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

rebecca carpenter

Rebecca Carpenter

Managing Consultant, Boost Awards

Which top employer award or best places to work award should you enter? 

The most popular reason 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 UK’s 100 Best Companies to Work For (formerly The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For)

For many years now this has been the best recognised scheme, especially because of the association with The Sunday Times. However, please note that this year Best Companies has parted ways with the publication and the award is now simply known as The UK’s Best Companies to Work For.

This move has also come with a few other changes, the key ones being:

  • Companies can now survey their employees through their online platform throughout the year, rather than just the once.
  • There are now four chances to be in the 100 best companies to work for across the year. These lists are split into quarters (see dates below). The winners are announced at the end of each quarter with the final list being announced in November.
  • The minimum number of employees needed to enter the awards has decreased from 50 to just 25.
  • The four main lists each quarter are based on company size:
    • Best small companies: 25 to 75 employees.
    • Best mid-sized companies: 75 to 199 employees.
    • Best large companies: 200 to 1,999 employees.
    • Best big companies: over 2,000 employees.

As with previous years, the process involves a thorough survey and a huge written entry. This written entry can be completed and updated across the entire year. 

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 100 best companies 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

The entry periods for each quarter are as follows:

  • 1st October to 31st December 2021.
  • 1st January to 31st March 2022.
  • 1st April to 30th June 2022.
  • 1st July to 30th September 2022.

 Eligible region: UK

uk 100 best companies to work for trophy

Previously known as The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For List, the 2022 edition is no longer associated with the publication and is now called The UK’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, and includes a move to quarterly lists amongst other significant changes. 

Typical entry fees: If you haven’t already registered for The UK’s 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 £1,190 (+VAT, for companies with 50-249 employees), which gradually increases for companies with larger headcounts (e.g. 500 employees = £1,520 (+VAT)). In-depth Workplace Engagement data is available at an additional cost.

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

Process: Whole workforce survey, and huge written entry.

Best Workplace™ Awards by Great Place to Work

Great Place to Work UK is part of a global organisation which surveys approximately 10,000 organisations around the world each year and is the company behind the Best Workplaces™ Awards. The award is based upon its Trust Index© Employee Survey (2/3rd) and its Culture Audit© (1/3rd), which is a document about your organisations workplace culture completed by your HR team (this is where Boost can help). This year the Culture Audit© is solely focused on the cultural practices and programmes that organisations have put in place around COVID-19. 

Award and Certification offerings:

  • Great Place to Work-Certified
  • Excellence in Wellbeing
  • UK’s Best Workplaces
  • Best Workplaces for Women
  • Best Workplaces in Tech
  • Europe’s Best Workplaces
  • World’s Best Workplaces
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”

Registration closes: Officially 3rd December 2021. However, 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. 

Eligible region: International, national, regional. 

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: https://www.greatplacetowork.co.uk/culture-consulting/about-best-workplaces/

Process: This year the Best Workplace™ programme recognition process is in two steps:

  1. The first step is for organisations to take the employee Trust Index© survey and submit their Culture Audit©.
  2. If they hit the 65% Trust Index© threshold they will automatically be Great Place to Work-Certified™, no matter their size category. Then as the next step, based off both the Trust Index© score and Culture Audit© submission they will have an opportunity to be named a Best Workplace™ on a national, regional and global level.

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). This year the focus of the case study should be on gender equality and / or you responded to the increased challenges facing women in the context of COVID-19.

best places to work women

Entry deadline: 17th December 2021

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.

Link: https://www.bitc.org.uk/the-times-top-50-employers-for-women/

Process: There is no survey here – all the marks are for a “self-nomination” 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:

The Inspiring Workplace Awards

For the previous five years these were known as The Employee Engagement Awards. However, for the sixth year they have gone through a rebrand with a shift in focus. These global awards provide a platform for great places to work and the roles within them to gain recognition.

Entry deadline: Final deadline 8th April 2021 (EMEA, North America) 16th June 2021 (Australasia). 

Eligible regions: EMEA (including UK), North America and Australasia editions.  

Typical entry fees: £100/$100 for early bird. £165/$200 for standard deadline and £250/$250 for late entries. 

Links: EMEA https://www.inspiring-workplaces.com/awards/emea/ North America https://www.inspiring-workplaces.com/awards/north-america/ Australasia https://www.inspiring-workplaces.com/awards/australasia/

Process: Written entry.

The UK Employee Experience Awards

This scheme is now well-established and increasingly popular. Boost employees have often acted as judges on these awards and can testify to the robustness of the second stage of judging – the face-to-face element, which returns in 2022 as a live event in London, having previously shifted to a virtual format due to the pandemic.

Entry deadline: 25th February 2022

Eligible region: UK

Typical entry fees: Early bird £349.00 + VAT per entry, regular £429 + VAT with discounts for additional categories.

Link: https://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 (19th May 2022).

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: 8th June 2022 entry deadline or 7th July 2022 with a late fee. 

Eligible region: International

Typical costs: Between $255 and $480 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.

Best Places to Work Awards

These US-based awards run by the Business Intelligence Group are open to international entry. The scheme uses the very true tagline ‘Life’s a lot better when you like where you work ‘ and recognises employers who help their employees accelerate their careers, knowledge and performance. This year sees the introduction of a concise employee survey based on the principles of Net Promoter Scores (NPS) aimed at measuring satisfaction and engagement.  

Entry deadline: 17th December 2021

Eligible region: International

Typical costs: $799

Link: https://www.bintelligence.com/best-places-to-work/

Process: Employee survey with brief company profile. 

best place to work

Company Culture Awards

Company culture is the foundation of any business, it is key to vision, productivity, innovation and growth – and these relatively new awards aim to recognise the companies that are changing employee culture and the way we work for the better. There are three regional editions available for the UK, Europe and US and categories include workplace mental health campaigns, diversity and inclusion, wellbeing and education programs.   

Entry deadline: 4th February 2022 (UK), 6th May 2022 (Europe), 12th November 2021 (US)

Eligible region: UK, Europe, US. 

Typical entry fees: £185/$260

Links: UK https://companycultureawards.co.uk/ Europe https://europeancompanycultureawards.com/ US https://uscompanycultureawards.com/ 

Process: Written entry. 

Top Employer Institute

This is an ongoing certification process recognising excellence in people practices from around the world. To be eligible for participation, your organisation must have at least 250 local or 2,500 international employees, as well as advanced, formalised HR practices. The HR Best Practices Survey looks at over 600 people practices and is based on 10 topics which cover key HR themes including talent strategy, learning and development, performance management and overall culture.  

Entry deadline: Ongoing certification, but survey opens in May and closes September/October time. 

Eligible region: International (with regional editions)

Typical entry fees: TBC but varies depending on company size.

Link: https://www.top-employers.com/en/

Process: Survey

Glassdoor – Best Places to Work

Employees have spoken! Glassdoor is one of the world’s biggest jobs and recruiting sites with 50 million users a month in countries around the world. They have an extensive company review section where all the reviews are left by employees themselves. The Best Places to Work is a ranking of the top 50 companies based on employee reviews in that particular country.   

Entry deadline: Ongoing 

Eligible region: Multiple country editions around the world

Typical entry fees: N/A

Link: https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Award/Best-Places-to-Work-UK-LST_KQ0,22.htm

Process: Employee reviews

What now?

Do any of these make you think “that’s us”? If so, then I recommend you let us help create your written submission and/or evidence your stories. 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.

Boost Evaluation – get help evidencing your award entries 

Saying you are a great place to work and proving it are very different things indeed. Whilst a couple of the awards listed involve employee surveys, the majority don’t, yet this data is vital to ensure your entry stands out. Luckily we can help here too. Through our award-winning sister company Boost Evaluation we can offer a range of services, including employee engagement surveys, research etc. to help evidence your award entries. To find out more about these and our other evaluation services please visit the Boost Evaluation website.
sunday times 100 best companies to work for boost evaluation

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 1,500 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 Awards.

boost award entry writers

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

rebecca carpenter

Rebecca Carpenter

Managing Consultant, Boost Awards

Which top employer award or best places to work award should you enter? 

The most popular reason 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 UK’s 100 Best Companies to Work For (formerly The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For)

For many years now this has been the best recognised scheme, especially because of the association with The Sunday Times. However, please note that this year Best Companies has parted ways with the publication and the award is now simply known as The UK’s Best Companies to Work For.

This move has also come with a few other changes, the key ones being:

  • Companies can now survey their employees through their online platform throughout the year, rather than just the once.
  • There are now four chances to be in the 100 best companies to work for across the year. These lists are split into quarters (see dates below). The winners are announced at the end of each quarter with the final list being announced in November.
  • The minimum number of employees needed to enter the awards has decreased from 50 to just 25.
  • The four main lists each quarter are based on company size:
    • Best small companies: 25 to 75 employees.
    • Best mid-sized companies: 75 to 199 employees.
    • Best large companies: 200 to 1,999 employees.
    • Best big companies: over 2,000 employees.

As with previous years, the process involves a thorough survey and a huge written entry. This written entry can be completed and updated across the entire year. 

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 100 best companies 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

The entry periods for each quarter are as follows:

  • 1st October to 31st December 2021.
  • 1st January to 31st March 2022.
  • 1st April to 30th June 2022.
  • 1st July to 30th September 2022.

 Eligible region: UK

Typical entry fees: If you haven’t already registered for The UK’s 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 £1,190 (+VAT, for companies with 50-249 employees), which gradually increases for companies with larger headcounts (e.g. 500 employees = £1,520 (+VAT)). In-depth Workplace Engagement data is available at an additional cost.

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

Process: Whole workforce survey, and huge written entry.

uk 100 best companies to work for trophy

Previously known as The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For List, the 2022 edition is no longer associated with the publication and is now called The UK’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, and includes a move to quarterly lists amongst other significant changes.

Best Workplace™ Awards by Great Place to Work

Great Place to Work UK is part of a global organisation which surveys approximately 10,000 organisations around the world each year and is the company behind the Best Workplaces™ Awards. The award is based upon its Trust Index© Employee Survey (2/3rd) and its Culture Audit© (1/3rd), which is a document about your organisations workplace culture completed by your HR team (this is where Boost can help). This year the Culture Audit© is solely focused on the cultural practices and programmes that organisations have put in place around COVID-19. 

Award and Certification offerings:

  • Great Place to Work-Certified
  • Excellence in Wellbeing
  • UK’s Best Workplaces
  • Best Workplaces for Women
  • Best Workplaces in Tech
  • Europe’s Best Workplaces
  • World’s Best Workplaces

Registration closes: Officially 3rd December 2021. However, 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. 

Eligible region: International, national, regional. 

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: https://www.greatplacetowork.co.uk/culture-consulting/about-best-workplaces/

Process: This year the Best Workplace™ programme recognition process is in two steps:

  1. The first step is for organisations to take the employee Trust Index© survey and submit their Culture Audit©.
  2. If they hit the 65% Trust Index© threshold they will automatically be Great Place to Work-Certified™, no matter their size category. Then as the next step, based off both the Trust Index© score and Culture Audit© submission they will have an opportunity to be named a Best Workplace™ on a national, regional and global level.
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). This year the focus of the case study should be on gender equality and / or you responded to the increased challenges facing women in the context of COVID-19.

Entry deadline: 17th December 2021

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.

Link: https://www.bitc.org.uk/the-times-top-50-employers-for-women/

Process: There is no survey here – all the marks are for a “self-nomination” written entry. 

best places to work women

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:

The Inspiring Workplace Awards

For the previous five years these were known as The Employee Engagement Awards. However, for the sixth year they have gone through a rebrand with a shift in focus. These global awards provide a platform for great places to work and the roles within them to gain recognition.

Entry deadline: Final deadline 8th April 2021 (EMEA, North America) 16th June 2021 (Australasia). 

Eligible regions: EMEA (including UK), North America and Australasia editions.  

Typical entry fees: £100/$100 for early bird. £165/$200 for standard deadline and £250/$250 for late entries. 

Links: EMEA https://www.inspiring-workplaces.com/awards/emea/ North America https://www.inspiring-workplaces.com/awards/north-america/ Australasia https://www.inspiring-workplaces.com/awards/australasia/

Process: Written entry.

The UK Employee Experience Awards

This scheme is now well-established and increasingly popular. Boost employees have often acted as judges on these awards and can testify to the robustness of the second stage of judging – the face-to-face element, which returns in 2022 as a live event in London, having previously shifted to a virtual format due to the pandemic.

Entry deadline: 25th February 2022

Eligible region: UK

Typical entry fees: Early bird £349.00 + VAT per entry, regular £429 + VAT with discounts for additional categories.

Link: https://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 (19th May 2022).

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: 8th June 2022 entry deadline or 7th July 2022 with a late fee. 

Eligible region: International

Typical costs: Between $255 and $480 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.

best place to work

Best Places to Work Awards

These US-based awards run by the Business Intelligence Group are open to international entry. The scheme uses the very true tagline ‘Life’s a lot better when you like where you work ‘ and recognises employers who help their employees accelerate their careers, knowledge and performance. This year sees the introduction of a concise employee survey based on the principles of Net Promoter Scores (NPS) aimed at measuring satisfaction and engagement.  

Entry deadline: 17th December 2021

Eligible region: International

Typical costs: $799

Link: https://www.bintelligence.com/best-places-to-work/

Process: Employee survey with brief company profile. 

Company Culture Awards

Company culture is the foundation of any business, it is key to vision, productivity, innovation and growth – and these relatively new awards aim to recognise the companies that are changing employee culture and the way we work for the better. There are three regional editions available for the UK, Europe and US and categories include workplace mental health campaigns, diversity and inclusion, wellbeing and education programs.   

Entry deadline: 4th February 2022 (UK), 6th May 2022 (Europe), 12th November 2021 (US)

Eligible region: UK, Europe, US. 

Typical entry fees: £185/$260

Links: UK https://companycultureawards.co.uk/ Europe https://europeancompanycultureawards.com/ US https://uscompanycultureawards.com/ 

Process: Written entry. 

Top Employer Institute

This is an ongoing certification process recognising excellence in people practices from around the world. To be eligible for participation, your organisation must have at least 250 local or 2,500 international employees, as well as advanced, formalised HR practices. The HR Best Practices Survey looks at over 600 people practices and is based on 10 topics which cover key HR themes including talent strategy, learning and development, performance management and overall culture.  

Entry deadline: Ongoing certification, but survey opens in May and closes September/October time. 

Eligible region: International (with regional editions)

Typical entry fees: TBC but varies depending on company size.

Link: https://www.top-employers.com/en/

Process: Survey

Glassdoor – Best Places to Work

Employees have spoken! Glassdoor is one of the world’s biggest jobs and recruiting sites with 50 million users a month in countries around the world. They have an extensive company review section where all the reviews are left by employees themselves. The Best Places to Work is a ranking of the top 50 companies based on employee reviews in that particular country.   

Entry deadline: Ongoing 

Eligible region: Multiple country editions around the world

Typical entry fees: N/A

Link: https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Award/Best-Places-to-Work-UK-LST_KQ0,22.htm

Process: Employee reviews

What now?

Do any of these make you think “that’s us”? If so, then I recommend you let us help create your written submission and/or evidence your stories. 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.

Boost Evaluation – get help evidencing your award entries 

Saying you are a great place to work and proving it are very different things indeed. Whilst a couple of the awards listed involve employee surveys, the majority don’t, yet this data is vital to ensure your entry stands out. Luckily we can help here too. Through our award-winning sister company Boost Evaluation we can offer a range of services, including employee engagement surveys, research etc. to help evidence your award entries. To find out more about these and our other evaluation services please visit the Boost Evaluation website.

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 1,500 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 Awards.

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