We want to help make the world a better workplace

It’s a pretty lofty ambition, but it’s something we really care about. We care because we truly believe that people who are fully engaged at work feel happier and more secure, which makes them more productive.

To achieve this, we live by our four key principles:


Care about what you do, how you do it and who you do it for


Take what you do seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously


Take 100% responsibility


See the best in yourself, see the best in others

Our History

Best Companies is the brainchild of our founder and CEO Jonathan Austin. He was inspired by a Servant Leadership conference in the USA in 2000, where he attended a seminar with the top 2 companies to work for in America at the time – Synovis Financial and TD Industries. They talked about how they attributed their over-achievement as a business to the level of engagement they had within their workforce.

As the owner of several businesses, Jonathan wanted to create a true measure of workplace engagement so he could learn how to build a happier, healthier workforce. The first step was to develop a world-class methodology, which he did in collaboration with academics at the University of Plymouth.

With The Sunday Times on board as a publishing partner, we launched the first list in 2001, and have continued to grow and develop ever since. We now have the people in place to not only measure true engagement, but to improve it. And with improvements in the way the data is reported on, we can look into businesses in a more detailed and effective way than any other organisation.

Our lists and accreditations are now recognised as the standard in workplace engagement, with specific categories for small organisations, medium-sized organisations, large organisations and not-for-profit organisations and one dedicated to housing associations.

Today we work with some of the world’s best-known organisations: measuring, improving and recognising great workplace engagement.