The top 25 UK companies for senior leadership revealed by Glassdoor

Strong senior leadership is one of the most important factors for employee satisfaction. But according to employees, which UK companies are getting management right? And what are the warning signs of a toxic leadership culture?

Today Glassdoor, the platform for insights about jobs and companies, reveals the UK’s Top Companies for Senior Leadership. The 25 on the list are ranked on the input of UK-based employees who voluntarily provide anonymous feedback about their company’s senior leadership, along with insights into their job, work environment and employer over the past year.

The pandemic transformed the workplace, forcing senior leaders to redefine how they run their companies and support their people. The list recognises the employers who rose to this challenge.

“Covid-19 tore up the traditional rules of management, and it is the companies that embraced the changes this offered and focused on employee experience that are recognised on Glassdoor’s Top UK Companies for Senior Leadership list,” comments Lauren Thomas, Glassdoor EMEA Economist.

“Inspirational senior leadership is a sign of a united company with an engaged, motivated and satisfied workforce. The companies on our list share a transparent approach to management and offer strong culture and values.”

The UK’s ten top companies for Senior Leadership are:

  1. VetPartners Limited (4.7 rating out of 5)
  2. GTB (4.6)
  3. ServiceNow (4.6)
  4. Awin (4.5)
  5. Taboola (4.5)
  6. Robert Walters (4.5)
  7. MongoDB (4.5)
  8. Randstad Sourceright (4.5)
  9. Softcat(4.5)
  10. Octopus Energy (4.5)

The complete list of 25 companies includes employers across 13 different industries. Veterinary healthcare provider VetPartners Limited claimed the number one spot. Headquartered in York, VetPartners Limited employs several thousand people around 550 sites across the UK.

Tech is the most represented industry on the list. The nine tech companies placed include Awin (#4), Auto Trader UK (#14) and ServiceNow (#3), which was also ranked #1 on Glassdoor’s Best Places To Work in 2022 earlier this year. Tech company Salesforce is the only employer to be recognised on Glassdoor’s top senior leadership rankings for the UK, France and Germany.

Other sectors on the list include utilities (#10 Octopus Energy), construction (Barratt Developments (#11), and hospitality (#19 Dishoom) – indicating that great senior leadership is found across a range of industries.

Across the approximately 2.2 million employers reviewed on Glassdoor, the average rating for Senior Leadership is 3.4. The full list of 25 companies and sample anonymous employee reviews are available in Notes to Editors.

Why is good senior leadership valuable?

The Glassdoor Economics Research team discovered that the quality of senior leadership is one of the most critical drivers of employee satisfaction in the UK and ranks above salary, work-life balance and career opportunities.

Furthermore, the research found employees are twice as likely to talk about the failings of leadership, rather than sing their praises. Negative use of the word ‘management’ appears in 13 percent of all employee reviews in contrast to positive uses, which are only in 6.3 percent of reviews.

The impact of toxic leadership is also felt more intensely by workers. Forty-four percent of employee reviews with low ratings for senior leadership mention ‘management’. In contrast, those rating their company highly for senior leadership mention the top team in just 15 percent of reviews.

What does excellent leadership look like?

Analysing the anonymous reviews of nearly 370,000 employees, the Glassdoor Economics Research team learned that workers describe strong senior leadership in five ways:

  • Supportive
  • Friendly
  • Approachable
  • Flexible
  • Dependable.

In reviews of weak leadership, employees revealed the following traits:

  • Bullying
  • Micro-management
  • Rudeness
  • Neglectful
  • Unappreciative
  • Directionless
  • Disconnection
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