Best Companies Methodology | The Business of Fashion | The Business of Fashion

The Best Companies to Work for in Fashion Methodology and Approach 2017

The Business of Fashion’s The Best Companies to Work for in Fashion 2017, spotlights the top global fashion employers based on 29 different data points and detailed qualitative feedback gathered from over 2,600 fashion professionals at over 190 companies.

We required a minimum of 20 completed, diverse (location, job function, seniority) and email validated responses for a company to be analysed in the study.

We measured employee sentiments on 29 metrics, across three indices:

Reward & Benefits (33%)

Today, employees expect their compensation packages to include much more than salary and standard health insurance. From stock buy-back schemes, to extended holiday, health and wellness provisions and clothing allowances, in fashion, the proportion of the total compensation package represented by additional benefits can be unusually high.

But that doesn’t mean financial remuneration is not a significant motivating factor. Salary was among the worst performing metrics in our study with only 58 percent of respondents reporting that they were satisfied with their salaries. Employers should take note that there was  a strong correlation between those respondents that were satisfied with their salary, and those that saw themselves as working at the same employer in two years.

  • Salary (19%)
  • Benefits (14%)
    • Holidays, health insurance, flexible working arrangements, employee discounts, transport allowances, gym and wellness, pensions

Leadership & Development Opportunities (33%)

As the generational makeup of the work force approaches a tipping point towards ‘millennials’ (those born after the early-to-mid 1980s), offering attractive development opportunities, as well as clear pathways to promotion and career progression has become even more important in retaining top talent. Indeed, thirty percent of survey participants said that opportunities for leadership and progression were the single most important factor in their decisions to stay at a company.  

Thus, creating working environments capable of nurturing potential is closely linked to a company’s ability to retain and empower leaders. According to the employee survey, the best leaders maximise efficiency — achieving organisational goals without micro-management, and, importantly, keep their teams happy and motivated.

  • Direct manager's leadership style
  • Manager's interest in employee professional development
  • Sufficient involvement in company decisions that affect employee work
  • Quality of feedback from leadership
  • Rewards / recognition for high performance
  • Right tools to perform well in role
  • Opportunities for further training and professional development
  • Employee motivation to go beyond the basic expectations of role
  • Opportunities for career progression within the company
  • Employee understanding of how their role contributes to the values and goals of company
  • Retention (Expectation of staying 2 or more years)

Culture & Working Environment (33%)

Today, top talents are looking to their employers to provide them with more than just a pay cheque, they are looking to find working cultures and environments that resonate with their personal values and interests. The more that people can identify themselves with their place of work, the more companies can expect to have happy and satisfied employees who perform well in their jobs and stay on and grow with the company.

Indeed, as the need for traditional office hours and even permanent geographic locations continues to shift, and employee sentiment is shifting away from drinking culture towards health and wellness, imaginative companies have an opportunity to distinguish themselves in the job market by creating inspirational environments in which to work, which often have clear benefits in the quality of output and overall efficiency.

  • Ability to form strong collaborative working relationships with colleagues in their team / department
  • Ability to form strong working relationships cross functionally / with colleagues from different departments
  • Opportunities to bond with  colleagues outside of the workplace
  • General level of camaraderie felt within the company
  • Understanding of the company values
  • Belief that administration selects talent based on their alignment with company values
  • Workplace enables best work in comfortable surroundings
  • Reasonable workload given role
  • Company pride
  • Recommendation of the company as an attractive place to work

Analytical Approach

  1. Aggregate responses from all surveys/questionnaires and review data, ensuring the number of responses reflects a normal distribution, the data meets the required level of completeness and accuracy (adjusting and/or excluding outliers and inaccurate values), and all respondent work emails were valid
  2. Process each indicator individually, producing a standardised score (t-score) for each metric per company to evaluate the distance from the average using standard deviations and allowing each score to be compared against others in a statistically sound manner
  3. Assign weights to each index to ensure that no category (reward & benefits, leadership & development, culture & working environment) could have a disproportionate positive or negative impact on a particular company’s final score
  4. Calculate an overall weighted t-score by applying the weights to each standardised index score summing to form an overall total relative score for each company
  5. The final 16 companies were top performers based on the final weighted scores

Data and Inputs

“The Best Companies to Work for in Fashion 2017” is the result of a rigorous analytical exercise with direct participation from employees and companies. 

  • Fashion Employee Survey: Surveys completed by over 2,600 current employees from over 190 different companies evaluating employee satisfaction across 29 data points
  • Company Survey: Detailed survey information collected directly from participating fashion companies to help support the sentiments expressed in the Fashion Employment Survey

BoF Best Companies