Get answers to the most frequent questions we're asked

Who are Best Companies?

Best Companies are an independent research company specialising in measuring, recognising and improving Workplace Engagement in all types of organisations. Our Star Accreditation has become the standard measure of Workplace Engagement in the UK, recognising high performing organisations and managers. Alongside our Accreditation award, our survey data is used to determine The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For and Best Not for Profit Organisations to Work For, lists. The wealth of employee response data we hold creates precise detailed benchmarking opportunities for organisations that we measure.

What do we do?

Best Companies helps organisations transform by measuring, recognising and improving employee engagement.

A scientifically rigorous 8 factor methodology has been developed and is utilised to provide a precise measure of how employees feel; their relationships with their immediate manager and their organisation as a whole. A range of surveying techniques are employed for data collection. Powerful analysis then transforms this data into meaningful information using state of the art reporting tools and dissemination techniques.

How do Best Companies do that?

Employees complete our ‘b-heard’ employee survey which is available on-line and in paper format. Invitations to complete a survey can then be distributed in the following ways:

Invitation via email (recommended)

You simply supply a unique email address for each employee. We will then email a link to our on-line survey along with login details to allow them to complete it on line.

Login by post

You supply us with the names and locations of each employee requiring a survey. We then send out a sealed payslip style envelope containing a unique code and the details required for them to complete our on-line survey. Employees will require computer access so they can enter the code and complete the survey online.

Paper Survey

We dispatch paper surveys along with pre-paid envelopes and a covering letter to be distributed to each employee. Once complete, employees can return their survey to us by post using the provided pre-paid envelope but they also have the option to complete the survey on-line using a unique code printed on each survey.

Why Best Companies?

The Best Companies survey results are presented in such a way for the Leadership team to gain a very clear understanding of what employees think of your company as a place to work. This will highlight areas of the organisation that are performing well and the areas requiring improvement. We offer the ability to benchmark the data and compare your company to similar organisations and even offer stretch benchmarks to show which areas need improvement to enable your organisation to move up to the next level.

What will be asked in the survey?

The survey consists of 70 employee engagement questions on a range of topics all around what it is like to work at your organisation. Questions range from how employees feel about the leader of the organisation, to their personal development opportunities and the people they work with.

Will survey answers be anonymous?

By feeding back results in amalgamated form rather than individually, Best Companies protects the anonymity of respondents.

Demographic data is used to identify patterns of engagement across a business, however this does not compromise anonymity. Other than the free text answers that reveal why they may think your company is a great place to work and what could make it better, we don’t feedback responses given in individual format. Answers to the two free text questions described above are fed back on an individual basis, however, no connection to any particular employee accompanies these responses other than their employment group e.g. sales, marketing, IT, Accounts etc.

How long does the employee survey take to complete?

Each survey should take around 15-20 minutes to complete.

Do employees have to complete the survey in one sitting?

No. They are able to revisit the survey until they submit it to Best Companies, or until the survey’s official close date.

If an employee has not received their online survey invitation, can another be forwarded to them?

Survey invitations should not be forwarded to any other employee as the demographic data will already have been pre-assigned to the survey. Additionally each survey code is only valid for the completion of one survey. Please contact Best Companies for any requirement for additional surveys.

What do we do if an employee deletes or can’t find their online survey invitation?

You can contact Best Companies and we will be able to resend the survey.

What does the survey consist of?

The front page of the employee survey requests demographic information such as the department the employee works in, age category, sex, and length of service.

(Completion of this section may not be necessary if their demographic data has been pre-populated).

The next pages contain a series of statements that are answered on a 7 point scale; strongly disagree, disagree, slightly disagree, neither agree nor disagree, slightly agree, agree or strongly agree. Statements can be positively phrased e.g. ‘I feel that my manager talks openly and honestly with me’ or negatively phrased e.g. ‘My manager does a lot of telling but not much listening’.

Following the engagement questions, employees are invited to submit written comments to two open free text questions.

  • What makes this a great workplace?
  • What would make this a better workplace?
Can an employee survey be traced back to an individual?

To gain a detailed accurate picture of an organisation, it is important that the anonymity of employees is maintained. Although there may be ways which would make it technically possible for Best Companies to retrieve the data from any one individual and link that back to the contact details of an employee, this would be counterproductive in maintaining the honesty of future responses. We therefore do not feedback individual survey responses to the engagement questions and we do not return raw survey data or data which links an individual to a particular response.

What is the barcode and survey number used for and can these be traced to an individual?

The survey number and barcode allow us at Best Companies to understand which organisation a survey has been returned from. It may also tell us more information such as the demographics of whom the survey was issued to. In order to ensure that our surveys have been distributed correctly and to allow us to resend surveys where an individual has failed to receive theirs, Best Companies maintains a link between a survey number and an individual. Best Companies do not pass this information back to the organisation being surveyed and no feedback that contains contact details or survey numbers is provided back to an organisation.

In addition to the above, as has already been stated, we do not return individual employees’ responses to our engagement questions to organisations.

If an employee needs help completing the survey, what can we do?

Please advise them to contact Best Companies on 01978 856100 or survey@b.co.uk and we will be able to help them.

What is the role of survey champions?

Their role is to promote awareness of the process, help people feel comfortable with the process, support and help employees where necessary and act as the all-important link between employees and Best Companies.

Are surveys available in Braille?

Not currently. However if an employee requires this please advise them to call Best Companies on 01978 856100 and we will be happy to complete the survey with the employee over the phone.

When does the employee survey close?

Surveys normally close two weeks after the agreed launch date, although this deadline may be extended if agreed between the organisation and Best Companies.

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