What makes a good employer?

February 13, 2012, 2:58 PM GMT+0

Good pay and working environment more important than big brand name, say UK adults

A large majority of UK adults believe that a good working environment and good pay is the best test of a good employer, and more important than a well-known brand name, our poll has found.

While cutting-edge technology companies Google and Apple have won out (among those who state a company) as the companies most would like to work for, the majority of respondents said they care more about having a good working environment than a great brand name.

  • 82% say a good working environment is what makes a good employer
  • Closely followed by good pay and a benefits package (81%)
  • Over three-quarters (76%) of the survey’s participants say it is important that an employer should offer a good work-life balance; this proportion remains fairly constant across all the age groups surveyed, from 18-24 year olds (75%) to people over 55 (75%)
  • Training and development opportunities (65%) also feature high up on the wish-list
  • 47% believe that good leadership is a key factor, and 41% want 'a good culture' and strong company values

Who would you like to work for?

The poll for Croner, business and provider of workplace advice arm of firm Wolters Kluwer, asked 2,133 UK adults, who were either working or currently unemployed, to state which one company they would most like to be employed by.

  • Google is mentioned most often (81 times) by UK adults and Apple isn’t far behind (80 mentions)
  • John Lewis also features with 72 mentions
  • Virgin was given 62 mentions
  • The BBC (55 mentions) was also seen as an attractive employer
  • Perhaps surprisingly in the current climate, the NHS also features high on the most-favoured list

A well-known brand

Despite the apparent desire to work for high-profile companies, not many of those surveyed think working for a well-known name necessarily guarantees a good employer, though men seem to value a well-known brand more than women.

  • 27% of respondents said that they would like to be a part of an innovative company
  • Just 11% think that a great brand makes a good company
  • Although more men than women think a great brand is important (14% vs 8%)

Croner’s managing director, Andy Hague, believes that it’s no coincidence that the companies named in the survey are successful in their own right, and that people would work for them if they had the opportunity.

'Being a good employer is something these businesses have worked hard at,' he said. 'Putting the needs of the workforce at the heart of their organisations has a significant effect on their success. It singles them out as employers of choice.'

See the survey details and full results here