In October last year, we sent our people the Best Companies survey. We weren’t the only ones. In fact, thousands of businesses up and down the UK followed suit.

    It had 70 questions, covering eight key factors of workplace engagement. And we did it to find out how our people really felt about working at Cooper Parry. And where we could improve.

    Four months. One trophy. And an undisclosed number of champagne bottles later – we can now officially say:

    We’re the 8th Best Company to Work For in the UK

    This is the fifth year in a row that we’ve made it into The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For. It’s the first time we’ve reached the Top 10. And we’re the only accountants in the Top 50.

    Our first taste of the Top 100 came in 2016, at 91st. A year later, we came 32nd. In 2018, we came 12th. And then last year, we came 13th. Which means this year’s result bodes well for reaching our goal of #1 by 2025.

    Every award win is a cause for celebration. But Best Companies will always hold a special place in our hearts. That’s because it’s based purely on the feedback our people gave about working at Cooper Parry. There’s no external judges or marketing spin. Just honest answers. And a true picture of engagement and happiness.

    How did we get into the Top 10?

    In addition to our unlimited holiday policy, our offices that have gained a reputation as some of the “coolest” in the UK, and our European award-winning wellbeing offering, here’s a flavour of what we threw into the mix this year:

    We kept Making Life Count

    For our people, our clients and our local community.

    In September we shut all our offices for our Community Day, with our people heading out to volunteer at dozens of incredible causes in the local community, including hospitals, charities, schools and community centres to name a few.

    Our team of Green Gurus came forward from around the business to champion sustainability, spread awareness of our eco-initiatives, and come up with exciting new ideas. All to make sure we’re leaving our mark for the right reasons.

    We helped our people make their pennies count too, placing a big emphasis on financial wellbeing. That included visits from mortgage advisors, money coaches, pensions experts and personal financial advisors – both during our Financial Wellbeing Month, and throughout the year.

    We created more development opportunities

    We ranked 3rd in the Best Companies survey for opportunities to learn and grow. And our Chief People Officer, April, said:

    “A lot of that is down to the continued evolution of our Stellar Managers programme. All our managers attended more workshops this year, covering the key elements to strengths-based coaching and mental health training.

    We also broadened our L&D offering to bring more benefits to our peoples’ home lives too. We ran workshops on things like “Coaching for Parents”, and “Managing Your Chimp” – a mind management programme based on the work of psychiatrist Professor Steve Peters and his book, “The Chimp Paradox” – focused on moving towards a happier, more successful life.”

    Culture Trumps Strategy

    That’s our simple philosophy. And it’s the holistic approach behind everything we do.

    Our CEO, Ade, said:

    “You can sit in meetings for hours, days and weeks on end, scrawling through ream after ream of flipchart, meticulously plotting out your success. But if your people don’t love where they work, it’s not gonna happen.

    When our people are happy, engaged and playing to their strengths every day, we know we’ll attract and retain top talent. We know we’ll deliver a remarkable service to our clients. We know we’ll have raving fans – people who’ll not only like working with us, but who’ll also recommend us. And then, we’ll keep working with more and more likeminded businesses and people along the way.

    So, as we celebrate our Best Companies result for the fifth year, our 8th place hasn’t just reassured us that we’re on the right track. It’s given us the inspiration, ideas and energy we need to raise the bar once more. And hit the top spot.”

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