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Frequently Asked Questions

Q After I register my company to participate, what happens next and when?
Q Our parent company is located outside of the United Kingdom. Are we still eligible to participate?
Q We have several companies operating in the United Kingdom under one parent holding company. Each company has its own Registered Company Number and each has its own set of benefits and working environments. Do I need to register each company?
Q We have several offices/facilities in the United Kingdom that operate using the same Registered Company Number and same set of employee benefits and procedures. Should I register each company separately?
Q Our company has employees in many locations. Will I need to survey all employees throughout the United Kingdom?
Q My company has employees working in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) but we do not have a physical office location in the United Kingdom. Are we eligible to participate?
Q Our company has employees that work for our operations within the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) but they technically do not reside nor perform the majority of their duties within this area.  Are they eligible to participate in the survey process?
Q Our company employs seasonal, temporary, per diem and independent contractor employees. Should they be included in the survey?
Q What if our workforce contains union employees?
Q Is there a fee to participate?
Q Should the paper survey fee be submitted with our registration?
Q Do surveys go to everyone?
Q We have more than 250 employees to be surveyed. Who decides which employees will receive the surveys and how they are distributed? Do we have to give you a list of who is being surveyed?
Q Are managers included in the employee survey?
Q How long will it take to complete the employer questionnaire (EQ)? Will it require a lot of research?
Q How does the paper survey process work?
Q What does the employee do with the paper survey once it is completed?
Q What if not all of the employees complete and return the surveys? Is there a minimum response rate?
Q How does the online survey process work?
Q Not all of our employees have email addresses. Can we still utilise the online survey?
Q I am concerned about the confidentiality of the survey responses.
Q Can the job role and department demographics on the employee survey be customised to more closely align with our organisation?

Q Can I see samples of both the employer questionnaire and the employee survey?

Q Can I combine both the online and paper survey options?
Q What information is included in the Employee Feedback Report and when will we receive it? What is the benefit of purchasing this report?
Q What is the benchmarking?
Q How do I order my company's Employee Feedback Report?
Q When will we find out if our company made the list and where we rank?
Q A portion of our employees do not speak English. Do you offer employee surveys in alternate languages?
Q How much is the fee to translate the employee survey into another language?
Q How will my company be notified throughout the survey process? Will I receive regular updates?
Q What if my company registers for the programme and then needs to withdraw? Is it possible to be removed from the process?

Q Who can I contact with additional questions?

 Answers
Q After I register my company to participate, what happens next and when?
A   Please refer to the Timeline for a detailed list of important dates and deadlines for the programme. All registered companies will be notified regularly via email of upcoming deadlines. We would highly recommend that you white-list so that the email address will be an approved sender. You may also want to regularly check your spam or junk folder to make sure that important updates are not missed. It is of vital importance that you read all communications, updates and instructions thoroughly.

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Q  Our parent company is located outside of the United Kingdom. Are we still eligible to participate?

A   As long as you employ at least 15 full and/or part-time employees in the United Kingdom, you are eligible. Only employees working in the United Kingdom are eligible to participate in the employee survey.

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Q We have several companies operating in the United Kingdom under one parent holding company. Each company has its own Registered Company Number and each has its own set of benefits and working environments. Do I need to register each company?

A   Yes. Since each company is its own entity with its own benefits and working environment, we will treat each company as a separate employer and send each location a separate set of surveys, etc. Each subsidiary company must have at least 15 full and/or part-time permanent employees to be eligible.

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Q We have several offices/facilities in the United Kingdom that operate using the same Registered Company Number and same set of employee benefits and procedures. Should I register each company separately?

A   No. If you are one company with multiple locations you should submit only one registration for all locations. We will then conduct a survey of employees that are randomly selected from the various business units that you operate in the United Kingdom, up to a total of 400 employees.

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Q Our company has employees in many locations. Will the survey apply to those throughout the United Kingdom?

A   Yes, if you employ more than 250 employees throughout the United Kingdom a random sample of all employees will be asked to complete a survey.

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Q My company has employees working in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) but we do not have a physical office location in the United Kingdom. Are we eligible to participate?

A   Yes, as long as you have employees working in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and are able to provide a mailing address for your business in the United Kingdom, you are eligible to participate. Only employees working in or directly reporting into the United Kingdom are eligible to participate in the survey.

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Q Our company has employees that work for our operations within the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) but they technically do not reside nor perform the majority of their duties within this area.  Are they eligible to participate in the survey process?

A   For an out-of-programme-area employee to be eligible to participate, the individual must report directly into the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). If the out-of-programme-area employee reports to an out-of-programme-area regional manager, the employee would not be eligible to take part in the survey process. However, the regional manager is eligible to participate if they report directly to the office within the programme area.

If you are uncertain about any employee’s eligibility to participate in the survey we encourage you to contact Best Companies Group for a final determination, as surveying ineligible employees may lead to disqualification from the competition.


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Q Our company employs seasonal, temporary, per diem and independent contractor employees. Should they be included in the survey?
A   No. Seasonal, temporary, per diem, independent contractors, interns, volunteers or consultants should not be included in the survey process. We only want to survey the permanent full and part-time employees.

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Q  What if our workforce contains union employees?
A   This is not an issue. We make no distinction between union vs. non-union employees. Union employees must be included in the survey process.

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Q Is there a fee to participate?
A   No! Participation in the "Accountancy Age - Best Employer" programme is absolutely FREE if you choose the online survey process!  If your company should need paper surveys for your employee base, there is a nominal paper survey fee to cover printing, shipping and processing. Please see the Assessment Process for the paper fees.

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Q Should the paper survey fee be submitted with our registration?
A   No. You will be invoiced via email for the paper survey fee after you register and it is determined that your company meets all the requirements to be eligible to participate.  Fees are non-refundable.

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Q Do surveys go to everyone?

A   If you have 250 or fewer employees in your company, then the answer is Yes!  If you employ more than 250 associates throughout the United Kingdom, a random sample of up to 400 employees will be asked to complete the survey. Please see the Assessment Process page for more information.

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Q We have more than 250 employees to be surveyed. Who decides which employees will receive the surveys and how they are distributed? Do we have to give you a list of who is being surveyed?
  The random selection will be conducted by Best Companies Group for the online survey process.  Companies choosing the online survey process will be asked to upload a list of all employee email addresses into an online portal.  Best Companies Group will then randomly select the appropriate amount of employees (based on company size) to receive the survey.  Companies will be asked to upload the employee email addresses via an online upload portal sent shortly after registration has closed.  Companies choosing the paper survey process will be required to tell Best Companies Group how they conducted the random selection of their employee population. Please see the Timeline for dates surrounding the portal.

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Q Are managers included in the employee survey?

A   Yes. All employees will be asked to complete a survey unless the company has more than 250 employees. At companies employing over 250 associates, a random sample will be chosen, and even then, managers are not excluded. Employees from all job levels should be included in the survey process - including founders, owners, partners, and executive management to line-level employees.

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Q How long will it take to complete the employee survey?

A   It should only take about 10 to 15 minutes for each associate to complete the employee survey.

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Q How long will it take to complete the employer questionnaire (EQ)? Will it require a lot of research?

A   The employer questionnaire may take between 8-10 hours to complete, depending upon how easy it is to retrieve your company's information regarding policies, practises and demographics. Some research may be necessary. The EQ is completed and submitted online.  A list of questions can be found on the Survey & Report Samples page.  You may begin gathering the information requested on the EQ prior to the survey start date.  That way when the actual invitation is sent, you can simply enter the requested information online.

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Q How does the paper survey process work?

  Best Companies Group will send your company a box of paper surveys and envelopes that must be distributed to employees. Employees complete the survey, place it in the envelope, seal it and then drop the completed survey off at the designated collection post. Completed surveys are bulk mailed to Accountancy Age for processing. The company must designate a drop off location for the completed surveys.

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Q What does the employee do with the paper survey once it's completed?

  The employee will put their completed survey in an envelope (provided), seal it and return it to the company's designated drop off location. The return envelopes are not postage-paid. The Survey Coordinator will then send all the surveys together in one package to the designated address given in the instructions.

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Q What if not all of the employees complete and return the surveys? Is there a minimum response rate?

A   We are looking for a response rate of approximately 65% or greater. Therefore, it is not absolutely necessary that all who receive a survey fill it out. While companies who have not reached 65% may still be considered, response rates are taken into account during the analysis process. The higher the response rate the more representative it will be of your company as a whole and the more valuable your company’s data will be at the end of the process.

Companies surveying between 15-24 employees must have an 80% (or better) response rate from their employees filling out the survey.


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Q How does the online survey process work?

A   To conduct the online survey process, companies submit a list of employee email addresses to Best Companies Group. Employees are then directly sent an individual survey invitation via email containing unique access information from Best Companies Group. The invitation directs employees to a unique Web page where they can submit their confidential responses. We can only send email invitations to company email accounts.

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Q Not all of our employees have email addresses. Can we still utilise the online survey?

 Yes! You can still use the online survey provided that at least 70% of your employees have company email. If you have some employees without email addresses, they will still be included in the survey. We can provide access codes for those employees, if they represent 30% or less of your employee population. Click to learn more about Access Codes. Employees receiving access codes will need to be able to access the Internet at work.  In this situation, it is recommended that the company set up a computer station/kiosk for those employees without company email to take the survey, as the online survey can only be used if employees have Internet access.  Best Companies Group will then provide the organisation with enough unique access codes for employees without email addresses (less than 30%, if applicable), so that they can complete the survey online.

In order to maintain the integrity of the survey process, if fewer than 70% of your employees have company email addresses, you will have to utilise the paper survey process.


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Q I am concerned about the confidentiality of the survey responses.

A   We will make every effort to maintain the anonymity of the employees completing the survey as well as protect the summarised data of all participating companies. Please note, that in order to maintain respondent anonymity, we do not report any response data for less than five (5) individuals in any one demographic category on the Employee Demographic Report. Please see our Statement of Confidentiality for more information.

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Q Can the job role and department demographics on the employee survey be customised to more closely align with our organisation?

A   Yes, for a fee of £375, the job role and department demographic categories can be customised. Please email Jackie Miller at  for more information, click here or select the “Customisation” option on the registration form and you will be contacted with more information. What's this?

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Q Can I see samples of both the employer questionnaire and the employee survey?

A   Yes, you can see samples on the Assessment Process page or click to view the Survey & Report Samples.

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Q Can I combine both the online and paper survey options?

A   No, we cannot combine both survey methods. Companies must choose to use either the online or the paper employee survey process.

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Q What information is included in the Employee Feedback Report and when will we receive it? What is the benefit of purchasing this report?

A   Purchasing the Employee Feedback Report will allow you to gain valuable insight into what your employees are thinking.  The Employee Feedback Report will be delivered electronically and will contain large spreadsheets detailing and summarising your employees' responses (in percentage format) to the 78 survey questions as well as the employee comments. It will also include detailed instructions on how to interpret the results.  United Kingdom benchmarking is also included so companies can compare themselves to the “Accountancy Age - Best Employer” list-making companies. The Employee Feedback Reports will be sent after the rankings are revealed. For more information, please visit the Employee Feedback Report page. For pricing, please go to Report Options.

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Q What is the benchmarking?

A  The Employee Benchmark Report will represent the average responses for each of the seventy-eight (78) statements for all the list winners. This information will allow your company to compare itself to the "Accountancy Age - Best Employer" list. The Employer Benchmark Summary offers a sample of company averages on standard employee benefits and best practises -- from those who make the list.

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Q How do I order my company’s Employee Feedback Report?

A   An Employee Feedback Report can only be ordered once you have registered to participate in the "Accountancy Age - Best Employer" programme. To register click here. If you have already registered, please email with your request or visit the Order Your Report link.

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Q When will we find out if our company made the list and where we rank?

A   You will receive notification informing your company whether or not you made the list. If you make the list, you will find out where you rank in the special publication or at the event. See the Timeline for more details.

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Q A portion of our employees do not speak English. Do you offer employee surveys in alternate languages?

A   We offer employee surveys in a variety of languages. Additional languages are available at £150 per survey translation. If you need alternate language surveys, please select the "Languages" button on the registration form and you will receive additional information.

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Q How much is the fee to translate the employee survey into another language?

A  To translate the employee survey into another language, the fee is £150 per language. Spanish surveys are available in both the online and paper versions of the survey. 

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Q How will my company be notified throughout the survey process? Will I receive regular updates?

A   Yes, you will receive periodic updates regarding the survey timeline via email. However, we do recommend that your company place the dates that we send to you in your calendars. Best Companies Group primarily works through email. It is important that you read all instructions and details sent to you from Best Companies Group.

**We would highly recommend that you white-list so that the email address will be an approved sender. You may also want to regularly check your spam or junk folder to make sure that important updates are not missed.

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Q What if my company registers for the programme and then needs to withdraw? Is it possible to be removed from the process?

A   All companies that submit a registration form are considered active participants in the "Accountancy Age - Best Employer" programme. If your company wishes to withdraw from the survey process, Best Companies Group must be notified immediately. Missed deadlines may be considered an automatic withdrawal from the process. To reactivate your company from an automatic withdrawal during the survey timeframe, a £60 fee will be charged. Once the survey process has begun (after 18 April 2014), a £150 withdrawal fee will be applied in addition to the total fees incurred for any special requests (customisation orders, language translations, paper survey processing, etc.). Please contact a Best Companies Group representative to withdraw from the process.

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Q Who can I contact with additional questions?

A   Please email Jackie Miller at

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