We always enjoy being asked to judge the Best Employer category at the Eastern Daily Press Business awards. It always proves to be extremely inspiring and it’s a fantastic way to find out more about the exceptional examples of employee engagement being implemented by businesses in our region.
Here at Pure we are real supporters of employee engagement. It doesn’t just add to the bottom line, it also creates a great place for people to work, helping organisations to attract and retain the best talent. The Best Employer award is all about celebrating the businesses which have demonstrated a clear vision and understanding of what keeps teams motivated and engaged.
Our congratulations go to Norwich’s online wine retailer, Naked Wines, which was presented with the 2015 award earlier this month. As judges for the award we were looking for demonstrable evidence of employee engagement tactics including: personal development opportunities for staff; strong communication; innovative ways of recognising, rewarding and thanking staff; empowering teams to make a difference for charity or their local community; flexible working and staff wellbeing; diversity and openness to feedback; and truly living their values.
Naked Wines was able to demonstrate exceptional examples of all these criteria and proved to be extremely inspiring winners, here’s three of the top reasons why:
1. A motivating office space
It was clear that having fun while working hard was a core part of the company ethos. They have incorporated some fabulous ideas to make the office a fantastic place for their staff, including a slide linking the first and ground floor, office pool tables and a coffee/beer bar which becomes a social hub at 5pm on a Friday. Our physical working environment affects our ability to work, so spending time and effort on creating a great office space is a worthwhile investment. Anyone looking for additional inspiration can find some more ideas in our previous blog post on office space.
2. Empowered employees
Creating an effective culture for employee engagement requires empowering leadership, strong values and shared vision. It was clear that the leadership team at Naked Wines is completely committed to empowering its people to deliver exceptional customer service. Their employees are given the freedom and flexibility to be able to tailor solutions to individual customers. They are also encouraged to come up with new ideas and projects to improve the business.
3. Commitment to values
Over the past year Naked Wines has undergone a change of ownership but it has stayed true to its values. It has continuously sought innovative ways to keep staff motivated and rewarded. This includes quarterly incentive schemes and free food Fridays. It also has strong links to charities which, as we’ve previously highlighted in another blog, can also help to make a great place to work.
We would also like to congratulate Lintott Control Systems and Selesti, who were both incredibly worthy finalists in this category. Both organisations should be exceptionally proud to have been shortlisted from over 300 businesses which entered the awards this year.
Achieving these types of Best Employer accolades really helps to raise your employee brand, which will inevitably help to attract future talent to your organisation. If you’ve been inspired by these awards you can discover more about employee engagement by visiting our Best Employers Eastern Region section of the website, which also explains how you could win one of our Best Employer awards in 2016!
Lynn is a founding Director of Pure and leads Pure Executive with over 25 years recruiting for Executive appointments. Lynn supports East of England-based businesses with senior management and Board level recruitment. Lynn leads the Best Employer Eastern Region Initiative and the Women In Leadership Programme both of which are aimed at helping companies and people to develop.