St Helens vets named as best employer

Hayley Thompson and Nicola Bond from White Cross Vets celebrate being named as one of the best places to work with pet pooch Chester
Hayley Thompson and Nicola Bond from White Cross Vets celebrate being named as one of the best places to work with pet pooch Chester

A family-run veterinary practice in St Helens has been named as one of the best places to work in the UK for the fourth consecutive year.

White Cross Vets achieved the highest placing of any veterinary business reaching 29th in the prestigious list, which ranks the nation’s top employers.

White Cross Vets, which operates 14 UK practices, was first named in The Sunday Times ‘Best 100 Best Small Companies To Work For’ league table in 2013, and remains the only veterinary practice to ever achieve a three star extraordinary rating in the list’s history.

The judging panel surveyed tens of thousands of employees about all aspects of their working lives before compiling the final table.

Tim Harrison, managing director of White Cross Vets, said: “Each year all of our team anonymously answer a series of in-depth questions about everything from personal development opportunities, to workplace wellbeing, contributions in the local community and overall opinions about the business.

“Since 2008, we have grown from just one practice in Guiseley, West Yorkshire with a handful of staff, to 14 practices throughout the country, employing 150 people.

“Despite this rapid growth, we’ve been careful to maintain the values and culture that exist in a well-run family business as well as always investing heavily in the wellbeing and welfare of our team. Our placing in this year’s listing reaffirms that we have successfully achieved this, and we are absolutely delighted with the result.”

All team members at White Cross Vets are given three paid ‘donation days’ each year so they can volunteer for good causes as well as training and personal development courses, a 24 hour helpline for emotional and wellbeing support, a cycle to work scheme and discounted gym membership to support physical wellbeing.

Tim added: “Most people are probably unaware that whilst working in the veterinary profession is incredibly rewarding, it can also be very stressful.

“Working long-hours with emotionally challenging caseloads and helping owners through bereavement as well as encountering pets who have been the victim of cruelty can be very demanding.

“That is why we have worked hard to create a supportive culture both inside and outside of work providing 24 hour confidential counselling services and a host of other benefits to promote mental and physical wellbeing.”

Kelly Whitelaw, clinic director at White Cross Vets in St Helens, added: “It’s probably a bit of a cliché, but we all really feel like one big happy family at White Cross. Everyone cares a great deal about the work that we do.

“We get plenty of support, encouragement and training, as well as informative communication and quality leadership that is both motivating and enabling when it comes to providing the very highest levels of client care that we are renowned for.”

The Best Companies to Work For survey is now in its 16th year and is designed to rank the cream of Britain’s motivated workforces.

“It is widely recognised as the most searching and extensive research into employee engagement carried out in the UK.”