered all levels of the workforce—from frontline workers to CEOs. Each person shared confidential feedback with Great Place to Work U.K. about what it’s really like to work for their organisation, their leaders, and their colleagues—and what exactly makes these employers the best of the best.  

Analysis of employee survey responses highlights the key conditions that, according to staff, set the best workplaces apart.  

Fun is more than fluff. Employees are warning organisations not to underestimate the power of fun and its impact on their job satisfaction, advocacy, loyalty, and retention. Best Workplaces don’t just hire a good culture fit and hope for the best—they actively work to advance social connections and a solid sense of fellowship amongst colleagues across all teams and levels of seniority. At Best Workplaces, 86% of employees agree theirs “is a fun place to work,” versus the U.K. average of 65%.  

Great management is key to employee well-being and intent to stay. Employees who believe management shows a genuine interest in them as people, and not just employees, are seven times more likely to recommend the organisation to family and friends as a great place to work than those whose managers fail to do so. They’re also seven times more likely to feel the organisation is a psychologically and emotionally healthy place to work, which significantly impacts their well-being and intent to stay with the company—and, in turn, the business’ overall performance. 

Culture is a key predictor of financial success. DHL Express ranks third in the super-large size category for this year’s list, was the second World’s Best Workplace, and ranked at No. 20 on the Fortune 500 in Europe. The logistics giant is proof that great culture can be achieved even in a massive corporation with an industry widely perceived to be high-stress and low-fun for its frontline workers. “Every company says that people are at the centre of everything they do,” says John Pearson, the company’s global CEO. “But only if you live that out authentically, and can point to dozens of proof points that demonstrate it, then they’re not just words.”  

“Merging purpose and profit in a people-centric culture will become even more critical to organisational success in 2024,” says Benedict Gautrey, managing director of Great Place to Work U.K. “Increasingly, U.K. employees are demanding more flexibility, more fun, and more opportunities for growth at the places they work. This is more than just a trend; our year-long evaluation of over 250,000 anonymous employee surveys, and countless business trends, proves it is a powerful shift towards more organisations adopting this holistic approach to business.”  

Key findings across the four categories are below.  

  • Among small companies with 10-50 employees, Sumillion Limited tops the 105 Best Workplaces (Small), scoring 100% for every area of the Trust Index employee survey. The top five in this category include Sumillion Limited, Iconic Smiles, Moasure, Hundred Star Games, and Live and Learn Consultancy Limited.  
  • Among medium-sized companies with 51-200 employees, Talos360 tops the Best Workplaces (Medium). And 100% of Talos360 employees say it is a great place to work, compared to 54% of employees as a typical U.K.-based company. The top five in this category are Talos360, Hatmill, Morgan King Group, Mercator Digital, and SquaredUp.  
  • In the large category with 201-1,000 employees, ServiceNow tops the list, ranking eight places higher than when they were on the list in 2022. The top five in this category include ServiceNow, NVIDIA, Braze, World Wide Technology, and Slalom. 
  • In the Super Large category of companies with more than 1,001 employees, Cisco ranked a U.K.’s Best Workplace for the 10th consecutive year and holds the top spot in this category. The additional companies in this category include Hilton, DHL Express, Home Group Limited, and Softcat plc.  

The full list can be found here.  

Tags: EMEA April 2024, EMEA News

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