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Best Companies Best Improver Special Award Logo

Best Improver Special Awards

Recognising and showcasing the very Best Improvers

Presented to the organisation that has made the greatest improvement in their b-Heard survey scores since last year, the ‘Special Award’ for Best Improver demonstrates a commitment to continuous learning, a willingness to make progress and a true investment in a culture with people at its heart.

The winner of the Best Improver award is determined by calculating the overall scores from questions in the b-Heard survey comparative to the previous year, with the organisation with the highest overall improvement in score in each size category receiving the accolade.

The winner is revealed during an annual ceremony each November, in conjunction with the publication of the final League Table of the Best Companies to Work For.

The 2021 Winners

Small Companies
Best Improver
Special Award Winner
Mid-Sized Companies
Best Improver
Special Award Winner
Large Companies
Best Improver
Special Award Winner
Big Companies
Best Improver
Special Award Winner

The 2021 winners in focus...

The most recent recipients of the Best Improver Award showcased the importance of truly learning from the results of a employee engagement survey and the benefits of action planning around the findings.

The winner in the small category, EKM Systems, got the full team together after its last survey to let them know the results and decide on areas that needed work. After this, it gave special attention to improving communication with staff. During the pandemic, the leadership team made sure their schedules included time to talk to their teams, such as regular morning ‘hangout calls’ to discuss work challenges and successes.

In the mid-sized category, OneFile, knew that effective communication needs to be two-way, so it collated the results of surveys, conversations and feedback, to allow suggestions to be implemented. During the pandemic, it stepped up ways to keep in touch with staff and informal communication opportunities between the leadership team and employees were set up, including virtual celebrations, book clubs, online fitness class and themed interactive chat groups.

The winner of the large category Hickory’s Smokehouse made staff welfare and giving them a fair deal its priorities after reviewing staff comments in the last survey. First, it changed working times by introducing a maximum shift of 10 hours, which has meant fewer staff are working over-long hours. Then it got to work on boosting team benefits to make sure everyone was getting a fair deal, with the implementation of a ‘Tip Jar’ – an initiative that split service charge on customers’ bills and led to an increase in the hourly wage of employees.

In the big category, The Hut Group listened to requests from staff and leaders for better resources to do their jobs properly and beefed up the training it offers. The company set up a training programme for managers and launched an online learning management system to give staff access to training. Also, an overhaul of the benefits and rewards system led to enhanced maternity and paternity pay, company sick pay, an uncapped benefits package, flexible working policies and the ability to buy additional leave.

Best Companies Best Improver Special Award Logo

In good company...

Previous winners of the Best Improver Award include Vodafone (2019), which scooped the accolade after improving in every area of engagement – not least, however, leadership. The organisation’s CEO at the time publicly celebrated over 5,000 of its employees in a special radio broadcast across the UK – something that demonstrated recognition of a job well done.

In 2020, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce won the Award thanks to improvements made across the board and in every factor. Contributing to this success was the fact it refurbished its offices to give employees a great space to work, whilst also reducing its impact on the environment.

Benefits of a Special Award...

Being awarded the Special Award for Best Improver is a true sign that you are prepared to not only listen to your employees – but act on their feedback to improve their happiness at work.

It also demonstrates a commitment to the engagement journey and a willingness to continually learn from, and adapt to, people’s thoughts and feelings.

Best Improvers

The winners of the 2021 Best Improver Special Award were invited to discuss the initiatives that earned them the accolade during the first ever edition of Best Companies Live. Click to watch the video of the highlights:

Recent Winners

Some recent Special Award winners include...

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Other special awards

Want to find out more about our other Special Awards, the winners and what goes into winning them...