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Countryside Properties named one of the top 100 Best Companies To Work For

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3 March 2003

Countryside Properties has been named by the Sunday Times as one of top '100 Best Companies To Work For 2003' in the annual research into employee satisfaction in the UK. Indeed, the Group was only developer listed in the biggest and most comprehensive survey of the British workplace ever undertaken.

The views of employees are by far the most important factor in the research and their opinions contributed 80% towards the final rankings with the balance made up of an evaluation of the Group's policies, processes and services.

The researchers commented, 'Countryside Properties builds quality homes – and a solid base for its staff. A market leader in affordable housing and urban regeneration, the firm, based in Brentwood, Essex, has an annual turnover of £456m with 912 directly employed staff, of whom 79% believe they make a valuable contribution to the company.

"Working at Countryside Properties is both challenging and rewarding," says one employee. "You are comprehensively trained, fully supported and highly valued." The researchers continued, 'All employees are encouraged to have an annual personal development review with their managers and 76% feel supported by managers when they need to learn new skills. The firm has a training budget of £359,425 and an extensive training programme.'

'Some 73% of staff surveyed feel their managers talk openly and honestly with them. Employees are heard, too; the firm's vision statement was written by the staff and was approved by the board without amendment.'

The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For is backed by the Department of Trade and Industry. Patricia Hewitt, Trade and Industry Secretary comments, "Many factors contribute to a company's success. Too often, however, the people factor is overlooked. The Sunday Times list shows what can be achieved when companies invest in every aspect of staff development and organisation."

Editor's Notes:

A detailed 158-question company survey was distributed to all participating companies. This sought data on policies, processes, recruitment, communication, and services and facilities. These elements contributed 20% towards the final company rankings.

The other 80% comes from employee input. The views of 47,022 employees were gathered across all participating companies, of whom 23,640 worked for the top 100 companies. A minimum of 250 surveys were distributed in each company to a randomly selected group of employees. The employee survey contained 65 questions, measuring eight equally-weighted workplace "factors", identified from extensive research in the UK as being fundamental to a person's experience of their workplace. The eight areas cover: company leadership, immediate managers, personal growth, wellbeing, immediate colleagues, giving something back, feelings towards the company and fair dealing over pay and benefits.

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Information correct as at 03/03/2003