LEADING motorway service area provider, Roadchef, has been voted one of the top 25 best big companies to work for in the UK in the best companies awards. The organisation, which has sites at Pont Abraham and Magor, placed 22nd on the overall national list, making it the only one of the big 3 MSA operators with Best Companies accreditation.

The best companies awards are renowned throughout the UK for setting the highest of standards for workplace engagement. Companies that receive accreditations care about doing things right, value their people and understand the importance of a truly engaged workforce. Roadchef achieved a 1* accreditation, highlighting ‘very good levels of engagement in the workplace’.

Roadchef CEO Mark Fox commented: “We are absolutely delighted to feature in the top 25 best big companies to work for in the UK. This award is true recognition of the fantastic people we have working within our business in Wales and across the whole country. We have always been a company who realises that our people are our most valuable asset and as a result, we are proud to have a highly engaged workforce that believes wholeheartedly in our vision – to destress and delight Britain’s road users – despite the incredibly challenging times we have all faced this year.”

The company’s continued commitment to mental health and wellbeing – pre, during and post the COVID-19 pandemic – was one of the standout areas of success. Over the past year, Roadchef has put its employee’s welfare at the forefront of its business, ensuring that team members feel consistently supported and valued – whether working or on furlough. Throughout the pandemic, everyone was given access to a suite of mental health e-learning modules, as well as an employee wellbeing booklet and a mental health first aid course, with fantastic take-up and feedback across the board.

The business also supported financial based concerns through hardship loans and Wagestream, as well as taking extra time to talk and listen to how employees were feeling. Team members were quick to praise the open and honest management style, and the ‘refreshing’ focus on mental health and wellbeing from senior company leaders. In addition, for employees who were on furlough during the pandemic, the company created a dedicated website that everyone could access at home, providing them with regular updates and answers to Q&As, as well as a direct line to the board where they could raise any concerns.

It was also important for the company to gently – and safely – ease those who were returning to work after long periods of furlough back in. An e-learning programme was designed specifically for the business that introduced them to all the new safe ways of working in line with the impact of COVID. In addition, Roadchef created and issued welcome packs when the first period of furlough came to an end, as a ‘welcome back’ for employees to the business, including some goodies for them to enjoy.

Commenting on the company’s commitment to their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, Roadchef’s Director of HR & Development, Laura Bunn said: “As soon as we realised the pandemic was taking hold – and everything in the world, and workplace was changing – we knew we had to put our people first, to ensure they felt supported. We worked very hard to communicate with our team members, doing our best to understand their concerns and respond to them quickly, whilst keeping everyone safe, reassured and up to date with the latest regulations and guidance. Our hardship loans were particularly important for some of the employees who were hit hard financially and these were received very positively by those in need.

“However, it’s not just the pandemic that has brought about this commitment to our people, it is something that has always been our number one focus, I am just delighted that we have been able to adjust and adapt to our employees changing needs over the past year – and that they have felt valued and supported during this incredibly challenging time.”

The best companies accreditation comes hot on the heels of a number of other awards the company has received over the last year. At the end of 2020, Roadchef received a gold accreditation from Investors in People (IIP),a nationally recognised framework that assesses how well businesses support people at work. This highlights the company’s commitment to ensuring that every employee gets the right support to reach their potential. These development opportunities are available at all levels within the business, filling more than 65% of its salaried vacancies internally. In addition, the company proactively encourages its employees to develop and has a strong apprenticeship scheme in place so employees can both earn and learn. 

To find out more about the many and varied career opportunities at Roadchef visit: www.roadchef.com/careers