East Anglia’s ‘Best Employers’ to be crowned at innovative workplace culture conference

The Best Employers Eastern Region 2016 Awards conference will take place on Thursday 6 October at Hengrave Hall in Bury St Edmunds, celebrating the region’s best places to work and featuring guest speakers from high profile organisations discussing leadership, culture and its impact on business performance.

The Best Employer Eastern Region Awards will be presented as part of the ongoing business support initiative which was launched in 2012 by professional recruitment specialists Pure and people development and psychometrics experts eras ltd. This year, the award for the region’s Best Overall Large Employer will be sponsored by leading East of England law firm Birketts. Further awards will also be presented to the region’s Best Overall Small Employer (organisations with less than 50 employees) and organisations that excel in Customer Focus, Employee Engagement and Innovation.

The event will bring together business leaders from across the region and employers from Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire will share ideas and gain inspiration and tips to increase engagement. The guest speakers have been confirmed as Chantal Misquitta from AstraZenca, Daemmon Reeve from Treatt plc, Norman Pickavance and James Brown from Grant Thornton and business transformation consultant Steve Turpie speaking about his work with Accenture, as well as Bright Stars, one of the nominated charities benefiting from the ticket sales of the event.

Lynn Walters, co-founder and director at Pure, said: “The conference will celebrate the breadth of employers we have in our region and will also be a fantastic opportunity to hear from leaders at some of the region’s most high-performing organisations. Each of one of these businesses is very different with varying people, culture and engagement challenges. The aim of these events is to create a forum to share new ideas, problem solve challenges and to bring together leading employers to share their experiences and best practice. We are also delighted to have Birketts, our 2012 sponsors, continuing to support us again this year. We partner with Birketts on several events and initiatives, including employment law seminars and regional diversity events, and we are proud to work with them on this important initiative as well.”

Representatives from Birketts will attend the event to present the Best Overall Large Employer Award and to also take part in the discussions which aim to strengthen the region’s economy by supporting local businesses to attract and develop talented employees.

Jeanette Wheeler, Partner and Head of Employment Law, Birketts, said: “We’ve always been great advocates of the correlation between employee engagement and business success. We know that our own reputation relies on the qualities of our people and we believe that workplaces should be challenging and rewarding, but above all, enjoyable. Our region is a great place to work and to do business, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to help celebrate our fantastic employers and to share best practice.”

The award winning organisations will be selected based on the results from participants in the 2016 Best Employers Eastern Region Survey. The employee survey, provided free of charge as part of the initiative, is tailored for each business and uncovers the true perception of an organisation by asking its employees. It also captures the data employers need to monitor how engaged their employees are and to gain a better understanding of the perceived workplace culture.

Margaret Burnside, Director of People Development at eras ltd, said: “The survey allows us to bring a little science to what might seem a subjective judgement. The Best Employer Eastern Region Awards are presented to the organisations which have the highest overall scores. Each participating organisation will also have received a free tailored report, an action plan for guidance and access to regional trends. The event is a great opportunity to discuss the overall findings and results and to see how our region compares on a national and global scale.”

The event will also help to raise money for two local charities, with £15 per ticket being donated to Brightstars and Upbeat Heart in West Suffolk. Upbeat Heart is a support group set up by ex-cardiac patients to help those who have had heart attacks or other heart-related problems. Brightstars, founded by guest speaker Steve Turpie, supports disabled children and young people in Bury St Edmunds. Delegates will have the chance to hear the inspiring story of how Brightstars was founded, its first year to date, and how previous donations from Best Employers Eastern Region events have helped to support the charity’s work.   

For more information, or to book a place at the Best Employers Eastern Region Awards and Conference, visit or email

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