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It was confirmed that ‘the East of England has a workforce to be proud of’ as the key findings and winning Suffolk businesses in the Best Employers Eastern Region 2012 campaign were revealed last week.

The Best Employers initiative, run by recruitment specialists Pure Resourcing Solutions and psychometric testing experts eras Ltd is in its first year. It was created to find the region’s best employers and to share best practice among businesses; putting the East of England on the map as a great place to work.

Almost 100 businesses in the region backed the campaign which launched in April.  As a result, over 5,000 employees completed the campaign survey to provide feedback on their company’s culture and values.

The feedback has been analysed by a team of chartered psychologists at eras Ltd and the results used to pick the region’s Best Employers for 2012 which includes Jackson Civil Engineering, Benefit Cosmetics and creative marketing agency Spring in Southwold.

The survey data has also been used to collate a wealth of information to share with businesses about the current motivation and satisfaction levels of employees across the region.

Lynn Walters, Director at Pure Resourcing Solutions, said:

“We have been delighted with the amazing up-take we have had for this initiative in its inaugural year.  It has demonstrated the diverse range of successful businesses we have in this region. The survey provided a wealth of valuable feedback which revealed that over two thirds of employees would definitely recommend their workplace.”

The organisations taking part in the campaign were categorised by size to allow a fair and balanced set of criteria on which to base the awards. The awards were split into two categories – large (50 plus employees) and small (under 50 employees) businesses and then with 4 sub categories (Innovation, Vision & Motivation, Customer Focus and Employee Values). There were four winning employers from Suffolk.

Erika Clegg, founder and director of creative marketing agency Spring, added:

“The Springers are what makes Spring the agency it is, and it’s my firm belief that their hard work, creativity and loyalty should be nurtured and rewarded. From simple things like funding ‘mind expanding weekends’ and weekly fitness sessions, right up to making long-standing Springers shareholders, we have a long-held policy of investing in our team’s sense of belonging.”

Lynn Waters of Pure Resourcing Solutions said

“The Spring website is very inspiring and innovative but paints a very clear picture of the business. The agency’s Southwold location is unique and means that it is not easy to recruit people from out of the area but once they are there, they stay. Erika involves her team, or her ‘Springers’ as they are known, in the strategic direction of the business. She has an innovative approach to inspiring her team by getting some very high profile, interesting clients to come and talk to them to get them to think ‘outside the box’.”

As well as revealing the region’s best employers, the campaign findings also revealed that pensions, a Christmas party and parking spaces were the three most popular benefits for employees in the Eastern region.

Alex Pearce, Managing Director at eras Ltd, said:  “Our research found that employees in the East of England are on the whole motivated, keen to develop their skills, feel involved in the business they work in, value their customers and will strive to go the extra mile. The Eastern region definitely has a workforce to be proud of and it demonstrates a strong focus on customer service, which is arguably a good way to stay afloat in troubled economic times.”

Only 20 per cent of the survey respondents disagreed that their workplace had excellent facilities and a great working environment.

Alex added:

“While employers in our region have much to be proud of, there is still room for employees to feel more engaged. The survey showed less prominent ratings for autonomy in working life and for self development. And while 90 percent agreed that they can communicate with senior management or directors, the research suggests that if managers spend a little more time communicating the organisation’s strategy and any changes it is introducing, it would make a huge improvement on how employees perceive the company.”

Every company which took part in the campaign received a confidential tailored report including an action plan for guidance on further development.

 

The winning Suffolk businesses were honoured at a seminar at Trinity Park Conference Centre in Ipswich. The event was organised to share the key findings of the campaign with other businesses across Suffolk and included guest speakers Henry Catchpole, Entrepreneur and Director of Anglia Registrars and Alistair Lang, CEO of Birketts LLP.

Henry shared his unique approach to building a loyal and engaged workforce whilst growing a successful business and Alistair revealed more about the law firm’s participation in The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For and how to get the most from employee surveys and to use the results to implement change.

Lynn Walters stressed that the presentation of the awards did not signal the end of the initiative.

“One of the key reasons we developed the Best Employers survey, awards and seminars was to be able to share best practice to help businesses in our region to attract and retain talented employees. We will be running further events in the future to discuss more of the survey findings and facilitate further discussions about employee engagement.”

Pure Resourcing Solutions and eras Ltd aim to run the Best Employers Eastern Region campaign bi-annually providing the opportunity for even more businesses to get involved in 2014.

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