Beaverbrooks has jumped from 26th place to 11th in this year’s Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For report.
No other jeweller made it into the top 100.
Staff engagement is a valued linchpin of the family-owned Lancashire-based business, which has appeared regularly in the Best Companies To Work For surveys since 2001, the report describes.
“Strong leadership is an outstanding feature here, with chief executive [now managing director] Anna Blackburn’s first-hand shop-floor experience and managerial roles complementing the co-leadership of chairman Mark Adlestone, grandson of one of the three brothers who founded Beaverbrooks. People believe they run the enterprise based on strong principles (a 91% positive score, second in this category),” The Sunday Times reports.
Charitable giving is embedded in the culture and last year more than 80 employees, including Mr Adlestone, ran or volunteered at the annual 10k fun run in Blackpool that the chain has sponsored since 1981.
A further 145 who were unable to compete in the race ran the distance in their own time. More than £50,000 was raised for charity.
Everybody gets at least two paid days a year to volunteer and the organisation matches every penny raised by its people, with no upper limits. It also doubles the money donated by the 33% of workers who have enrolled on its payroll giving scheme.
Among the top factors that the survey ranks, Beaverbrooks came fourth in the country for ‘Giving something back’ and 5th for ‘Leadership’.
In an interview with WatchPro in January, Ms Blackburn and Mr Adlestone said that wellness and wellbeing, which are also judged by the Best Companies to Work For survey, will be a particular focus for the organisation this year.
“We have 71 stores, and we need to make sure that each one of those stores as well as our head office are great places to work that improve people’s wellbeing,” Ms Blackburn says.
“The retail environment can be seven days a week, 15 hours a day. That is not an easy place to take care of yourself, so we need to redefine what wellbeing means within Beaverbrooks. Wellbeing is about physical, mental and emotional health, and we want to do something at conference that helps our managers to be strong for their teams, but not to become so maternalistic or paternalistic that their teams become reliant on them to solve all their problems. Individual resilience is something we talk about. Wellbeing is a shared responsibility. We can do so much but there has to be a balance,” she adds.
On receiving the news of the company’s 11th place finish, Mr Adlestone OBE DL said: “We are very proud to be recognised for the 15th year as one of the most sought after companies to work for in the UK. This year’s ranking is our highest position since 2010 and so this year’s result is especially pleasing.”
Ms Blackburn added: “Our people are the lifeblood of our business and so we’re immensely proud of this achievement. The result is even more meaningful when you consider that 89% of our people have completed the survey (average Best Companies is 68%); this employee feedback is so important to us as it will help make Beaverbrooks an even better place to work.”