New research reveals what it’s really like to work at top retail giants

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According to thousands of employee reviews, working in the retail sector offers a much more positive experience than those in other sectors.

The new research shows that employees working at the top two retail companies by sales (Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s) gave the companies a 74% positive response rate on average, compared to the top two across all sectors at 66%.

When analysing the top Uk retailers by sales, Tesco (ranked number one) is praised for its work/life balance and compensation benefits despite its average salary for a team leader at £18,000. However, Tesco falls short on compliments for its senior management rating and

The report also shows that Sainsbury’s is best for its culture and values, and offers the most positive experience rating at 76% (compared to Asda at 73% and Tesco at 72%).

CompanyEmployee Rating (Out of 5)Average Salary £Positive Experience
Tesco3.5£18,00072%
Sainsbury’s3.5£19,47976%
Asda2.1£18.11373%

Based on LinkedIn’s annual report of the most sought-after companies to work at in the UK, Power House Truths curates and dissects over 210,000 employee reviews to see where each company really ranks across a number of metrics, including senior management rating, interview difficulty and average salary. 

The 2019 LinkedIn Top Companies report discloses where jobseekers want to work, based on the four main pillars of interaction on the platform: interest in the company, engagement with the company’s employees, job demand and employee retention. But how do these coveted companies really treat their employees?

The research shows that despite being the most desirable workplace in the UK and the third most popular in the US, Amazon sits tenth in the rankings. Analysis of the organisation’s 32,000 employee reviews reveals a poor work/life balance, low senior management rating and smaller salaries when comparing them to the US coveted companies.

The US companies do far better in the overall rank in comparison to UK organisations, holding an average rank position of 5.9 compared to the UK’s 9.2. This may be due to the discrepancy in average salary between major organisations, with UK-based BP paying its employees a staggering £47,700 less than Apple – despite making £29 million more in revenue. 

Although Google is the most desirable workplace in the US according to LinkedIn, analysis of its 11,000 employee reviews actually places it in fourth position. Compared to other notable organisations featured on the rank, the tech company has the most difficult interview process, but offers a high average salary and good benefits. 

Uber is praised for its flexible working hours by its drivers, but over 500 employees say drunk riders and the cost of car repairs are a huge downside to working for the organisation.

Top company benefits for those working at supermarket giant Sainsbury’s include good sick pay, critical illness cover and a 10% employee discount card. Downsides to working for Sainsbury’s include finding that team leaders are often contradictory and its long working hours. 

Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline offers one of the most favourable work/life balances, as well as its culture and values rating, with employees praising the company’s work environment and career opportunities. However, the company could improve its senior management rating, decision-making process and average salary.

Analysis of the most frequently cited company pros and cons reveals that employees appreciate a good work environment, generous benefits and flexible working hours, while long hours and a poor work/life balance are the most common complaints. But to what extent do jobseekers apply to work at a company because of its notoriety, without researching what it’s really like to work there? 

According to recruitment partner Karen Dykes, the benefits companies choose to advertise play a key role in how quickly they accumulate staff and grow. She said: “With talent shortages reported in many sectors, top candidates are looking beyond basic salary offerings to attract them to certain roles.

“Benefits packages are most certainly in the spotlight, with a particular focus on those that support work/life balance. These include generous holiday entitlement, healthcare advantages and flexible working. 

“If a skilled candidate has multiple interview offers, benefits packages will come into play. They may be time poor in terms of interview preparation, so will narrow the field by evaluating the overall package.”

To find out what employees really think of coveted companies, visit Power House Truths at: https://www.powerhousetruths.com/.