27 February 2017

How Important is The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For?

It’s a coveted award, but what does a place on the Best Companies list mean for businesses?

It’s certainly one of the most anticipated dates in the HR calendar. The Sunday Times Best Companies list was released this week, with a wave of employers and employees up and down the country checking to see which employers have earned a spot on the coveted list.


What does a place on the Best Companies list mean for businesses?

It means they’re doing something right. With 857 organisations registering to take part, competition is fierce. This year’s survey gathered the views of over 270,000 employees about both their employer, and their working environment, to give a picture of what constitutes a great employer.


“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” – Peter Drucker

Let’s look at the commercial impact of employee engagement. We know that an engaging culture leads to engaged people, and having engaged people leads to higher productivity levels. And Dale Carnegie research found companies with engaged employees outperform those without by 202%.


No matter how bulletproof your business strategy is, people will always be the key differentiator, and that’s exactly what The Sunday Times Best Companies list recognises. So whether you didn’t quite make the list, or looking to climb the rankings next year, here are our top tips for creating an engaged workforce with examples from those who made the list this year.


Make it fun

Inspire through creativity. Business doesn’t have to be boring

  • From refurbishing an adventure playground at a team event, to building a giant scaletrics track divided among three divisions to encourage collaboration, BMW knows how to connect their people with their vision.
  • Admiral allocates £110 a head per year to try new things with staff and get them out of the office environment – from circus skills to herding sheep!
  • Moneypenny launched their new office in September last year which has an onsite pub that regularly hosts quizzes, table tennis tournaments and celebrations, ensuring people can unwind and socialise.

Grow people, not products

Reward, recognise and encourage learning

  • McDonald’s has helped its people gain 70,000 qualifications over the last 10 years through a school leavers scheme run with Manchester Metropolitan University and the Hamburger University in America.
  • The store managers incentive scheme at Iceland took six winners and their partners to Verona for a three-night trip (where two couples got engaged on Romeo and Juliet’s balcony!). This helps to show employees that, even with profits down, their contribution counts.
  • Atkins employees took part in 24-48 hour ‘hackathons’ to crowdsource solutions to customers’ problems – e.g. improving traffic on the M25 – engaging staff directly in the lives of their customers.

Be clear on the deal

  • Vision, employer brand, EVP, strategy, values, visible leadership – knowing what you stand for means employees know what to expect, how to work together and how to achieve company goals.

ODEON, knows this only too well. We have worked together to define and create their employer brand, ensure it is experienced by every employee at every single touchpoint in their journey.


Congrats ODEON, for their achievement, coming in at 25 of the Best Big Companies to Work For, a brilliant result.


If you would like our 10 step process to creating an award-winning employer brand, get in touch.

Similar Articles

9 February 2023

Welcome to our Consulting Suite

From strategy, to action, to impact, we unleash the power of your people to drive…


12 December 2022

2022 in numbers – Helping over 600k employees have a better work life

2022 has to be remembered for experimentation, and a focus on employer brand and a…


25 October 2022

Living the Brand Internally. Another addition to our Employee Solutions Suite

Improving brand advocacy among employees is certainly a topic of conversation in many organisations today.…


22 September 2022

Our new approach to building culture and boosting attraction, retention and engagement

We’re proud to launch the McCann Synergy’s Employee Solutions Suite. A new approach to boosting…