The finalists in the Best Employer category at the Norfolk Business Awards 2018
PUBLISHED: 11:57 17 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:30 17 October 2018
Introducing the finalists in the Best Employer category of the Norfolk Business Awards 2018, sponsored by Pure and Birketts – and what our judges thought of them.
• Morgan Sindall
Based in Norwich, its HQ is part of the Morgan Sindall Group which was formed in 1977 and employs 167 locally. Morgan Sindall is a leading construction company that creates the places where people live, learn and work, play, care and create. Its business is more than just constructing buildings, it’s about delivering an exceptional customer experience and leaving a positive legacy that delivers the sustainable communities of tomorrow.
Judges’ comments: The judges were impressed with the significant efforts and initiatives this company has made and is currently making to improve inclusion and diversity in its sector – particularly in relation to women in construction and improving social mobility by working closely with schools, and providing comprehensive training from work-experience, apprenticeships, degrees and leadership training. This company also demonstrates that it really cares about its employees’ wellbeing and has established 27 mental health first-aiders with more to come. Team work, customer and community focus are at the heart of what drives this business and this appears to give rise to a strong sense of pride in the organisation among its staff. Finally, it is clear that, despite its size, there is good communication with staff from top to bottom.
• The Holden Group
Established in 1928, The Holden Group is a family business representing Volvo, Honda, Renault and Dacia, based in the heart of Norwich. The group offers new, nearly new and approved used cars and vans for sale along with servicing, repairs and maintenance. The company purpose is “to help employees create the life they want”. All 115 employees set personal goals and are inspired to learn and grow. In return, they deliver exceptional customer experience.
A business which describes itself as a “nice place to work” took on a radical change programme to make the Holden Group a truly great place to work. In 2015, Tim Holden, chief executive officer, started a journey to evaluate the company’s purpose and to understand what that meant to its staff. The group has created a culture which centres on their staff, helping to develop the staff to be the best they can be, in and outside the workplace. As part of this shift, the group has gone against industry norm and created a five-day working week and developed a personal training budget to use for any development, work related or not. The business recognises the importance of having strong, inspiring managers and has focused on developing and promoting from within the business, supported through a bespoke leadership development programme. With employees having a voice through regular one-to-ones, training programmes and listening groups, the Holden Group continues to invest in its people, which is why engagement scores are increasing year on year.
• The Maids Head Hotel
The Maids Head Hotel in Norwich is renowned for being the oldest hotel in the UK and employs 90 people. Located in the Cathedral Quarter, it boasts 84 contemporary bedrooms, seven versatile event rooms, a 2AA Rosette Restaurant and complimentary on-site car parking. It has been privately owned since 2012 and over the last four years has embarked on a multi-million pound programme of renovation and refurbishment to ensure that the historic building meets the expectations of 21st-century guests.
Judges’ comments: The judges were very impressed with how the purpose, vision and corporate values have been fully integrated into the everyday operations of the organisation and are visible in all aspects of the business including recruitment, appraisals and reward and recognition. The workforce is very diverse both in terms of backgrounds and nationalities. Significant efforts have been made to develop staff with local colleges to enhance skills. This company has embraced all ideas and concepts of employee engagement in all areas and has made a strong impact with staff.
• Flagship Group
Flagship Group is a housing provider with more than 22,500 homes in the East. It provides homes for people in need and are working to solve the housing crisis in the East of England. The group was formed in 2011 and today employs more than 800 people who manage, maintain and develop the properties. The group combines the maintenance expertise of RFT Services, two gas companies under the Gasway umbrella and a housing company.
Judges’ comments: This is a company which fully embraces change and innovation and is taking its employees along with it on its journey towards continuous improvement in terms of the homes and services it delivers to its tenants and people in need. Its staff are highly engaged and committed, and the company has made significant efforts to drive that employee engagement. It has challenged itself and sought to deliver in all the key areas of learning and development, recognition, employee well-being and diversity and inclusion. It is an exemplar of flexible and agile working and built a high level of trust with its people.