A host of local employers have been rated among the best in the country.
Ringwood-based developer Churchill Retirement Living took third place in the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For.
It was praised for staff benefits, wellbeing initiatives and special events such as last summer’s Farm Fest, which saw chairman and chief executive Spencer McCarthy invite staff and their families to celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary at his New Forest home.
Its charitable arm, the Churchill Foundation, ran fundraising initiatives including a “sleep out” which raised more than £25,000 for End Youth Homelessness.
Mr McCarthy said: “This is the fifth year in a row that we’ve been named as one of the UK’s best companies to work for, as voted for by our own colleagues, and I’m delighted with our top three position.
“It’s a fantastic achievement and something every single member of the team can be proud of. My brother Clinton and I run the business based on strong family values and I’ve said many times that our fantastic team of people – the Churchill family – are the key to our success. I believe in looking after my team and treating them well, so it’s great to see that recognised with this award.”
Churchill, which came second last year, employs 347 people and reported revenue of £208.6million.
Insurance broker Reassured – based in Basingstoke with offices in Southampton, Portsmouth and Manchester – came 12th in the table, up from 17th. It has 572 staff and revenue of £37.8m.
Chief executive Steve Marshall said: “Our employees are the heart of our success, therefore providing a workplace environment in which they can thrive is of utmost importance.
“We strive to make Reassured a great place to work, and as the business grows it’s just going to get even better.”
Fareham recruiter Randstad kept its place at number 62. The business, with 293 staff and revenues of £230.1m, was founded as Hill McGlynn and was cited as particularly attractive workplace to women, who make up 56 per cent of its staff.
Fareham plumbers’ merchant Williams & Co was 92nd in the top 100. Around 60 per cent of its 323 staff are shareholders and perks include private healthcare and paid time off for children’s events such as sports days. The business, which was at number 76 last year, has 323 staff.
On the parallel list of the 100 Best Small Companies to Work For, Southampton software developer Clearvision was at number 32, up from 97 last year. The company has 53 staff, whom it calls ‘visionaires’, and turns over £27.2m.
Clearvision chief executive Gerry Tombs said: “Five years ago, my goal was for Clearvision to make the Times 100 list, and in 2019 we achieved this. Thinking ahead, we challenged ourselves to improve our position by becoming an even better employer, taking much of what we’d learnt from the 2019 feedback and implementing changes where necessary. While this award is fantastic, an even better accomplishment for me has been witnessing year-on-year improvements in our visionaries (staff).
“The Times 100 achievement has been an enabler for improvements in recruiting A-class people, resulting in decreased employee churn, and a better atmosphere in the workplace overall. We have a lot more to learn in this exciting journey together.”
Winchester market research company Walnut Unlimited was a new entry at number 35. It set up initiatives to engage the workforce during the period when it was formed from a merger of four competitors. Ninety-seven per cent of staff have had a pay rise in the past year.
Winchester business CleverTouch Marketing was 83rd among the small businesses, up from 98. The firm, which has been growing by 25 per cent a year, has 56 staff and sales of £4m.
Chief executive and co-founder Adam Sharp said: “This award is testament to the wider leadership team, our fantastic employees, and the amazing clients we work with. It is an honour to be recognised in such a highly-respected list. This is just the beginning for Clevertouch Marketing – we will continue to raise the bar and position in the top 50 over the next couple of years.”
Southampton company Yo Telecom entered the small business list at number 87. It supplies phone and wi-fi systems, mainly to the healthcare sector, and employs 58 people.
Southampton children’s services provider Fair Ways was 19th among the Best Not-for-Profit Organisations to Work For. The organisation, which came fourth last year, spent £475,000 on training its 315 staff.
Marwell Wildlife, which runs Winchester’s zoo, was number 49 among the non-profits. The organisation has 290 staff and was listed in 2018 and 2016.
Jo Deller, HR director at Marwell Wildlife, said: “We understand and value the power of true employee engagement and the benefits this brings to both our people and our business. And we place employee wellbeing at the centre of our organisation’s culture.
“Our somewhat quirky and well-received HR ‘Wellbeing Wheelbarrow’ regularly hand delivers important messages and communications to all of our people, full of treats, useful gadgets and a reminder of the employee assistance programme that is available to all.”
Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre was a new entry at number 74 among the non-profit employers. Eighty-seven per cent of its 220 staff said they were proud to work there. Perks include tickets to a show for new joiners, free personal insurance, healthcare and life assurance.
The overall best employer to work for was London marketing agency MVF, which has 411 staff.
The best big company to work for was the children’s nursery business Childbase Partnership, while the rest of the top 10 were Coventry Building Society, Admiral Group, Roche, Hobbycraft, BT Consumer, Marriott Hotels International, Skipton Building Society, Arcadis and UK Power Networks.
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