Sunday Times '25 Best Big Companies to work for' ranking makes it a double award success for Midcounties

The Midcounties Co-operative has been named as one of the 25 Best Big Companies to Work For by the Sunday Times, for the second year in a row.

The accolade marks a double success as it follows Midcounties being named ‘One to Watch’ in the Best Companies accreditation scheme for high levels of employee engagement.

The prestigious Sunday Times listing puts the Society alongside some of the biggest names on the high street, recognising its commitment to creating the best possible working environment.

Ben Reid, Chief Executive at The Midcounties Co-operative, said: "The Sunday Times ranking is a huge achievement. We were delighted to have been listed last year but to be in again for a second time is outstanding.

"Britain's top companies are on this list and maintaining our place alongside them shows how seriously we, as an ethical business, take the care and development of our colleagues.

"Our place on the list is governed by the responses given by our colleagues. So with this result they are telling us 'yes, Midcounties is a great place to work' – and that’s fantastic."

Judges were impressed by Midcounties’ innovative approach to colleague engagement, ensuring they have opportunities to play an active part in how the business is run.

"Bosses consult employees on policies, listen to feedback and involve them in resolving issues," they said.

The judges particularly liked ‘big conversation’ events that were introduced last year in which groups of staff were brought together to discuss targeted issues.

In addition, the leadership team visited all 385 sites as part of its associated 'little conversations' initiative in which they asked colleagues what they would change to improve the organisation.

Ben added: "As a result of those conversations we overhauled our communications processes and made changes to how we recognise the contributions made by colleagues. A three-year managers’ development scheme was also introduced."

Colleagues responses to the Sunday Times survey showed they are confident about the future with a Top 10 positive score of 73%.

Other scores showed 75% applaud the Society's strong ethical principles, while 68% agree it makes a positive difference in the world, placing it 8th in that category.

In 2010 Midcounties returned the equivalent of more than £1.2 million to communities through fundraising, grant giving and volunteering.

The Best Companies accreditation scheme was established to acknowledge excellence in the workplace. Accreditation confirms a focus on workplace engagement as integral to an organisation’s success and growth.

Midcounties is the largest independent co-operative in the UK, employing over 9,000 people across its seven trading groups, including food, travel, funeral, childcare, pharmacy, energy and employee benefits businesses.

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