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So what makes a good place to work now?

Emma-Louise Jones, Ciphr

New research* reveals that most people (85%) can name at least three positive aspects that make the company that employs them a good place to work.

‘Good people / friendly employees’ was the top pick for two-fifths (40%) of the 1,006 Brits polled, with a further third citing good pay and job security (35% and 34% respectively).

Having a supportive manager is the fourth most important consideration for around a quarter of respondents, followed by a good employee benefits package (27% and 24% respectively).

Around one in five people also rated organisations which encourage flexible working and work-life balance, have a good industry-wide reputation, support employees’ wellbeing, and promote a safe and fair working environment, alongside diversity and inclusion.

Survey respondents were asked to share why they think their organisation is a good place to work. They could select as many or as few of the reasons that applied to them from a comprehensive, and randomised, list of 43 options (each person chose seven on average). Among the available options was a statement offering an opposing view for people who didn’t want to endorse their organisation as a good place to work.

Notably, only 6% of people admitted that there was ‘nothing’ about the company that employs them that made it a ‘good place to work’.

Even those looking for a change of employer were far more positive than negative. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of the people planning to change jobs this year, or already in the throes of doing so, gave at least three reasons why their organisation was a good place to work (and 53% named at least five reasons). Demonstrating that there’s usually many reasons – rarely just one – that determines why individuals join, stay, or leave an organisation.

The top 15 reasons why an organisation is a good place to work, ranked by popularity, are:

  • Good colleagues / friendly people (40%)
  • Good pay (35%)
  • Provides job security (34%)
  • Good / supportive managers (27%)
  • Good employee benefits / reward package (24%)
  • Encourages flexible working / work-life balance (21%)
  • Has a good reputation in its industry / sector (21%)
  • Supports its employees’ wellbeing (21%)
  • Promotes a safe, fair and healthy work environment (21%)
  • Promotes diversity and inclusion (20%)
  • Provides remote working options (19%)
  • Values and respects all employees equally (19%)
  • Has strong core values and purpose (19%)
  • Appreciates and recognises employees’ work fairly (18%)
  • Good career growth / advancement opportunities (17%)

Claire Williams, chief people officer at Ciphr, says: “I don’t think any employer should underestimate the importance and impact that the relationships that employees have with their colleagues can have on individual and team performance, morale, productivity, and even retention.

“At a basic level you are far more likely to work in a collaborative and engaging way with people you get on with, and there is a higher chance of enjoying your role and having a positive association with your employer, if your time is broadly filled with like-minded people.

“The social connectivity employees can find through their work also became more important throughout the pandemic, when everyone’s social circles reduced and many of us shifted to remote work. Many of us forged new and closer relationships with colleagues as we bonded over that shared experience and the personal challenges it brought.

“Building a workforce and hiring new employees based on common values and effective behaviours is a great place to start if you are looking to improve relationships between colleagues. However, this can also pose a risk in reducing or negatively impacting your organisation’s diversity. It is therefore prudent to take a measured approach if introducing any process or criteria when hiring and firing, where part of the goal is to create a more harmonious workforce. Employers should consider recognised and accredited screening methods or psychometric testing, for example, to avoid inadvertent discrimination.”

*Research by Ciphr

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