This company has been officially named as the best place to work in Milton Keynes

The results of the Best Companies to Work for list 2021 may surprise you

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 5:32 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 5:34 pm

A family-owned jewelley retailers at Central Milton Keynes has won top position in a national 100 Best Companies to Work For list.

Beaverbrooks was awarded the accolade for its successful handling of the pandemic year, including its people-centric approach to business that put the safety of colleagues and customers first, protected jobs and incomes, and safeguarded the future of the company.

The national Beaverbrooks chain has featured prominently in the list for 18 consecutive years and is the only organisation in Best Companies’ history to be awarded a three-star accreditation for workplace engagement for 16 of those years.

Anna Blackburn and Mark Adelstone from Beaverbrooks with the award

Despite its 72 stores being closed for half of the company’s financial year, the business was able to retain strong levels of profit in 2020, and has seen positive trading in 2021 with sales soaring since stores reopened on 12 April.

Strong sales performance and careful planning enabled the business to retain jobs for all 900+ colleagues, as well as paying Christmas bonuses, guaranteeing 100 per cent salaries during the first lockdown and enhancing furlough pay above the 80 per cent government rate since June.

The company has also retained its charitable values, donating £1.5million to charities throughout the pandemic via the Beaverbrooks Charitable Trust – a crucial part of its mission to ‘enrich lives’, which simply means making a positive difference to the world we live in. Since the year 2000, the company has donated more than £16.3m to over 750 charities.

Anna Blackburn, managing director of Beaverbrooks, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be named as the number one business in the Best Companies to Work For list 2021, as well as the accolade for Retail’s Best Company to Work For which is truly an honour to receive. It’s been a challenging year of adapting to change, but we are incredibly proud of how we responded as a company.

“2019 was our centenary year and the most profitable in our history, so to be able to build on this success whilst navigating a pandemic and retaining our core company ethos and values, is an incredible achievement for us.

“Treating our people well has always been part of our DNA, but we’ve elevated our focus over the past year, showing that being a great workplace and treating people well can directly impact the bottom line – even in the midst of a global pandemic.

“We are immensely proud of what we’ve achieved as a business over the last year. By respecting our heritage and values, staying true to our purpose of ‘Enriching Lives,’ which simply means making a positive difference to the world we live in, and adapting to the continually changing retail landscape, we’ve been able to maintain a very strong position for the company and we’re excited to see what the future will hold.”

Now in its 21st year, the Best Companies to Work For list is described as the most comprehensive guide to workplace engagement in Britain. Employees of all competing firms are asked to anonymously answer questions around eight factors of workplace engagement, including leadership, wellbeing, personal growth opportunities and relationships with their manager and team.

Other top employers in Milton Keynes include Santander, which was selected for the second consecutive year as one of the world’s 25 best workplaces last year.

More than 10,000 organizations across 92 countries were considered and were judged on their employee experiences and creation of workplaces that are fair and equal for all.

Another company to gain recognition is Network Rail, which was ranked 29th in the Glassdoor 2021 Employees' Choice Awards.