Officially a Very Good
Company to Work For

Officially a Very Good
Company to Work For

Officially an Outstanding
Company to Work For

Officially an Outstanding
Company to Work For

Officially a World Class
Company to Work For

Officially a World Class
Company to Work For

Officially a Good
Company to Work For

Officially a Good
Company to Work For

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9
Best Company to work for in the UK
th
Best Company
to work for

A WEEK-LONG OFFICE Olympics that featured speed typing, a treasure hunt and a putting tournament among the herculean activities proved to be one of Boots Opticians' more memorable team-building events last year. Even staff members with heavy workloads took the time to take part, realising the importance of forging closer bonds. Our 2011 Best Big Company to Work For scored highest this year for My Team questions, with a positive 78% score, surpassed by just one other big company. A group of 85 senior managers and office workers broke the ice recently with a speed dating-style event where staff had 45 seconds to share their name, job and key facts before changing partner. There is a strong sense of family within teams (77%) and people go out of their way to help colleagues (80%). Boots Opticians spent £2.4m on employee training in the past year and made level 2 NVQ programmes compulsory for all new recruits — thus creating more than 400 apprentices a year. Employees, four-fifths of whom are women, feel they can make a difference in the organisation (76%) and say work is stimulating (74%, two more top two scores). Women occupy about 70% of management posts. The company's mission, purpose and values are on display in branches and Andy Ferguson, the managing director, and bosses further down the chain frequently refer to the values in meetings. Staff feel that senior managers truly live the values of the organisation (73%) and that the business is run on a strong set of principles (75%). Employees are among the happiest in our survey for maintaining a balance between a good work-life balance (65%, ranking ninth) and their health is not suffering due to work (75%, seventh). What is expected of employees is made completely clear to them (78%) and people do not use intimidation to get what they want (71%). Although the average salary for optical consultants is just under £10,000, staff are generally happy with their pay and benefits (57%). People feel that their pay is fair for their responsibilities (55%). www.bootsopticians.com

Featured Workplace Factors

My Team

88% of staff agreed

My team is fun to work with

They have a passionate belief in supporting their colleagues and have faced numerous challenges since the merger of the two heritage businesses, each with their own training methods and practices. To further develop their customer service training, they knew they needed to radically change the way they developed the capability of their practice colleagues adopting not just a ‘Best of Both' but a ‘Better than Both' approach to the challenge. Historically D&A had operated a compulsory NVQ programme for all of its practice colleagues whilst Boots had adopted a less structured but customer-led approach. To best support their colleagues the decision was taken to retain the formal NVQ approach. They also decided to make the programmes increasingly flexible and fit for purpose in a fast moving sector. So last year they made the Level 2 NVQ apprenticeship programme compulsory for all new joins - 400 new apprentices each year with capacity to flex up to over 600, and to ensure a consistent training experience for all learners whether full time or part time, government funded or non funded. In the last year, with the mission to ensure successful take up of the NVQ programme, they have opened five new satellite or regional training centres across the country. These have been carefully sited to ensure that all colleagues are within reasonable travelling distance of a centre, and that their Optical Consultant population do not have to stay overnight. This is particularly important given the number of part-time colleagues and colleagues with families, for whom residential training is extremely difficult. The company have invested large amounts in facilities, equipment and staff for these centres and they have all been created with colleagues' personal needs in mind. They want to ensure all of their colleagues have the knowledge they need to succeed in their role and the opportunity to develop themselves personally while at work, and the apprenticeship programme is just one example of that.

My Company

85% of staff agreed

I believe I can make a valuable contribution to the success of this organisation

They have a passionate belief in supporting their colleagues and have faced numerous challenges since the merger of the two heritage businesses, each with their own training methods and practices. To further develop their customer service training, they knew they needed to radically change the way they developed the capability of their practice colleagues adopting not just a ‘Best of Both' but a ‘Better than Both' approach to the challenge. Historically D&A had operated a compulsory NVQ programme for all of its practice colleagues whilst Boots had adopted a less structured but customer-led approach. To best support their colleagues the decision was taken to retain the formal NVQ approach. They also decided to make the programmes increasingly flexible and fit for purpose in a fast moving sector. So last year they made the Level 2 NVQ apprenticeship programme compulsory for all new joins - 400 new apprentices each year with capacity to flex up to over 600, and to ensure a consistent training experience for all learners whether full time or part time, government funded or non funded. In the last year, with the mission to ensure successful take up of the NVQ programme, they have opened five new satellite or regional training centres across the country. These have been carefully sited to ensure that all colleagues are within reasonable travelling distance of a centre, and that their Optical Consultant population do not have to stay overnight. This is particularly important given the number of part-time colleagues and colleagues with families, for whom residential training is extremely difficult. The company have invested large amounts in facilities, equipment and staff for these centres and they have all been created with colleagues' personal needs in mind. They want to ensure all of their colleagues have the knowledge they need to succeed in their role and the opportunity to develop themselves personally while at work, and the apprenticeship programme is just one example of that.

Personal Growth

78% of staff agreed

This job is good for my own personal growth

They have a passionate belief in supporting their colleagues and have faced numerous challenges since the merger of the two heritage businesses, each with their own training methods and practices. To further develop their customer service training, they knew they needed to radically change the way they developed the capability of their practice colleagues adopting not just a ‘Best of Both' but a ‘Better than Both' approach to the challenge. Historically D&A had operated a compulsory NVQ programme for all of its practice colleagues whilst Boots had adopted a less structured but customer-led approach. To best support their colleagues the decision was taken to retain the formal NVQ approach. They also decided to make the programmes increasingly flexible and fit for purpose in a fast moving sector. So last year they made the Level 2 NVQ apprenticeship programme compulsory for all new joins - 400 new apprentices each year with capacity to flex up to over 600, and to ensure a consistent training experience for all learners whether full time or part time, government funded or non funded. In the last year, with the mission to ensure successful take up of the NVQ programme, they have opened five new satellite or regional training centres across the country. These have been carefully sited to ensure that all colleagues are within reasonable travelling distance of a centre, and that their Optical Consultant population do not have to stay overnight. This is particularly important given the number of part-time colleagues and colleagues with families, for whom residential training is extremely difficult. The company have invested large amounts in facilities, equipment and staff for these centres and they have all been created with colleagues' personal needs in mind. They want to ensure all of their colleagues have the knowledge they need to succeed in their role and the opportunity to develop themselves personally while at work, and the apprenticeship programme is just one example of that.

Benefits

Long Service

Companies where at least 40% of the staff have worked there for more than five years.

Women in Senior Management

At least 40% of senior managers are women.

List Positions

National Ranking
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Best Small Companies to work for in the UK
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9
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9
Best Big Companies to work for in the UK
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9
Best NFP Organisations to work for in the UK
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