Rider Levett Bucknall is judged to be the best firm to work for in 2008


Rider Levett Bucknall

This firm stands out for its devotion to the development and wellbeing of its workforce. Last year, it offered more than 8,000 hours of formal development initiatives to its employees, and spent on average £2,500 a worker to ensure its staff were able to catch whatever its clients threw at them. Initiatives run from its Protégé graduate scheme (think of a nicer Alan Sugar), a management development programme developed with Cranfield University, and personal development plans for all staff. Throw in diversity workshops and the fact that one-third of staff are female, and it’s no wonder that RLB is this year’s top employer.


Faithful + Gould

Soup kitchens and university may have more common than you might think. What’s certain is that both have played their part in the development of Faithful + Gould’s staff. Workers from the Sheffield office are given support to volunteer in a soup kitchen once a month, thereby contributing more than buildings back to the community, and staff across the company are taking part in a virtual university that was launched in March. With the ability to access the programme remotely to top up knowledge at any time that suits, there’s no excuse for not doing the homework that will help ambitious workers climb the career ladder.

Franklin + Andrews

Some 83% of staff at Franklin + Andrews believe that their job is good for their personal growth, a figure which must be due in no small part to the company’s E-Learning initiative. This internet-based learning management system provides more than 150 courses free of charge, including technical training, computer skills and project management. The firm also has a large training programme that includes individual training plans for each member of staff – including for graduates on a RICS-approved course.

John Rowan and Partners

John Rowan and Partners is intending to double staff to 125 by 2012, and with its current commitment to the wellbeing of its workforce it’s unlikely to have difficulty attracting recruits. The firm devotes 2% of its annual £4.9m turnover to training and development, and it was rewarded for its efforts with Investors in People status in June 2006. Staff are supported through the APC course with mock interviews and a training programme, and workers can receive financial support and study leave to complete MScs and post-graduate diplomas.