Blog: Leonie BarrieBest company to work for

Leonie Barrie | 7 March 2006

It’s official: Scottish-based textiles maker WL Gore & Associates is the best company to work for in the UK. Well at least according to this year’s Sunday Times 100 Best Companies To Work For survey. The firm, which invented the Gore-Tex breathable, water-resistant fabric, is not only doing something right – since it’s the first business to top the list for two years in a row – but it’s also doing something refreshingly different.

Gore’s original approach to company culture obviously works. There are no directors, line managers, operatives or secretaries. Everyone at its three sites in Scotland (two in Livingston and one in Dundee) is an “associate” and is accountable to each other, even to the extent that teammates influence each other’s pay. Workers are also free to manage their own responsibilities.

It might sound radical, and I’m sure it would take a bit of getting used to as an employee, but isn’t this a great way of building a strong team? Trusting your workers makes them feel valued, and a valued worker feels he or she can make a difference to the firm’s success. And of course excellent perks help too. Annual stock allocations worth about 10% of salary, free private healthcare and 26 weeks’ fully paid maternity leave all make for a happy workforce too. Bosses…are you taking note?

The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For


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