What Do The UK’s Best Workplaces Have In Common?

Written by Nicola Wylie
Last updated January 16, 2023

Are you considering a career change? Or, perhaps you’re an employer with a high staff turnover. In either case, you may want to read this. As the ‘Great Resignation’ shows no signs of slowing down, job vacancies in the UK are at an all-time high. This makes it a great time to change careers, and high-time employers took a leaf out of the books of some of the UK’s best workplaces. 

Whether you’re on the brink of switching careers or an employer looking for ways to retain talent, there’s one question we all want to know the answer to. What do the best places to work UK have in common?

To find out, we did some digging. We took the top 10 companies on Glassdoor’s 50 best companies to work for in 2022 and looked at the similarities and habits of the UK’s top workplaces. From inclusive work cultures to listening to employee feedback, we found 8 standout features these workplaces share.


What Are The UK’s Best Workplaces In 2022?

According to Glassdoor, here are the UK’s best workplaces in 2022.

  1. Salesforce – The SaaS giant was highly praised for its inclusive culture and dedication to employee wellbeing.
  2. Microsoft – The computer software vendor earned the second spot for its commitment to personal and professional development.
  3. Abcam – This leading biotech company received high praise for its diverse and inclusive culture.
  4. Google – Employees commended the world’s number one search engine for its excellent management, friendly culture, and for genuinely caring about its employees.
  5. Softcat – IT infrastructure provider Softcat scored well thanks to its excellent work culture and for valuing its employees.
  6. GTB – Marketing innovators GTB was credited for offering staff a varied and meaningful workload, good perks, and a great management team.
  7. Apple – Tech giant Apple was commended for its excellent remuneration and benefits.
  8. Bella Italia – Italian food chain Bella Italia earned the 8th spot on the list thanks to its dedication to work-life balance and career development opportunities.
  9. SAP – The world’s leading resource planning software vendor landed 9th on the list, offering staff flexible working options, excellent work-life balance, and plenty of development opportunities.
  10. Meta – Technology conglomerate Meta was praised for its diverse working environment and commitment to employee wellbeing.


7 Things The UK’s Best Workplaces Have In Common

So, what makes these 10 businesses so great to work for? We did some digging and found 7 things the UK’s best workplaces have in common.


1. Diverse workforce

Working in a diverse environment can significantly impact employees and your business. Diverse workforces not only perform better, but they tend to foster more inclusive, safe cultures of work.

Employees in companies like Meta and Abcam praised their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, recognising the sizeable benefits. These include higher levels of creativity, innovation, decision-making, and professional growth.

Are you an employer looking to improve diversity in your organisation? From implementing a diverse recruitment strategy to fostering an inclusive culture, there’s a lot you can do.

Additional reading ? Debunking the stereotypes of older workers


2. Career journey and development opportunities

Companies in the top 10 list, such as SAP and Microsoft, received high praise from employees for providing a structured career journey and plenty of development opportunities. This is hardly surprising when we consider the positive effects this can have on staff.

Structured career journeys give employees a roadmap and a sense of purpose. Plus, they ensure internal promotions are given fairly, according to the career journey policy. When companies invest in opportunities for employee professional and personal development, they show them that they care. Employees not only get the chance to upskill, but they feel more engaged and valued at work.


3. Work-life balance

Another common theme among the UK’s best workplaces was a commitment to providing a healthy work-life balance. Companies such as Bella Italia and Google scored highly in this area, going to great lengths to show employees that they care about their emotional well-being.

It makes sense that all of the companies in the top 10 value employee well-being. This not only shows your staff that you care about more than revenue, but it also demonstrates a commitment to their longevity in the business. Providing flexible working and remote working options are two excellent ways to improve work-life balance in your business.

Additionally, rolling out wellness initiatives and policies will further empower employees to switch off at the end of the day. 

Are you an employer? Check out our guide on preventing and managing employee burnout


4. Inclusive culture

Working in an inclusive and friendly environment is extremely important. It ensures that all employees have a voice and feel a strong sense of belonging at work. In turn, this boosts employee engagement, reduces staff turnover, and drives performance. 

An inclusive culture starts with inclusive hiring. To make sure you’re employing candidates that share your values, use competency-based questions. This interview style gives you a clearer idea of how a candidate would react in a situation and how that fits with your company culture.

There are other ways to encourage inclusivity in your team. For example, clear communication, 360 feedback, unconscious bias training, and clearly defined roles all serve to build a more inclusive atmosphere. 


5. Great leadership

As the saying goes, people don’t leave jobs; they leave bosses. While the reality might be a bit more nuanced than that, there is undoubtedly some truth to it. 

Companies such as GTB and Google were commended for their excellent management. Businesses that invest in management training see almost immediate results–improved communication, morale, and performance. So, if you haven’t already, it’s time to step up your leadership training program. 

Building a 360 feedback culture will help keep leaders connected to employees. Listening to employee feedback is what sets these 10 great workplaces apart. 


6. Meaningful/varied workload

The UK’s Best Workplaces know the importance of providing employees with a workload that is varied, challenging, and meaningful. GTB was highly praised in this department. When employees enjoy their work, they feel more engaged and tend to produce better results. This reduces the risk of employee burnout and dramatically improves employees’ emotional well-being.

We know it’s not always easy to provide employees with a varied and meaningful workload. However, there are some ways to achieve this. For instance, employee shadowing programs are a great way for staff to upskill and experience a different area of the business. Another option is to implement an employee volunteering initiative that allows staff to volunteer during working hours. This gives employees a sense of fulfilment and purpose at work.

Finally, setting OKRs will help to show employees how their work impacts the business. Starting at a business level and cascading to an individual level, OKRs give staff clear objectives and a sense of purpose. Employees’ work should be aligned with at least one of the company’s OKRs.


7. Perks and benefits

It’s no surprise that all of the companies in the top 10 have excellent perks and benefits. An attractive benefits package and remuneration show employees that you value your staff. In turn, they value their jobs more. 

It’s important to note that perks and benefits alone are not enough. The UK’s best workplaces offer these alongside an inclusive culture, competitive remuneration, and a strong focus on professional development. 

Most organisations have a diverse pool of employees, spanning different age groups and backgrounds. As such, it’s vital that you review your benefits package regularly to ensure what you’re offering is aligned with your staff. When in doubt, ask employees for their input and listen to what they have to say.


Want To Be One of The UK’s Best Workplaces? We Can Help

If your organisation is passionate about becoming one of the UK’s best workplaces, having expert advice is essential. Here’s how our team of experts can help your business:

Our employer resource hub is packed with guides on everything from funding to training to help you build an inclusive workplace and provide flexible working options for your staff. 

Be sure to browse our range of employer services, including advertising your roles on our dedicated career change jobs board.

For more information, give us a call at 0345 872 4501 or send an email to info@refreshingacareer.com.

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Last Updated: Tuesday November 29 2022
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