The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies? Great Place to Work?

The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies? Great Place to Work?

Rebecca Carpenter

Managing Consultant, Boost

Which top employer award or employer league table should you enter? 

The most popular reasons why organisations enter awards is to attract and retain customers. The second most popular reason is to help them attract and retain talent. In fact, it is extremely rare that any awards planning session by Boost doesn’t include both as priorities.

There is no doubt that winning any industry award that impresses customers will also impress current and potential employees. However, is this enough? Most businesses believe it is and don’t enter separate awards to impress current and potential employees. However, if you really want to stand out to potential recruits and attract the best talent then you want awards which explicitly say “this is a great place to work”, or “we are a top employer, better than the other organisations you might consider working for.”

With a wealth of employer-related awards out there it’s hard to know which is the right award to enter. This article aims to take the hassle out of this decision, helping you to pick the best award for your company and most importantly detailing how you can win it. 

Firstly, let’s look at the main league table awards:

The Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For

This is the best recognised scheme but also extremely competitive, and UK-only.

Run by Best Companies there are several different league tables for different sectors and company sizes (minimum 50 employees), and a few additional awards too. This year companies can also be recognised regionally.

The process involves a thorough survey and a huge written entry (around 7,000 words). The survey is organised and set up by the organisers and the scores you get here will determine if and where you are placed in the top 100 list. The written entry makes no difference to your ranking. However, it is crucial in winning one of five special awards:

  1. Innovation in Engagement Practice.
  2. Giving Something Back.
  3. Learning & Development.
  4. Wellbeing.
  5. Discovering Potential.

This is the part of the process where we can really add value by helping to draft an engaging and compelling written entry.

Key information

Deadlines

There are lots of key dates to make a note of for this scheme:

Registration closes – 28th September (14th September for ‘big’ companies with 3,000+ employees).

Survey set up closes – 12th October.

Organisation questionnaire closes – 2nd November.

Survey launch deadline – 22nd October.

Survey response deadline – 9th November.

Eligible region: UK

sunday times 100 best companies

The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For List is probably the best known scheme in the UK so brings great prestige to those included.

Typical entry fees: If you haven’t already registered for The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For then it is important that you understand the costs involved. The entry fee varies depending on the number of employees and the package chosen (Start, Discover & Advance). Prices start from £1,115 + VAT which is the Start package for a small company (between 50 and 249 employees). However, be warned that for larger companies this can increase rapidly, for example a company with 5,000 employees selecting the Advance package will be looking at paying £26,155 + VAT.

Link: https://www.b.co.uk/the-lists/

Process: Whole workforce survey, and huge written entry.

Rebecca Carpenter

Managing Consultant, Boost

Which top employer award or employer league table should you enter? 

The most popular reasons why organisations enter awards is to attract and retain customers. The second most popular reason is to help them attract and retain talent. In fact, it is extremely rare that any awards planning session by Boost doesn’t include both as priorities.

There is no doubt that winning any industry award that impresses customers will also impress current and potential employees. However, is this enough? Most businesses believe it is and don’t enter separate awards to impress current and potential employees. However, if you really want to stand out to potential recruits and attract the best talent then you want awards which explicitly say “this is a great place to work”, or “we are a top employer, better than the other organisations you might consider working for.”

With a wealth of employer-related awards out there it’s hard to know which is the right award to enter. This article aims to take the hassle out of this decision, helping you to pick the best award for your company and most importantly detailing how you can win it. 

Firstly, let’s look at the main league table awards:

The Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For

This is the best recognised scheme but also extremely competitive, and UK-only.

Run by Best Companies there are several different league tables for different sectors and company sizes (minimum 50 employees), and a few additional awards too. This year companies can also be recognised regionally.

The process involves a thorough survey and a huge written entry (around 7,000 words). The survey is organised and set up by the organisers and the scores you get here will determine if and where you are placed in the top 100 list. The written entry makes no difference to your ranking. However, it is crucial in winning one of five special awards:

  1. Innovation in Engagement Practice.
  2. Giving Something Back.
  3. Learning & Development.
  4. Wellbeing.
  5. Discovering Potential.

This is the part of the process where we can really add value by helping to draft an engaging and compelling written entry.

Key information

Deadlines

There are lots of key dates to make a note of for this scheme:

Registration closes – 28th September (14th September for ‘big’ companies with 3,000+ employees).

Survey set up closes – 12th October.

Organisation questionnaire closes – 2nd November.

Survey launch deadline – 22nd October.

Survey response deadline – 9th November.

Eligible region: UK

Typical entry fees: If you haven’t already registered for The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For then it is important that you understand the costs involved. The entry fee varies depending on the number of employees and the package chosen (Start, Discover & Advance). Prices start from £1,115 + VAT which is the Start package for a small company (between 50 and 249 employees). However, be warned that for larger companies this can increase rapidly, for example a company with 5,000 employees selecting the Advance package will be looking at paying £26,155 + VAT.

Link: https://www.b.co.uk/the-lists/

Process: Whole workforce survey, and huge written entry.

Great Place to Work Scheme

Run by Great Place to Work Institute, this is not as well-known as the Sunday Times list, but it is international, and you can influence your ranking substantially with a solid written entry (where Boost can help). A third of the marks are for the written entry.

Registration closes: The organisers say that there is a degree of flexibility around the deadline date and this can be discussed on a case by case basis. However, overall the survey and written entry should be finalised by mid-November.

Eligible region: International

Typical entry fees: Entry fees vary depending on the company size – prices start from £5k for the smallest companies (20 employees) but can go into the tens of thousands for large companies so this is something that needs to be considered. You can contact the organisers for an exact price for your company to enter.

Link: http://www.greatplacetowork.co.uk/home

Process: Whole workforce survey (minimum 20 employees) and substantial written entry.

great place to work

“Being able to say ‘This is a great place to work’ is invaluable for both existing employees and attracting the best new talent”

The Times Top 50 Employers for Women

These awards are run by Business in the Community (BITC), a not-for-profit organisation founded by Prince Charles, a fact which adds to the credibility of this popular scheme. There is no survey for this list but there is a comprehensive entry form that needs to be completed (this is where we can help). The form consists of three parts:

1)  Organisational Data (a series of questions gathering gender metrics).

2) Question set (the 3,500-word main written entry).

3) Mandatory case study (1,000 words).

Organisations can also put in an optional gender champion award nomination. This is an opportunity to nominate a senior level individual whose passion and commitment regarding progressing gender equality has made a significant difference in the organisation. Whilst this part of the entry doesn’t have any bearing on the Top 50 list, you will have a chance of wining one of three additional awards.

Entry deadline: 23rd November

Eligible region: UK

Typical entry fees: These awards are free to enter. However, please be aware that following assessment and once the Top 50 list has been identified, there will be a promotion fee of £1250 + VAT in order to be included in the list and to be considered for a Business in the Community Gender Equality Award.

Link: https://appointments.thetimes.co.uk/article/times-top-50-employers-for-women/

Process: There is a single combined entry process for both The Times Top 50 Employers for Women list and the Business in the Community Gender Equality Awards. There is no survey here – all the marks are for a “self-nomination” written entry. 

Great Place to Work Scheme

Run by Great Place to Work Institute, this is not as well-known as the Sunday Times list, but it is international, and you can influence your ranking substantially with a solid written entry (where Boost can help). A third of the marks are for the written entry.

Registration closes: The organisers say that there is a degree of flexibility around the deadline date and this can be discussed on a case by case basis. However, overall the survey and written entry should be finalised by mid-November.

Eligible region: International

Typical entry fees: Entry fees vary depending on the company size – prices start from £5k for the smallest companies (20 employees) but can go into the tens of thousands for large companies so this is something that needs to be considered. You can contact the organisers for an exact price for your company to enter.

Link: http://www.greatplacetowork.co.uk/home

Process: Whole workforce survey (minimum 20 employees) and substantial written entry.

The Times Top 50 Employers for Women

These awards are run by Business in the Community (BITC), a not-for-profit organisation founded by Prince Charles, a fact which adds to the credibility of this popular scheme. There is no survey for this list but there is a comprehensive entry form that needs to be completed (this is where we can help). The form consists of three parts:

1)  Organisational Data (a series of questions gathering gender metrics).

2) Question set (the 3,500-word main written entry).

3) Mandatory case study (1,000 words).

Organisations can also put in an optional gender champion award nomination. This is an opportunity to nominate a senior level individual whose passion and commitment regarding progressing gender equality has made a significant difference in the organisation. Whilst this part of the entry doesn’t have any bearing on the Top 50 list, you will have a chance of wining one of three additional awards.

Entry deadline: 23rd November

Eligible region: UK

Typical entry fees: These awards are free to enter. However, please be aware that following assessment and once the Top 50 list has been identified, there will be a promotion fee of £1250 + VAT in order to be included in the list and to be considered for a Business in the Community Gender Equality Award.

Link: https://appointments.thetimes.co.uk/article/times-top-50-employers-for-women/

Process: There is a single combined entry process for both The Times Top 50 Employers for Women list and the Business in the Community Gender Equality Awards. There is no survey here – all the marks are for a “self-nomination” written entry. 

queen's award

“Being able to say ‘This is a great place to work’ is invaluable for both existing employees and attracting the best new talent”.

Other awards for top employers – not league tables

If you want to shout about what a great employer you are but don’t want to enter a league table award then there are plenty other options out there. Here are some recommendations:

 

Generic employer awards:

The UK Employee Experience Awards

This scheme is now well-established and increasingly popular. Boost employees have often acted as judges on this scheme and can testify to the robustness of the second stage of judging – the face-to-face element.

Entry deadline: 20th February 2019

Eligible region: UK

Typical entry fees: £299.00 + VAT per entry

Link: http://e-x-a.co.uk/

Process: Written entry, and finalists present to a panel of judges on the morning or afternoon of the awards dinner.

The Stevie Awards for Great Employers

These are increasingly popular awards. The entry form isn’t very onerous, there are loads of categories to choose from, and all finalists get at least a bronze award.

Entry deadline: 2nd May 2019

Eligible region: International

Typical costs: Between $235 and $460 per entry depending on the category

Link: https://stevies-sage.secure-platform.com/a 

Process: Written entry for all categories, voting also for employer categories.

The National Business Awards

These incredibly popular awards have categories that cover all aspects of your business with the Employer of the Year being the obvious choice to show what a great employer you are. 

Entry deadline: 1st June 2019

Eligible region: UK

Typical costs: £295 + VAT

Link: http://www.nationalbusinessawards.co.uk/

Process: Written entry for all categories followed by a presentation for shortlisted entries.

 

Specialist/niche employer awards:

The Gulf Employee Experience Awards

This MENA version of the above awards was launched in 2015, so is less established than its UK-only sister scheme. The face-to-face judging and presentation evening is held in Dubai.

Entry deadline: 17th October 2018

Eligible region: MENA

Typical entry fees: $475 per entry

Link: http://gulfcxawards.com/ 

Process: Written entry, and finalists present to a panel of judges on the morning or afternoon of the awards dinner.

The BITC Best Employers for Race / Race Equality Awards

These credible awards have been running for 12 years with an aim to celebrate the outstanding practice, innovation and dedication to race equality and inclusion in UK workplaces.

Entry deadline: 2nd May 2019

Eligible region: UK

Typical entry fees: Free to enter

Link: https://race.bitc.org.uk/awards-benchmarking/best-employers-race-2018

Process: Written entry

The ABP Workforce Experience Awards

The name is great in terms of saying “We offer a great employee experience” however the scheme is very focused – specifically on projects which use business psychology to improve employee experience.

Entry deadline: 11th June

Eligible region: UK

Typical entry fees: Free to enter

Link: http://www.theabp.org.uk/events/conference-and-awards/awards.aspx

Process: Written entry

Other awards for top employers – not league tables

If you want to shout about what a great employer you are but don’t want to enter a league table award then there are plenty other options out there. Here are some recommendations:

 

Generic employer awards

The UK Employee Experience Awards

This scheme is now well-established and increasingly popular. Boost employees have often acted as judges on this scheme and can testify to the robustness of the second stage of judging – the face-to-face element.

Entry deadline: 20th February 2019

Eligible region: UK

Typical entry fees: £299.00 + VAT per entry

Link: http://e-x-a.co.uk/

Process: Written entry, and finalists present to a panel of judges on the morning or afternoon of the awards dinner.

The Stevie Awards for Great Employers

These are increasingly popular awards. The entry form isn’t very onerous, there are loads of categories to choose from, and all finalists get at least a bronze award.

Entry deadline: 2nd May 2019

Eligible region: International

Typical costs: Between $235 and $460 per entry depending on the category

Link: https://stevies-sage.secure-platform.com/a

Process: Written entry for all categories, voting also for employer categories.

The National Business Awards

These incredibly popular awards have categories that cover all aspects of your business with the Employer of the Year being the obvious choice to show what a great employer you are. 

Entry deadline: 1st June 2019

Eligible region: UK

Typical costs: £295 + VAT

Link: http://www.nationalbusinessawards.co.uk/

Process: Written entry for all categories followed by a presentation for shortlisted entries.

Specialist/niche employer awards

The Gulf Employee Experience Awards

This MENA version of the above awards was launched in 2015, so is less established than its UK-only sister scheme. The face-to-face judging and presentation evening is held in Dubai.

Entry deadline: 17th October 2018

Eligible region: MENA

Typical entry fees: $475 per entry

Link: http://gulfcxawards.com/ 

Process: Written entry, and finalists present to a panel of judges on the morning or afternoon of the awards dinner.

The BITC Best Employers for Race / Race Equality Awards

These credible awards have been running for 12 years with an aim to celebrate the outstanding practice, innovation and dedication to race equality and inclusion in UK workplaces.

Entry deadline: 2nd May 2019

Eligible region: UK

Typical entry fees: Free to enter

Link: https://race.bitc.org.uk/awards-benchmarking/best-employers-race-2018

Process: Written entry

The ABP Workforce Experience Awards

The name is great in terms of saying “We offer a great employee experience” however the scheme is very focused – specifically on projects which use business psychology to improve employee experience.

Entry deadline: 11th June

Eligible region: UK

Typical entry fees: Free to enter

Link: http://www.theabp.org.uk/events/conference-and-awards/awards.aspx

Process: Written entry

What now?

Do any of these make you think “that’s us”? If so, then I recommend you let us help with the creation of your written submission. We’ve been helping businesses enter Awards since 2006 and are more experienced than any other agency in the world when it comes to awards.

I have personally helped companies enter and achieve top rankings in all the listed league tables as well as having many winners in the other listed award schemes. I would be happy to give you a call to help you double check your chances of success and explain our pricing options. You can contact me via our contact form.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Becki.

Awards List

Please take a look on our UK Awards List and International Awards List websites where you can find many more employer-related awards (amongst thousands of others covering all areas of business).

best employer

What now?

Do any of these make you think “that’s us”? If so, then I recommend you let us help with the creation of your written submission. We’ve been helping businesses enter Awards since 2006 and are more experienced than any other agency in the world when it comes to awards.

I have personally helped companies enter and achieve top rankings in all the listed league tables as well as having many winners in the other listed award schemes. I would be happy to give you a call to help you double check your chances of success and explain our pricing options. You can contact me via our contact form.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Becki.

Awards List

Please take a look on our UK Awards List and International Awards List websites where you can find many more employer-related awards (amongst thousands of others covering all areas of business).

Boost – a helping hand entering awards

Boost is the world’s first and largest award entry consultancy, having helped clients, from SMEs to Multinationals, win over 1,100 credible business awards, including many of the Best Companies to Work For and Great Place to Work schemes listed. Increase your chances of success significantly – call Boost on +44(0)1273 258703 today for a no-obligation chat about awards.

(C) This article was written by Rebecca Carpenter and is the intellectual property of award entry consultants
Boost Marketing

boost award entry writers

Boost – a helping hand entering awards

Boost is the world’s first and largest award entry consultancy, having helped clients, from SMEs to Multinationals, win over 1,100 credible business awards, including many of the Best Companies to Work For and Great Place to Work schemes listed. Increase your chances of success significantly – call Boost on +44(0)1273 258703 today for a no-obligation chat about awards.

(C) This article was written by Rebecca Carpenter and is the intellectual property of award entry consultants
Boost Marketing

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rebecca carpenter

Would you like me to give you a call about these Best Employer Schemes?

"I would be happy to answer any questions you may have, give you a free honest assessment of your chances and discuss the ways we might be able to help. Please email me at rebecca.carpenter@boost-awards.co.uk with your contact details and I will be happy to arrange a call. Thanks, Becki”

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