Norfolk Business Awards 2020: Employer of the Year winner

East Anglian Air Ambulance is the winner of the Employer of the Year award Picture: EAAA

East Anglian Air Ambulance is the winner of the Employer of the Year award Picture: EAAA - Credit: Archant

East Anglian Air Ambulance has been announced as the winner of the Employer of the Year award, sponsored by Pure and Birketts, at the Norfolk Business Awards 2020.

The judges are incredibly proud to announce East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) as Employer of the Year 2020. The quality of entrants this year has been exceptional and it has been truly humbling for the judges to witness the extent to which employers have gone above and beyond to innovate, look after their people and adapt under extremely challenging circumstances.  

EAAA is an exceptionally worthy winner. This year is its 20th anniversary and it has grown from very small beginnings operating one flight per week to a 24/7 operation, and as it has grown, its staff have shared the journey.

The extent of EAAA’s innovation is phenomenal and runs through the DNA of the organisation. Not only did it adapt all its normal operational procedures, but it delivered extraordinary innovation and care when it came to looking after its people during the pandemic.

Making the time to communicate each day, recording podcasts from staff, creating ‘furlough families’ and involving everyone in fundraising from cleaners to pilots – which enabled it to beat its fundraising target three fold – are just some of the achievements.


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EAAA paid attention to the small, everyday things that affected individuals as much as the big operational challenges and the energy, compassion and belief is testimony to the incredible leadership.  

“To have EAAA’s culture recognised in this award is just incredible,” said Sarah Atkins, head of HR. “We really believe that every member of staff has a part to play in making EAAA a great place to work, so this is a huge testament to the whole team.

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“Like everyone, we’ve had a lot to adjust to this year, and ensuring everyone still feels connected and able to do their jobs has been a huge priority. Everyone has gone above and beyond, learnt to work in new ways, and made sure that our yellow helicopters are available for anyone who needs critical care in our region.”

ABOUT THE SPONSORS

Pure is a professional recruitment company which specialises in executive, accountancy, human resources, technology, marketing and digital, and professional office roles. Pure recruits across all levels, from short-term temporary cover to longer-term contracts and permanent recruitment. It works with clients to recruit the right people and to support them at every stage of their career.

Birketts is a full service, top 100 UK law firm, with offices in Cambridge, Chelmsford, Ipswich, Norwich and London. With a rich heritage spanning over 150 years, Birketts has built an enviable track record advising businesses, institutions and individuals in the UK and internationally.

THE FINALISTS

Panel Graphic

With the advent of Covid-19, Panel Graphic put supporting staff at the top of the business agenda. Leading from the front, chief executive Steve Earl wrote personally to every member of staff to assure them they did not need to be worried about their finances or losing their job as the company had set up a fund of £250,000 which staff could call upon to support them.

Rosedale funeral home 

Anne and Simon Beckett-Allen run Rosedale as a family business and, through a combination of initiatives, they have enabled their team to work differently, developed new services and support for families and communities, looked after their staff’s wellbeing and still managed to have a virtual company away day to celebrate everyone’s achievements.

Saffron Housing Trust

Saffron Housing Trust is a fantastic case study of how a business should engage its people in a national crisis. Its staff communications ramped up significantly, as well as supporting staff’s mental wellbeing by doubling trained staff first aiders, providing access to an Employee Assistance Programme, setting up a new Staff Engagement Platform, and holding virtual coffee mornings.

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