A North West-headquartered national retailer has been named the best big company to work for in the UK.
Family-owned jeweller Beaverbrooks has claimed the number one position in the 100 Best Companies to Work for list 2021, as well as being awarded Retail’s Best Company to Work For.
The Lancashire-based firm, which has stores across the UK, was ranked number nine in 2020, and has featured in the list for 18 consecutive years, but this is the first time it has taken the top spot since being awarded number one in 2009.
The positioning was awarded to the retailer for its successful handling of the pandemic year, including its “people-centric approach to business that put the safety of colleagues and customers first, protected jobs and incomes, and safeguarded the future of the company”.
Anna Blackburn, managing director of Beaverbrooks, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be named as the number one business in the Best Companies to Work For list 2021, as well as the accolade for Retail’s Best Company to Work For which is truly an honour to receive. It’s been a challenging year of adapting to change, but we are incredibly proud of how we responded as a company.
“2019 was our centenary year and the most profitable in our history, so to be able to build on this success whilst navigating a pandemic and retaining our core company ethos and values, is an incredible achievement for us.
“Treating our people well has always been part of our DNA, but we’ve elevated our focus over the past year, showing that being a great workplace and treating people well can directly impact the bottom line – even in the midst of a global pandemic.”
As a result, the jeweller is the only organisation in Best Companies’ history to be awarded a three-star accreditation for workplace engagement for 16 years running – the highest standard reflecting ‘world class’ levels of workplace engagement.
Despite its 72 stores being closed for half of the company’s financial year, the business said it was able to retain “strong levels of profit” in 2020, and has seen positive trading in 2021 with sales “soaring” since stores reopened on April 12.
Ms Blackburn added: “We believe that a collaborative culture is key to business success so communication has been essential, ensuring colleagues feel involved and engaged with the business, as well as increasing our focus on wellbeing.
“As a result, we saw a 91 per cent response rate to the Best Companies employee survey (average is 68 per cent) this year despite a large proportion of our colleagues being on furlough at the time.
“This employee feedback is so important to us as it will help make Beaverbrooks an even better place to work.”
Elsewhere, Wilmslow-based financial planning and wealth management firm Equilibrium was named the best financial services company to work for in the UK.
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The firm was also named the seventh best mid-sized company to work for across all sectors, marking the fifth consecutive year that the Wilmslow-based business has been recognised in the top 10.
Debbie Jukes, partner, said: “It’s amazing to be number one in our sector given the competition. I’m so proud of Sarah and Kelly who make up our culture department, and all the rest of the team who have helped us reach the top spot. It’s a brilliant achievement.”