By Louise Drewery on 23 February 2018
One of the region’s longest established businesses has been named in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list in the UK.
Sewell Group, which has its headquarters in Hull as well as offices in Leeds, York and Huddersfield, is the only company in Hull to be named in the internationally recognised 100 Best Companies list and is ranked number 1 in Yorkshire.
The firm, which currently employs 460 staff, has also secured a Best Companies 3 Star ‘extraordinary’ accreditation, which recognises the highest standard of workplace engagement and represents organisations which truly excel.
Best Companies is the number one specialist for workplace and employee engagement in the UK and its survey, which was completed by Sewell staff, powers the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For list.
Sewell Group has entered the Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For four times in the past 10 years, including 2018, and has been successful in making the top 100 every time, beating off stiff competition from thousands of companies across the UK.
Paul Sewell, Managing Director of Sewell Group, said: “I have always seen the best places to work listings as the greatest accolade an organisation can attain, both in the UK with the Sunday Times and the USA with the Fortune 500.
“They are about as objective as it gets, as they are based upon what your people say about where they work, as well as engagement experts examining how you do ‘the people thing’.
“It is vitally important to me, as I believe you need to be a decent place to work so you can be a great company to deal with, and people do business with people.
“All organisations are in a ‘war for talent’ nowadays, so they can attract and retain the best to care for their customers. Being recognised as a top place to work obviously helps with this.
“The Group has doubled in size and diversified both by offer and geographically since our last examination, and this can water down culture and challenge the family feel we want. So, to retain the top 3 Star ‘extraordinary’ status in such a prestigious listing is as remarkable as it is pleasing.
“Thanks must go to all of the wonderful people who make up the Sewell work family and our customers whose patronage and loyalty keeps us progressing as a business.”
Staff across the business were asked for their opinions in the independent Best Companies questionnaire focused around their manager and team, personal growth, wellbeing, giving something back, leadership, the company as a whole and fair deal for employees, with the results showing they feel valued, engaged and empowered.
The feedback helps to shape a Best Companies Index score, which determines a company’s accreditation level and position in the top 100.
Sewell Group is a multi-disciplined group of companies operating across the Yorkshire region. From its developments, construction and facilities management operations, to its 13 “Sewell on the go” fuel and convenience stores, the Group aims to create value for its communities and deliver a world class service for its customers.
The business has most recently acquired Illingworth and Gregory (I&G), a Huddersfield-based construction company, further supporting growth across the region.
Sewell Group’s approach to continual professional development for its people is designed to best suit the learning and growth needs of staff at every level.
The company invested more than £465,000 delivering over 2,060 days of training for its people in 2017, with 332 different people trained through in-house talent development sessions.
Cameron Hodgson, who joined Sewell Construction as a Management Trainee in March 2017, said: “No matter what your position, status or job role is, Sewell treats everybody with the same respect and concern for their wellbeing and future.
“I’ve seen consistent development opportunities offered to all those who are willing to work outside their comfort zones and be challenged. This is a trait not often found within mid to larger companies.
“I feel being in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For is utterly deserved for the business and employees alike. Though I’m sure we don’t do it for the recognition, we are the way we are for the right reasons, and not just when under the spotlight. A little recognition is always a bonus.”
As well as commitment to its people, Sewell Group continues to maintain commitment to its communities and 2017 saw the business give more than £500,000 to community causes across the region.
This includes playing a leading role in Hull UK City of Culture 2017, investing a six figure sum to become a Major Partner and committing to a unique a year of engagement for its staff.
Sewell Group previously invested £100,000 in converting an existing warehouse unit at its Hull business park to create a new boxing and fitness centre for professional boxer Tommy Coyle and young people in East Hull. The business continues to provide this free facility for U17s to encourage them to lead healthier lifestyles.
The Group also has a strong partnership with the charity Mencap, providing paid employment opportunities to young people with a learning disability in schools and offices across the city.
Kate Barbour, Operations Manager at Sewell on the go, said: “Achieving this accreditation and making it into the best 100 companies is an amazing achievement and I feel proud to work for the company.
“Our culture is at the heart of everything. You’re listened to and you feel valued, which breeds positivity because we’re all in it together. It’s so very different to anywhere else I have worked before.”
Jonathan Austin, Best Companies founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), said: “I would like to congratulate Sewell Group on their achievement.
“This year, it is encouraging to see that more and more organisations are recognising the value of employee engagement and are willing to benchmark themselves against the best to ensure they are offering their employees the best possible experience.
“Organisations like Sewell Group have continued to focus on their employees and have been rewarded with an engaged workforce who tell us that this is a great place to work.
“A place on the Best Companies to Work For lists is a remarkable achievement and it’s not something that happens by chance. Sewell Group earned their place by showing a real commitment to engagement and proving that they truly care for and value their employees.”