What makes a great place to work? Are there exact factors that contribute to work happiness or is there more than one thing we need to consider to make our working hours as enjoyable as can be?

Data from Haystack, a specialist recruitment app, looked into the things that jobseekers say they value as most important.

Disregarding salary, the top three most important workplace factors for jobseekers were opportunities to upskill and progress, positive working culture and flexible working.

Employee benefits, free to work across different disciples and friendliness also scored highly.

Welsh fashion brand Onesta, which means ‘honest’, uses its name to set the company’s whole ethos.

The brand says its core values are protecting workers, caring for the planet, upholding animal welfare and conducting business in an ethical and sustainable way.

CEO Gabriella Diana told The National: “As an ethical fashion brand, our whole ethos is rooted in being kind to people, animals and the planet.

“This translates through our entire business model, including our company culture.

“We encourage autonomy and innovation, with new ideas being celebrated. We focus on positive coaching, and place a high value on fairness and trust.

“We care about all our people, which means we reward and provide everyone with ongoing opportunities.

“With this, we believe our employees will stay with us for years to come.”


Gabriella says the brand strives to challenge the status quo of the fashion industry to ensure that, throughout the supply chain, it values all human lives and the environments in which they live in.

According to data from Best Companies, which works with employers to measure, improve and recognise workforce engagement and satisfaction, 72 per cent of employees across the UK said they would work harder if they were appreciated, and companies with high employee engagement are 21 per cent more profitable.

Best small company winner is Redrock Consulting based in Bristol and best large company winner is Beaverbrooks the jewellers who’s first store opened in Belfast. The mid-sized company winner is a Welsh company.

Employee engagement and staff empowerment could help Welsh businesses to overcome the perceived underdog tag when competing with UK competitors, helping to position Wales as a business-leading nation.

That is the view of chairman Colin Tucker and CEO Grant Santos of Caerphilly-based Educ8 Group, which gained national media attention recently, having been recognised by Best Companies as the Best Mid-Sized Company to Work For in the UK, as well as the Best Education and Training Provider to Work For.

Speaking of their award win, Colin said: “In Wales we’ve always been underdogs and perhaps at times we can be guilty of living in that shadow.

“However, Wales is the land of dragons and I think our award is proof that if we can hold our heads up, set the bar high and aim to set our own standards, then I see no reason why Wales cannot make itself one of the leading business nations. We certainly have the talent.”

Matthew, an Educ8 employee, shared his experience: “I will always be forever grateful to Educ8. I have never worked for an organisation that cares so much for their staff.

“I am not ashamed to say that I found myself in a bad place, struggling with anxiety and I probably was depressed.

“I count myself very fortunate to be an employee of such a values-driven organisation, and I can say from my experiences that Educ8 will support any individual who may find themselves going through a difficult time, we do really have a great team and I thank all who have helped me over the last 18-24 months.”

Economy minister Vaughan Gething said: “Cultivating a working environment that prioritises happy, motivated and inspired employees is incredibly smart business practice.

“We have a raft of brilliant companies operating in this way across Wales, but Educ8 has consistently shown itself to be a leader in championing staff wellbeing year after year.

“Their success is a great advertisement for employee satisfaction to all businesses, big and small, across the UK. I congratulate them on another fantastic achievement.”

The board at Educ8 has long identified employee engagement as fundamental to success and key to this has been the leadership and communication of its CEO.

Mr Santos said: “I am ecstatic that we have been accredited been awarded both on a Welsh and a UK-wide level.

“There is no doubt that the community spirit we have grown within Educ8 has had an invaluable effect on our accomplishments as a whole, from employee motivation to the high-quality service we deliver to our employers, learners and communities.”

There is no crystal-clear explanation of what makes a company good to work for and employers and managers alike need to consider their employees’ satisfaction according to their own circumstances.

However, mutual respect promotes a positive culture in the workplace, which leads to employee satisfaction, resulting in increased happiness and motivation while working.

Something that can make a workplace great is the people who work there respecting one another’s values and differences.

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