UK’s top 25 companies for senior leadership revealed, as rated by employees

VetPartners Ltd has been ranked the UK’s #1 company for senior leadership, according to the latest analysis by Glassdoor, with 13 different industries represented on the list.

The list, compiled by Glassdoor economist Lauren Thomas, indicates that the technology companies on the list offer great culture and a good work-life balance, with tech now being the number one industry for work-life balance for the third year running.

The research also revealed that tech talent is in high demand, giving candidates more leverage in contract negotiations.

The survey also suggests that workers are twice as likely to talk about management when it’s poor, with anonymous employee comments such as “Neglectful, directionless and bullying” shared as part of compiling the study, indicating signs of toxic senior leadership.

Post-pandemic, it is widely acknowledged that the shared experience has transformed the workplace, forcing senior leaders to redefine how they run their companies and support their people. Glassdoor’s 25-strong list recognises those employers who best rose to the challenge.

“Covid-19 tore up the traditional rules of management and it is the companies that embraced the changes this offered and focused on employee experience that are recognised on Glassdoor’s ‘Top UK Companies for Senior Leadership’ list,” said Thomas.

“Inspirational senior leadership is a sign of a united company with an engaged, motivated and satisfied workforce. The companies on our list share a transparent approach to management and offer strong culture and values.”

The UK’s ten best companies for Senior Leadership are:

  1. VetPartners Limited (4.7 rating out of 5)
  2. GTB (4.6)
  3. ServiceNow (4.6)
  4. Awin (4.5)
  5. Taboola (4.5)
  6. Robert Walters (4.5)
  7. MongoDB (4.5)
  8. Randstad Sourceright (4.5)
  9. Softcat(4.5)
  10. Octopus Energy (4.5)

The complete list of 25 companies includes employers across 13 different industries. Veterinary healthcare provider VetPartners Limited claimed the #1 spot. Headquartered in York, VetPartners Limited employs several thousand people across 550 sites in the UK.

Tech is the most represented industry on the list. The nine tech companies placed include Awin (#4), Auto Trader UK (#14) and ServiceNow (#3), which was also ranked #1 on Glassdoor’s Best Places To Work in 2022 earlier this year. Tech company Salesforce is the only employer to be recognised on Glassdoor’s top senior leadership rankings for the UK, France and Germany.

Other sectors on the list include utilities (#10 Octopus Energy), construction (Barratt Developments (#11), and hospitality (#19 Dishoom), indicating that great senior leadership can be found across a range of industries.

Across the approximately 2.2 million employers reviewed on Glassdoor, the average rating for Senior Leadership is 3.4.

The Glassdoor Economics Research team discovered that the quality of senior leadership is one of the most critical drivers of employee satisfaction in the UK and ranks above salary, work-life balance and career opportunities.

Furthermore, the research found employees are twice as likely to talk about the failings of leadership, rather than sing their praises. Negative use of the word ‘management’ appeared in 13 per cent of all employee reviews, in contrast to positive uses which were only in 6.3 per cent of reviews.

The impact of toxic leadership is also felt more intensely by workers. Forty-four per cent of employee reviews with low ratings for senior leadership mention ‘management’. In contrast, those rating their company highly for senior leadership mention the top team in just 15 per cent of reviews.

Analysing the anonymous reviews of nearly 370,000 employees, the Glassdoor team learned that workers predominantly describe strong senior leadership in five ways: supportive, friendly, approachable, flexible and dependable.

Weak leadership was characterised by the use of words such as bullying, micro-management, rudeness, neglectful, unappreciative, directionless and disconnection.

The Glassdoor list was compiled from more the 213,000 senior leadership ratings on Glassdoor from UK-based full and part-time employees between 20 April 2021 and 19 April 2022. The rankings included only companies with at least 1,000 global employees and 30 senior leadership ratings during the time period considered.

To determine the words employees use to describe senior leadership, Glassdoor analysed review text from more than 367,000 UK-based employee reviews left between 20 April 2021 and 19 April 2022.

More information about the study – and details of the 25 companies who made the cut – is available on the Glassdoor blog.

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