top uk companies

The Top UK Companies to Work For Today

Lynsey May Sutherland
Lynsey Sutherland
December 11, 2023
6 min read

Valuable to companies and prospective employees alike, ‘best place to work’ lists can also be a goldmine for any business hoping to up their game. A quick look at the most popular companies reveals the perks and cultures currently most sought over – offering valuable opportunities for change.   

In their recent study of the best companies to work for, Statista and TIME revealed some surprising insights. Looking at a variety of different factors – including growth, sustainability, and employee satisfaction – to determine which companies topped the charts, they discovered that the top performers had a focus on empowerment and social responsibility.

Interestingly, tech companies continued to offer high levels of satisfaction despite recent layoffs throughout the sector. Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet (the owner of Google) and Meta Platforms (formerly known as Facebook) took the top four spots and had the highest marks in employee rankings. 

Top Companies: Leveraging Employee Desires

TIME suggests that this success is bolstered by the fact that the tech giants have managed to remain extremely profitable while also committing to important principles and values, like lowering emissions or appointing more women to their boards. 

So, what UK companies were ranked as best to work for according to Statista and TIME? Many of them operate in energy or pharmaceuticals. Global impact aside, these companies ask us to consider what we mean by ‘social impact’ and our responsibilities, not only within our organisations but externally. Here are the top UK companies to work for:

The Top UK Companies for Employee Experience

No. 26 – BP

The first UK company to appear on the list was BP at number 26. The integrated energy company demonstrated a very high growth rate and services over 70 countries while headquartered in London. BP claims to offer an inclusive workplace with world-class training, flexibility and a robust rewards and benefits package, as well as the kind of career development opportunities a global company is well-placed to offer. 

No. 29 – Shell

Next on the list was Shell at number 29. Also headquartered in London, the oil and gas company aims to cultivate a ‘learner mindset’ environment for its employees. Shell believes that this helps unlock the potential of each member of staff, creating a supportive, high-performance environment based on openness, curiosity and growth.

No. 36 – Deloitte

At number 36, we have Deloitte. The leading professional services firm is based in London and has a global network spanning 150 countries and territories. Deloitte says it has a strong focus on career development and aims to support individuals to become the ‘best you can be’ in a competitive and rewarding environment.

No. 60 – Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds came in at number 60 and while its growth rate was lower than the top three, it did rank well for employee satisfaction and sustainability. The banking group aims to offer a friendly, inclusive environment with great benefits and rewards.

No. 76 – Next

The retail company comes in at number 76, which is impressive as the retail sector was globally less represented than others such as energy or tech. Next says it wants to make its company a safe place for everyone, with a culture that helps employees maintain positive mental wellbeing.

No. 98 – AstraZeneca

At 98 on the list was AstraZeneca, a global company with a strong UK presence which scored particularly highly on sustainability. The multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company has its headquarters in Cambridge and focuses on creating a vibrant, high-performing culture.

Key Factors 👉 Employee wellbeing, career development, rewards packages and sustainability 🌱

Why strive to be a ‘best place to work’?

Earning a spot on a list of the best companies to work for can have a massive impact when it comes to your business. A ranking can up your reputation and therefore:

  • Improve employee morale
  • Make recruitment easier
  • Boost retention rates

While competition may be fierce when it comes to global round-ups like the one carried out by Statista and TIME, there are local opportunities that may be more achievable. 

From Glassdoor’s annual roundup to the Great Place to Work initiative or The Sunday Times report, there are many options to pursue. And what’s really worth bearing in mind is how weighted these charts are towards employee experience.

For example, The Sunday Times list is chosen solely via the results of employee surveys which include questions on a range of topics, from reward and recognition to empowerment and wellbeing. While Statista and TIME included other factors too, employee-satisfaction surveys were also key to their calculations. 

How to Foster a Positive Work Culture

There’s nothing better than knowing that your company is the kind that attracts great people and top talent, but what exactly can you do about it? There are a few high-performing factors – all of which we can see reflected in the criteria for ‘best place to work’ studies and in employee reviews. The big ones include: 

  • Creating and sticking to the kind of company values that matter. From promoting more diverse workplaces to putting the focus on sustainability, working to make the world a better place has a big impact on your reputation. Health benefits, sick pay and flexible hours are increasingly important for today’s workforce.
  • Giving people the remunerations, recognition and rewards they deserve. While money is less of a motivator than you might think, you won’t see companies that pay badly topping the lists. Paying people fairly is important, but so is rewarding them emotionally and socially. Salary is an important factor, but not the only one.
  • Putting employee satisfaction and engagement at the heart of your operations. As we’ve seen, satisfaction levels are crucial when it comes to deciding how popular a workplace is – and is there any wonder? It doesn’t matter how many perks you offer if your staff don’t feel satisfied. 

It’s not only about attracting new staff, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace Report, businesses actively engaging their employees will see an 18% decrease in staff turnover.

The interplay of employee satisfaction and morale

Satisfaction and morale are closely tied to how employees feel supported, respected and seen by their managers and leaders. Flexible working conditions and the ability to maintain a good work-life balance are also essential. 

For example, online storage company Dropbox, has a healthy average score of 4.7 for work-life balance on Glassdoor, with employees describing it as ‘a very empathetic work-life balance’, ‘the culture supports work-life balance and the importance of family’, and that ‘managers are invested in your work-life balance’. Find out more in our complete guide to employee morale, which includes information on causes, effects and remedies. 

If you’re looking for the best way to engage your employees, look no further than your culture. It is a massive asset when it comes to creating the kind of workplace environment that your employees love. Whether you’re encouraging a culture of fun or performance is at the heart of your goals, your culture is something that must be carefully managed and maintained. 

It’s natural for cultures to change over time. You wouldn’t expect a start-up and a long-established business to have the same atmosphere. But you do want to make sure that you’re able to hold on to your values even if it’s time for your organisational culture to change.  

Recognition, rewards and the kind of perks that matter

To help develop and maintain that culture, there are few things as effective as a good rewards and recognition scheme. As we can see from the Statista and TIME report, employee satisfaction is about much more than just financial reward. That’s why Mo makes it easy for busy managers to meaningfully recognise, engage and connect with their teams.

We equip managers with weekly suggestions to energise and connect with their people, help teams build habits of recognition into their day-to-day rhythms and go beyond simple rewards as a way to motivate staff. Discover how keying into your employee’s everyday experiences can boost satisfaction and morale overall today.

Find out why Mo will improve your work culture 👉 Book a demo

Top UK Companies: Key Takeaways

  • We can find valuable insights for companies and employees by analysing top companies and highlighting sought-after perks and cultures for potential improvements.
  • Tech companies like Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet, and Meta Platforms lead in employee satisfaction despite sector layoffs, emphasising principles like empowerment and social responsibility.
  • Key factors in creating an attractive workplace include promoting company values such as diversity and sustainability, offering competitive health benefits, sick pay, and flexible hours, and prioritising employee satisfaction and engagement.
  • Employee satisfaction and morale are influenced by factors like feeling supported and respected by managers, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and fostering a positive organisational culture through effective recognition and rewards schemes, as highlighted by the Statista and TIME report.

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