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What’s trending?

The UK’s top-ranked firms, the ‘golden age’ of unions & the cost-of-living crisis


In this month’s myGrapevine magazine leadership round up, we take a look at the UK’s best companies to work for – as decided by LinkedIn. Elsewhere, we explore what employees currently desire the most from their workplace, and analyse how the pandemic has created a growing trend of trade union sign-ups. We also explore the incredible generosity of one leader who has shelled out thousands of pounds to support staff during the cost-of-living crisis...

 
 

Why these firms are
considered the best in the UK

 

Why these firms are
considered the best in the UK

LinkedIn’s latest league table of the UK’s 25 ‘best companies’ was published recently, providing valuable insight for jobseekers on which firms could provide them with the best opportunities for career growth.

The list is compiled by analysing LinkedIn data across seven pillars: ability to advance, skills growth, company stability, external opportunity, company affinity, gender diversity and spread of educational backgrounds. To be eligible, companies must have had at least 500 employees based in the UK as of December 31, 2021.

 

According to the rankings, companies from the financial sector dominated this year’s LinkedIn Top Companies list, with Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and HSBC placing first to third, respectively. At Barclays, for example, a number of reasons were cited for its place at the top, most notably its commitment to “amplifying the voices of its diverse workforce” and creating a number of Employee Resource Groups to foster inclusion and a sense of belonging amongst employees.

And at HSBC, plaudits included the company having helped launch the Global Business Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health. The businesses involved are all committed to taking proactive steps to improve workplace culture and provide tools for better wellbeing and mental health among employees.

This is what employees
want the most from their boss

In a bid to win ‘the war for talent’, employers have been known to use certain tactics to attract and retain top talent.

Offering lavish perks is one of them. But while free food and cheap gym memberships may have been enticing to some people, it appears that employees are looking for another benefit, particularly with the massive shift towards hybrid and remote working – one that centres around good technology.

This is something that came to light in Workfront’s 7th Annual State of Work report which revealed that 49% of the US workforce would leave their job due to frustrations with technology.

The study found a significant increase in the number of digital workers who said that technology is “very important” in both collaborating and doing their best work, pointing towards why technology should be a top priority for leaders.

 

 

This is what employees
want the most from their boss

 

In a bid to win ‘the war for talent’, employers have been known to use certain tactics to attract and retain top talent.

Offering lavish perks is one of them. But while free food and cheap gym memberships may have been enticing to some people, it appears that employees are looking for another benefit, particularly with the massive shift towards hybrid and remote working – one that centres around good technology.

 

 

This is something that came to light in Workfront’s 7th Annual State of Work report which revealed that 49% of the US workforce would leave their job due to frustrations with technology.

The study found a significant increase in the number of digital workers who said that technology is “very important” in both collaborating and doing their best work, pointing towards why technology should be a top priority for leaders.

 
 

This is the ‘golden age’ of unions

 

This is the ‘golden age’ of unions

Unions are in again. For years, they were the beating heart of British workforces, holding firms to account and ensuring workers’ rights were fully enforced, before their popularity and perceived power to influence change waned over the course of years.

Now, however, membership is resurging, with membership in the UK rising by 118,000 to 6.6million in 2020, the fourth year in a row that it increased, according to data from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Experts from one of the largest unions, Unite, explained that the resurging popularity of trade unions is down to workers concerns about job security during the pandemic.

Interestingly, there are also suggestions that homeworking has led to more unionising among employees. Deborah Foster, Professor in employment relations and diversity at the University of Cardiff, told the BBC that the WFH trend during the pandemic had increased interest in unions, because people "want to be part of a collective community".

 

 

Why one boss gave his staff 45k

The cost-of-living crisis is being keenly felt by the UK workforce. Rising energy bills, fuel prices rocketing and an impending National Insurance hike have, not surprisingly, made many workers anxious about how to make ends meet in the coming months.

But one leader hit the headlines for going the extra mile to help his employees through these tough times. James Hipkins, Managing Director of a building supplies company, decided to shell out £45,000 on his 60 workers – £750 for each and every one of them.

Speaking about his act of generosity, Hipkins told the media he knows "everyone is suffering” and wanted to “share back” the success of the business.

The Cheshire businessman said: "With everybody struggling we just thought we want to share some of that good fortune with the staff. They weren’t expecting it and they were overjoyed. I think they’ve found it’s a great help when everything’s a bit bleak."

While it may have cost him a lot, acknowledging the struggles experienced by staff and lending a hand is likely to have positive effects on engagement and retention if staff feel valued.

 

 

Why one boss gave his staff 45k

 

The cost-of-living crisis is being keenly felt by the UK workforce. Rising energy bills, fuel prices rocketing and an impending National Insurance hike have, not surprisingly, made many workers anxious about how to make ends meet in the coming months.

But one leader hit the headlines for going the extra mile to help his employees through these tough times. James Hipkins, Managing Director of a building supplies company, decided to shell out £45,000 on his 60 workers – £750 for each and every one of them.

 

 

Speaking about his act of generosity, Hipkins told the media he knows "everyone is suffering” and wanted to “share back” the success of the business.

The Cheshire businessman said: "With everybody struggling we just thought we want to share some of that good fortune with the staff. They weren’t expecting it and they were overjoyed. I think they’ve found it’s a great help when everything’s a bit bleak."

While it may have cost him a lot, acknowledging the struggles experienced by staff and lending a hand is likely to have positive effects on engagement and retention if staff feel valued.

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