Quick facts

About ARUP

The pioneering ENGINEER Ove Arup set up his business in London in 1946. Within 30 years, the organisation’s reputation had become truly global thanks in part to the completion of the Sydney Opera House. Owned in trust for its employees, the company has grown into an international consultancy with a wide-ranging portfolio of work and a huge number of specialists operating in 35 different countries.

Mentoring is seen as a key component to Arup’s success. So far, more than 100 of its directors have attended three-day coaching workshops and have been encouraged to use skills acquired there to get the best out of their teams. The firm also gives financial support for work-related qualifications and offers time off for study, in addition to job-shadowing and internal management training.

In our survey, staff report that their jobs are good for personal growth, with a 77% positive score, and say that experience gained will be valuable in the future (78%). Arup returns to our list this year after last appearing in 2009.

The consultancy gets it highest overall ranking of 22nd nationally in the Giving Something Back category. The firm’s 3,561 employees in the UK are very active in fundraising and the company supports their endeavours through contributions from its Ove Arup Partnership Charitable Trust. To further recognise such volunteering enterprise there is a biannual competition that rewards offices that raise the most money per head. Prizes are cash donations to local community projects of the winner’s choosing.

Profit and budgets aren’t the only things driving Arup, say staff (72%, a top-10 result) — it also has a strong social conscience (81%) and encourages charitable activities (83%).

The firm’s commitment to sustainability is outlined in its policies and embraced personally by employees. OvaGreen is a corporate initiative that supports efforts to reduce environmental impacts. Members meet on a regular basis to discuss practical solutions and to support events such as ride-to-work day. Staff say Arup genuinely cares about the environment (80%,) which contributes to their pride in the company (84%).

www.arup.com


What is it like to work for ARUP

Personal Growth
Personal Growth
The best example of how Arup supports employee development is related to the training the leaders receive in the development of their coaching skills. The reason that Arup have chosen this example is because this investment makes an impact right the way through their business. To date over 100 (70%) of their Directors have attended an intensive 3 day Coaching Mastery workshop including all of their region board members and have been encouraged to use these skills to get the best from their people. It is reported that this programme is promoting the development of initiative taking in their people because the coaching approach is encouraging a more empowered response. Additionally coaching as a prominent leadership style relies on the quality of questions the leaders ask. Obviously what follows is the reality and perception that the majority their leaders listen versus instruct. Also as the coaching training places a strong focus on self-awareness it means the leaders are instrumental in nurturing a feedback culture that is so essential for people to develop. Each year and even during difficult times Arup have maintained or increased their investment in this programme. The Directors involved take pride in their coaching skills and take some post programme supervision in order to keep their skills honed. In addition they have started to broaden the population who are trained dependent on their developing others' responsibility.

Giving Something Back
Giving Something Back
Each of Arup's regions has established a small number of strategic partnerships with charities that enable them to provide an ongoing programme of support through a combination of cash and time donations. They aim to maximise the impact of these partnerships by aligning their skills, knowledge and interests with each charity’s mission, and with their immediate and longer-term needs. In the UK those strategic partners are: The Prince’s Trust - Fairbridge Programme; Habitat for Humanity; Engineering Development Trust; RedR UK; Engineers Without Borders; Bridges to Prosperity.

My Company
My Company
In response to feedback from the Working at Arup survey 2010 Arup carried out a review of their performance management processes. They held workshops with their people to understand their views on the current approach and how they could improve this. As a result of these workshops they dramatically changed the Appraisal review process to move away from a paper driven approach, to one which focused on the importance of the conversation and dialogue that takes place in the appraisal meeting. They also decided to highlight the benefits of receiving a broad range of feedback during an appraisal meeting. Arups process now encourages Appraisers and Appraisers to seek feedback from colleagues, managers, team members and clients prior to the appraisal meeting which is then discussed during the meeting. To help support this change Arup delivered workshops for Appraisers on how to gather feedback and deliver feedback effectively. The workshops focused on the skills needed to do this and gave Appraiser the opportunity to practice their skills in a role play situation. They have received positive feedback from their people on the impact this change to the Appraisal has had on their view of how as an organisation they manage performance.

Learn more about the 8 factors of workplace engagement here

Benefits:

  • Gym
    Gym

    On-site gym or subsidised gym memberships

  • Childcare
    Childcare

    On-site nursery or vouchers

  • Pensions
    Pensions

    Companies offering a final salary or non-contributory pension scheme

  • Long Service
    Long Service

    40% of employees with more than 5 years' service

  • Dental Insurance
    Dental Insurance

    Dental insurance offer to all employees

Company Statistics

  • Staff Turnover:

    12%

  • UK sites:

    14

  • Staff:

    3561

  • Average Age:

    38

  • Earning £35,000+:

    56%

  • Male : Female:

    69% / 31%

Accreditation

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Start your engagement journey today and find out what you need to do to earn a Best Companies accreditation or a place on the Best Companies lists.