WEDNESDAY 5 MAY 2021 2:12 PM


Last week, LinkedIn announced the 25 best companies for employee growth, while Great Place to Work released its list of best workplaces in the UK. The lists use different methodology but both celebrate employee engagement and recognise those organisations that went the extra mile this past year.

On Wednesday 28 April, LinkedIn released its list of Top Companies 2021, highlighting the 25 best workplaces for employee growth in the UK.

The list launched for the fifth time using LinkedIn data to go beyond external brand management. Only companies with over 500 employees were eligible and reductions in staff could be no higher than 10%. Alongside excluding LinkedIn and its parent company Microsoft, the list also excludes staffing and recruiting firms, educational institutes and government agencies.

The new methodology used seven pillars, each revealing an important element of career progression. It considered ability to advance, skills growth, company stability, external opportunity, company affinity, gender diversity and educational background.

This list is a valuable resource for prospective professionals looking for job roles and for organisations to attract the best incoming talent. The top three companies for employee growth were as follows:


The financial service company was praised for efficiently establishing a new remote working system while still putting the focus on diversity and inclusion in 2020. It also released its first report on establishing new ways to measure and improve representation of women and underrepresented ethnic minority groups.

2. Tesco

2020 saw supermarkets employees step into the frontline during the pandemic. Tesco hired 50,000 temporary staff and created 16,000 permanent roles this year to support the growth of online shopping. It also made mental wellbeing tools freely available to employees and ensured effective communication lines between line managers to keep staff informed.


The banking group quickly improved flexibility during the pandemic, adopting a hybrid model of working across the country. It also focused on implementing and improving its technology to help the bank’s website and call centre teams to handle the increased volume of inquiries.

Following behind in the top ten, were accounting firm PwC UK, management consultants Deloitte UK, Sainsbury’s retail, EY accounting, Upwork Internet provider and BBC broadcast media. See the full LinkedIn list of Top Companies 2021 here.

Sian Maragna, chief data officer at PwC, says, "Delighted to see PwC UK in the Top 5 of the 2021 LinkedInTopCompanies ranking, acknowledging the firm's commitment to our development and wellbeing, especially as the world of work continues to change.”

Meanwhile, Great Place to Work announced its 2021 UK’s Best Workplaces publication last Thursday 29 April. This 30-page report looks at the best places for employee engagement and compares trends in employer brand management.

Effective communication, creativity and innovation, wellbeing and inspiring leadership were some of the most prominent themes this year.

The Best Workplaces’ methodology consists of employee surveys and an audit into each organisation’s management and HR practices. Great Place to Work surveyed over 100 million employees globally since launching in 1992.

The detailed report reflects on businesses’ handling of the Covid-19 crisis and how this impacted the attraction and retention of talent.

Best Workplaces 2021 categorises businesses into number of employees. In the super large category, for those brands with over 1000+ employees, the top three companies to work for were:

1. Hilton

The hospitality company developed several innovations to manage and recover from the pandemic. It launched an internal strategy called ‘Hilton CleanStay’ in collaboration with Lysol and Dettol. It activated Team Member Assistance funds to help employees affected by the virus. It also reconfigured its recruitment engine to connect team members affected by furloughs and layoffs with job opportunities within Hilton. It implemented an employee recognition scheme alongside community resource groups.

2. Cisco

Technology firm, Cisco, was already equipped to work from home. It increased its capacity to 140,000 remote employees and contractors within 10 days. It also improved employee access to equipment and IT support to enable a smooth transition. Cisco focused on employee wellbeing with regular virtual check-ins and input from mental and medical health guests.

3. Salesforce

Salesforce quickly initiated its global crisis and regional incident management team to address the impact of Covid-19 on business operations. It created resources for staff around personal health, remote working and cyber security hygiene. It expanded employee benefits including family care leave, Covid-19 related pay-outs and isolation support.

Following in the top ten list, were package and freight company DHL, financial services and insurance group Admiral, internet service provider SAP, non-profit Home Group, financial services and insurance provider Principality, Softcat IT and Gowling WLG legal group. Find the full list of Best Workplaces 2021 here.

Claire Terry, business development manager at Gowling WLG, says, "I remember reading the very first list and thinking that I'd like to work there. Just over a year later, in 2001, that became a reality. Very pleased that almost 20 years later I'm still there."

The LinkedIn and Great Places to Work lists measure employee engagement using varying scales and methodology, but both these accolades are extremely valuable for organisations to boost internal brand identity and reputation.

It celebrates those companies that have looked after its employees this past year and offered support, innovation and opportunity for growth despite the pandemic, which will therefore attract and maintain the best talent in the industry.