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LINDUM Prove Best At Building Staff Loyalty

EIGHT CONSTRUCTION FIRMS AMONG BRITAIN’S TOP EMPLOYERS

The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For Construction rank Overall rank Company Headquarters
1 10 Lindum Group Lincoln
2 23 Hydrock Group Almondsbury
3 56 Willmott Dixon Group Letchworth
4 68 Rider Levett Bucknall Birmingham
5 77 Lakehouse Romford
6 87 Mace Group London
7 90 J N Bentley Skipton
8 99 Wates Group Leatherhead

The most comprehensive survey of workplace opinion in Britain has revealed that the Lindum Group is The Sunday Times Best Company to Work For in the construction sector. The business is ranked 10th overall in the UK according to The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list, published in a dedicated 80-page supplement with The Sunday Times on March 7.

The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For survey is compiled from results given by employees to 70 questions related to workplace culture, covering their company’s leadership; their personal wellbeing; career development; pay and benefits; their feelings towards colleagues, managers and the company as a whole; and giving something back to the community and environment.

An astonishing 50% of Lindum’s workforce have been with the company for over five years, with 25% seeing over ten years’ service. The employees obviously react well to the various flexible working options including job sharing, home working and term-time only or school hour contracts. The organisation also offers sabbaticals, career breaks, occupational health programme and a subsidised gym membership. It all helps the firm rank 5th overall for staff wellbeing. Employees report a lack of stress, giving an 86% positive score, the third best among all 100 companies, and they are happy with their work-life balance (76%, and another top 10 score).

Although the building industry has experienced testing times recently Brian McConnell, the managing director of Hydrock Group, is not letting the recession spoil the company’s fun. Paintballing, chariot racing, dinners and sports matches are but a few of the team events the group have offered staff. Even the annual conference took the shape of a curry tour, with business forecasts delivered over vindaloos across the country. McConnell’s leadership is one of the top three areas for Hydrock in the survey, ranking the company 20th. It ranks even higher for giving something back and fair dealing with its employees, earning the firm ranks of 11th and 10th respectively. Staff are happy with their pay and benefits (giving a 70% positive score) and they feel the business is not driven by budget concerns, the 74% positive score here ranking the firm seventh on this measure.

Romford-based Lakehouse are a new entry to the list. The company was started by Steve Rawlings working from his bedroom in 1988 and now boasts an annual turnover of over £100m. The chief executive assigns much of the company’s success to its staff. The feeling is clearly mutual, with employees stating they have a great deal of faith in him (80%) and they find him an inspiring leader (73%).

Overall, the best mid-sized company to work for is P3. This is the first year the social inclusion charity, which formerly topped the Best Small Companies to Work for list in 2007, has had enough staff to enter the competition for mid-sized organisations.

The charity aims to equip vulnerable and disadvantaged people with the skills and confidence they need to find a lasting route out of social exclusion. It does this by offering a wide variety of services in the Midlands and London — from two Ofsted-registered schools specifically for children who have been excluded, to schemes for those recovering from mental health problems and hostels for homeless people.

P3 achieves top results in six of the eight factors in which employees give their views on the staff survey. People are proud to work for the charity (giving a positive result of 90%), have confidence in the leadership skills of their manager (87%) and say colleagues go out of their way to help each other (also 87%), all top scores.

Nando’s, the restaurant chain famous for its spicy peri-peri chicken, is victorious in the contest for the Best Big Companies to Work For. Employees say they love working for the organisation, which has its head office in London, giving an 80% positive score in the staff survey. They agree that there is a strong sense of family in their teams (81%) and that managers care about them as individuals (79%) and talk openly and honestly with them (82%). These are all top scores, beating the other 24 companies on the list.

Softcat, the Marlow-based IT sales firm founded in 1993, is the Best Small Company to Work for in the UK. “What Softcat has to offer to the market is not unique. So the only way we can differentiate ourselves is with customer service. It's as simple as that,” says managing director Martin Hellawell. “It's why we're successful. And we do that because we have staff who love Softcat.”

The company earns top scores in the My Manager, Personal Growth ad My Team categories of the employee survey. Staff believe the company provides an excellent service, giving a positive score of 98%. They find managers really supportive (94%) and say colleagues go out of their way to help each other (95%). All three scores beat every other company on the list.

Jonathan Austin, chief executive and founder of Best Companies Ltd, which conducted the research for The Sunday Times, praised the high-quality workplaces making this year’s lists. “These awards highlight the achievements of organisations with good leadership and management which result in high levels of workplace engagement – factors that are even more important in these uncertain times. Companies that secured their place on The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work Forlists are among the very best employers in the country and we congratulate them on their achievement.”

Jackie Orme, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, sponsors of The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For, said: "Being a Best Company to Work For is not just for the good times. The past year has been testing for both employers and employees. The stresses, strains and pay freezes of the recession are beginning to tell.

“However as these companies have shown, that does not have to be an inevitability. Firms which have built trust and engagement and a shared sense of common purpose over time are reaping the reward in terms of motivated employees willing to go the extra mile, despite the tough environment.”

The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For is now in its tenth year of publication and is compiled using a methodology tailored specifically to the British workplace. This year’s rankings are determined by the views of more than 230,000 employees, up from 200,000 last year, making this by far the most comprehensive survey of workplace engagement and satisfaction in the UK. In all, 964 companies took part in this year’s contest, including 347 mid-sized companies, 46 big and 571 small companies. The Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For supplement was published on February 28, while The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For, incorporating the 25 Best Big Companies to Work For is published next Sunday, March 7.

Email: ppetedaly@aol.com


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