Top-Rated Workplaces: Best in the Private Sector

From a Saturday night takeaway to a new vacuum cleaner, and from hotels to holidays, as consumers we’re all used to using online reviews to weigh up our options.

No wonder then that when it comes to choosing something as important as where to work, jobseekers rely on employer reviews posted online. Clearly, for companies seeking to attract staff, online reputation is key.

With UK unemployment at record low levels, the battle is on for companies to catch jobseekers’ eyes, and those with positive reviews are at a huge advantage. Earlier this year, Indeed found that almost three-quarters of jobseekers will not even apply for a role until they’ve researched a company’s reputation online.

Every last detail of a company is now just a click away, and transparency is therefore key – but where is the best place in the UK to work? Our data team analysed millions of employee ratings and reviews on Indeed Company Pages to determine, from a workers’ point of view, which are Britain’s top-rated companies for 2018.

Tech giant the Apple of employees’ eyes

Leading the way is Apple, the world’s first $1 trillion company. Though based in California, it employs close to 6,500 people in the UK and its combination of an enjoyable work culture, good rates of pay and discounted tech helped it claim the top spot.

Wren Kitchens’ position just behind shows that being a great place to work is not solely the domain of corporate multinationals. The Humberside-based retailer scored consistently highly for valuing and treating its employees well.

Three more British companies – GlaxoSmithKline, Homeserve and Rolls-Royce – complete the top five. Two-thirds of the top 25 are homegrown companies, a reflection of the high standards being maintained by many UK bosses.

John Lewis’s famous – and famously popular – partnership scheme helped it score it a top ten spot, along with fellow retail brands Lush Cosmetics and Marks and Spencer, while high street chicken favourite Nando’s and consumer goods company Unilever are also among the UK’s favourite places to work.

In a diverse list of employers, the presence of Liverpool Football Club still catches the eye, and it cannot all be attributed to the Jurgen Klopp effect – though it is tempting to draw a correlation between good results on the pitch and a feelgood factor off it.

The club’s employees range from those in office-based marketing roles to positions in hospitality and catering, but Liverpool scores well across the board for staff satisfaction, and while the team circles around the top of the Premier League, this is another league table that makes for happy reading for its staff and supporters.

Who are the UK’s top rated companies?

1. Apple

Founded: 1976

The tech titan has long since burst out of Silicon Valley to become not just a dominant global tech brand, but the world’s most admired brand and the most valuable company on the planet.

A market leader in personal computers, mobile telephones, tablets and other smart technology products and services, Apple’s enormous global reach has clearly not compromised its approach to its staff.

It employs nearly 1,500 people in the UK and is due to open a new headquarters at London’s iconic Battersea Power Station in 2021.

Apple has long defined itself as being one of the most progressive companies in the world when it comes to its products, and this extends to how it treats its employees.

One happy employee told Indeed about the “brilliant atmosphere and positive working relationships – benefits are amazing,” while another relayed how “you meet great people there and it’s a very supportive environment where they allow you to flourish and not just in skills related to the role.”

2. Wren Kitchens

Founded: 2009

A relative newcomer at not even a decade old, the kitchen fittings specialist Wren Kitchens has performed impressive feats in a short space of time.

Based in Barton-upon-Humber in North Lincolnshire, the company employs more than 4,000 workers, many of them in manufacturing; all Wren Kitchens units are made in its three English production plants.

In June this year, the company earned plaudits for offering sanctuary to all B&Q staff who were under threat of redundancy, opening vacancies for design consultants from the troubled DIY chain.

One employee told Indeed that “the most enjoyable part of the job is the job security and the pensions it offers – the company is growing and this allows potentially more money,” while another praised the “fast-paced working environment – never boring and always something new to learn.”

3. GlaxoSmithKline

Founded: 2000

The global pharmaceutical supergiant is headquartered in Brentford in West London and has 16,000 employees across 18 different sites in the UK.

As well as generating huge profits – £8.6 billion in 2017 from a turnover of £30.2 billion – the company is forging a strong reputation for investing in its staff, and it is duly rewarded with their loyalty and praise in online feedback.

A long-standing practitioner of flexible hours and a keen advocate for a healthy work-life balance among its workers, GSK also encourages its staff to move around its various global offices and enjoy different lifestyles.

“GSK is an excellent place to work as every employee believes in what the company strives to do, which is to help people do more, feel better and live longer,” one employee told Indeed.

“Trust drives autonomy which allows every individual to manage their workloads and their work-life balance.”

4. HomeServe

Founded: 1993

The emergency care and home insurance provider celebrated its 25th birthday this year and remains based in its long-term home of Walsall.

It has sought to remain at the forefront of its industry with a big investment drive in new technology, while also focusing on its own culture and getting the best out of its staff, who number more than 3,000 in the UK alone.

“A very open culture where people and customers are truly put at the centre of what is done,” said one employee, continuing: “There has been an amazing change in culture. Virtually everyone is proud to work for HomeServe.

“The most enjoyable part is working with so many good people. The work is challenging but rewarding.”

5. Rolls-Royce

Founded: 1971

The engineering heavyweight has locations in more than 50 countries, with a workforce of more than 22,000 in the UK alone.

Its strong performance in this list comes despite ongoing restructuring that is expected to lead to as many as 3,000 redundancies from its UK staff.

The company prioritises a high performance culture and helps train and develop its employees, encouraging collaboration and excellence.

One employee recounted: “The day-to-day work is challenging but made easy by the support of the team and management,” while another opined: “Every day is different with new demands and the working culture is great and my colleagues are friendly and welcoming.”