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

A leap of 37 places up our list this year speaks volumes for the way leading business law firm Olswang treats its 580 employees. Staff at the London and Reading-based firm say it is run on strong values and principles, giving a 71% positive score. They believe that colleagues go out of their way to help one another (75%) and are proud to work for the organisation (80%). More than half of Olswang employees earn at least £55,000, and everyone has performance-related pay. There is private healthcare and dental cover for the entire workforce, as well as childcare vouchers and life assurance. Annual health screenings are supported by an occupational health programme and the firm's own doctor. Subsidised gym membership and free massages are also available. Employees agree that they are not so under pressure that it affects their performance or their concentration (both 72%) and say their health is not suffering because of work (75%). A Random Acts of Kindness programme allows staff to expect the unexpected, such as free breakfasts or lunch, as well as other free services such as shoe shining, manicures or head massages. Employees say they are happy with their salary and benefits (67%) and feel they are paid fairly for what they do relative to others within the organisation (66%). Personal development needs are met with on-the-job learning, and management and leadership training. The firm is in the process of developing an Olswang management course, which can be topped up to an MBA. Staff do not find their jobs boring (70%), say that work is stimulating (75%) and think their careers are good for their personal growth (77%). A recycled stationery scheme and switch-off campaign have been introduced, fair trade goods with biodegradable packaging are available in the canteen and the company employs green taxi firms. Olswang also recycles about 77% of its waste. The company became a founding member of Camden's Climate Change Alliance in order to achieve emission reduction targets, and to support other businesses in their endeavours to do the same. Its staff are also encouraged to spend more than three hours per month undertaking pro bono and volunteering activities. Employees believe their managers run the organisation based on sound moral principles (69%), say that profit is not the only thing driving the business (61%), and think that Olswang does a lot to protect the environment (81%, a score bettered by just four other companies). Managers meet with their teams regularly to provide consistent support and communication. Staff say they have confidence in the leadership skills of their managers (75%), that their leaders regularly express appreciation for good work (72%), and say that teams and colleagues care for one another (81%). With a hefty social budget of £600,000, Olswang employees enjoy company weekends abroad and regular team-building events. They say they love working for the organisation (73%) and agree that their colleagues are fun (80%).

Featured Workplace Factors

My Team

82% of staff agreed

The experience I gain from this job is valuable for my future

Partners are encouraged to give regular thanks and timely feedback. Staff have regular mentor meetings to discuss work and career development. There is a firm wide bonus so that staff can earn an additional performance related bonus when climate permits and budget is exceeded. Legal staff are also on a performance related career structure so that promotion decisions are made on the basis of merit and individual contribution.

My Company

70% of staff agreed

I have confidence in the leadership skills of the senior management team

A technical training programme is provided for each practice group in the firm. These programmes typically involve a mix of new legal developments, refreshers on core areas of black letter law and practice and updates on key industry sectors. The format of this training range from traditional talks, to workshops based on case studies and where appropriate, more informal group discussions and debriefs. A comprehensive range of skills training sessions is provided within the Client and Business Development Skills area to help support the overall strategy for client and business development in the firm. Courses cover content such as effective client relationship management, client listening, pitch training and creating new business opportunities.

Personal Growth

84% of staff agreed

My work is an important part of my life

Olswang work in genuine partnership with charities raising money, providing pro bono legal advice and volunteering. They encourage absolutely all of their people to get involved in their community investment work as although they are a law firm Olswang understand that all their people have skills to offer. They have a huge level of engagement in their CR programme with 58% of their people actively involved.

Benefits

Holidays

Companies offering a minimum of 26 days annual leave to all employees.

Long Service

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

Maternity

Companies offering at least 10 weeks’ full pay or generous alternative.

List Positions

National Ranking
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