Staff Prefer Good Working Environment to Big Name Employers

UK employees are less impressed by big name companies than by a job that offers a good work environment, good pay and benefits, and an attractive work-life balance, research has highlighted.

A survey carried out by YouGov for HR adviser Croner found that while big names such as Google, Apple and John Lewis attracted the most frequent mentions, just 11 per cent of respondents said a great brand makes a good company.

Of the 2,133 people surveyed, 82 per cent rated a good working environment as the best feature of a good employer, followed by attractive pay and benefits, a good work-life balance and training and development.

“Our survey does reveal that over 40 per cent of adults believe that a great working culture and strong values make a good business, and these have been shown to provide a great source of competitive advantage,”

said Croner’s managing director, Andy Hague.

But this does not mean small firms are unable to offer what a modern employee wants, said Andrew Scherer, marketing director for recruitment agency Inspiring Interns.

“It’s little things that don’t cost too much that help to make a good workplace, like giving people a day off on their birthday,” he said.

He added that, although many small businesses were unlikely to go to the same lengths as big corporations such as Google and Apple, they were just as capable of being innovative in their approach to engaging and rewarding employees.

“I know of small firms that have company targets rather than individual targets and everyone gets rewarded,” he added.

“Although businesses in more traditional areas are perhaps slightly less open to more relaxed approaches to work, that will change as we move into a more digital world that enables more people to do things from different places.”

Forum of Private Business (FPB) senior policy adviser Phil MCabe said:

“I think you’re more likely to find many of the qualities identified by the survey in small businesses because, when it comes to recruitment, they’re looking for key members of staff to drive their business forward.”

“You get closer working relationships between business owners and employees and we’ve seen small businesses innovating with things like short-time working to retain valued staff,” he added. “What’s important is simply saying ‘Thank you’ and ‘Well done’.”

For further business advice see our article on motivating staff.

Staff Prefer Good Working Environment to Big Name Employers

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