Over 50 Companies Participated in the 13th Edition of Best Employers Bulgaria

The 13th awarding ceremony famous for the celebration of the best employers across various industries took place on February 12th, 2020. The winner companies are nominated based on their results from the engagement study Best Employers Bulgaria. Main goal of this study is to examine and determine employee engagement levels in our country. 

5 companies received an award prize at the exquisite ceremony. Over 13 500 employees from 53 companies across 11 sectors participated in the engagement study during 2019.

The companies which received the prestigious award Best Employers Bulgaria 2019 were:

  • SAP Labs Bulgaria, IT sector (Category Mid-Size Companies (250-1000 employees);
  • Progress, IT sector (Category Mid-Size Companies (250-1000 employees).

Encouragement Awards for 2019 were granted to 3 companies:

  • Discordia AD, Transport & Logistics Sector (Category Large-Size Companies – 1000+ employees);
  • JYSK Bul EOOD, Retail Sector (Category Mid-Size Companies (250-1000 employees);
  • Tavex EOOD, Finance Sector (Category Small-Size Companies (up to 250 employees).


“This year very few companies managed to meet the requirements and be granted a certificate as one of Best Employers Bulgaria 2019. Overall, there was a downward trend in nearly all engagement indices during 2019” – state from ARS Bulgaria, the study organizers in Bulgaria.

Average engagement score in Bulgaria is reported to be on the decline by 3% in 2019 (results from 13 500 surveyed employees this year), while the Engagement Index across the best employers seems to be an outstanding 83%. Younger generation between 25-35 years of age expect clearly defined organizational processes. Unfortunately, many companies are still unable to adequately respond to this need.

Nevertheless, it is important to emphasize the fact that the best employers for 2019 score the remarkable 84% in the Performance Management area (on the rise by 6% for the past 2 years).

In terms of engagement related to tenure in the company, this year records a noticeable variation compared to the traditional trends. Typically, employees are most engaged during the first 3 months of starting a new job. This indicator hits 80% for average country score.  For Bulgaria’s best employers this indicator is very close to 100%.

Engagement tends to decrease after the 3rd month of employment and this trend carries on until the 5th year of employment. After this it starts to rise again and after the 10th year engagement typically reaches 70%. It is a surprising fact this year that employee engagement among those with 10+ years of tenure has fallen to about 60%.

Another interesting indicator, which has received the highest score among the satisfactory factors is Diversity and Inclusion. It is usually high in the region of Central and Eastern Europe and significantly surpasses the Western part of Europe, indeed Bulgaria holds one of the top positions on this factor of Diversity and Inclusion. It is definitely concerning that despite the typically high percentages, this factor records a decline for yet another year with 2019’s score falling by 9% compared to 2017.

One of the underlying reasons seems to be the generational differences and contrasting mindsets, as well as the fact that employers find it increasingly hard to incorporate organizational processes that motivate all the various age groups within the workforce.

And while in developed economies, generational changes seem to occur every 15-20 years, in Bulgaria this tendency has mainly been observed after 1989 and generational intervals appear to be as short as 8-12 years. This makes employers’ challenges much more complicated.


Bulgarian businesses are faced with the obstacle of successfully motivating the middle management and during the last few years many companies made a huge effort to tackle this issue.

Those efforts have a positive impact on the Supervision indicator which records an increase by 3% for the country. Employer Brand is the indicator with the highest percentage score among the best employers, while the average country score is 69% (though Employer Brand also records a downturn by 3% compared to 2017). Supervision scores 75% average for the country and 89% among the best employers.

Provided that employees feel connected to the organizational culture, they would perform even better in their work tasks. Experience means everything to people. Their feelings towards the workplace have a direct influence on retention rate, engagement levels and labour productivity. It is not by accident that the formula which determines the winner companies in Best Employers Bulgaria is a combination of four indices: Engagement, Leadership, Employer Brand, Performance Culture. 


Best Employers Bulgaria 2019 winners are:


3 Encouragement Awards
Category Large-Size Companies – over 1000 employees

Discordia AD, Transport & Logistics

Certificate for Highest Engagement Score in Middle Management for 2019

“Thank you to our employees, in particular the middle management, who have made this moment a reality due to their trust and devotion to Discordia as their employer. Also, thank you to ARS Bulgaria as organizers of the 13th edition of this study.

This award is incredibly important to our team, since it is namely our people who are the key driver for the company’s upward development and they contribute to it being the fastest growing employer in our sector, Transport & Logistics, as well as being in Top-20 of the fasters growing employers within Bulgaria.

I definitely do not underestimate the key significance of Middle Management’s engagement. Discordia’s high achievements became possible thanks to middle management’s integration in strategic decisions and their increasing roles in company’s growth. We also invested heavily in their learning and development, because we place an importance on their role as the employers’ face.

Undoubtedly, every employer defines their focus and strategy, and to us this is the continual development of middle management people, so that their engagement is then spread on in even greater extent to their teams. This way they will strengthen the employee – company relationship and the one between personal – corporate results.” – said Jan Vaytilingam, HR Director at Discordia, upon receiving the award.


Category Mid-Size Companies (250-1000 employees)

JYSK Bul EOOD, Retail Sector

Certificate for High Achievements in Senior Leadership Category for 2019

Maya Petrova from JYSK Bul EOOD stated the following – “It is a great honour to participate in this study for the very first time, thank you to the whole ARS team for this opportunity and for the support during the whole time. This award is a huge accomplishment for us, we take pride in it and it encourages us to continue the good work and streamlined efforts in this direction in order to keep improving what we are doing.

We certainly believe that employee engagement is closely correlated with leaders’ engagement, therefore leadership in our company is a key factor and driver to having highly engaged, motivated employees who are delivering better results each day. This is a direction which JYSK Bulgaria will continue to work in.”


Category Small-Size Companies (up to 250 employees)

Tavex EOOD, Finance Sector

Certificate for Highest Achievement Score in Collaboration Category for 2019


2 Companies Awarded as Best Employers Bulgaria 2019


Best Employers Bulgaria 2019

Category Mid-Size Companies (250-1000 employees)

SAP Labs Bulgaria, IT Sector

“We receive the award for “Best Employers Bulgaria” for the sixth time. This survey is extremely valuable to us as it provides our employees’ feedback for SAP Labs as an employer. This way we can evaluate the success of our efforts to create a highly engaging and motivating working environment at best we can. In the year when our R&D center celebrates its 20th anniversary, we dedicate this award to our colleagues, who are the ones making us a Best Employer!” – shared Radoslav Nikolov, SAP Labs Bulgaria CEO.


Best Employers Bulgaria 2019

Category Mid-Size Companies (250-1000 employees)

Progress, IT Sector

“The most important part is that the underlying cause for us to be a great employer is the huge appreciation of our employees and their constant support in making Progress one of the best places to work for.” – shares Maria Atanasova, Human Capital Director at Progress for EMEA and a board member of the company in Bulgaria. “Employees are the foundation for everything in Progress – in the creation of IT innovations, as well as in the creation of productive working environment, in which we all succeed together. We take pride in our organizational culture and the team we have built thus far, and we will continue to invest in the office in Bulgaria.”

Petar T. Ivanov, CEO, AmCham Bulgaria presented the award to Maria Atanasova, Human Capital Development, Progress

Best Employers Bulgaria engagement study has been conducted for 13 years now in Bulgaria. Over 500 companies, across 15 various sectors and with over 140 000 surveyed employees have taken part in the study to this day. The study measures 14 areas of engagement (applicable to Eastern Europe) which define the employee experience at work: 7 measure the engagement factors, and the other 7 measure the satisfactory factors.