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What Makes An Award-Winning Employer?

Published: Tuesday 28th May 2019

Being acknowledged as an award-winning employer can work wonders for your brand and reputation, making you more attractive to the best talent. The question is how do you get noticed as a top employer?

The simplest answer to that is to win an award for it! Which is what Whirlpool Appliances did recently when the Peterborough based firm picked up the prestigious accolade of Top Employer UK 2019 for the second year running. The company is now certified by the Top Employers Institute in six countries (UK, France, Italy, Poland, Russia, and South Africa).

Putting people first

But doing that isn’t as easy as it sounds. The Top Employers Institute assesses across a number of criteria including salary and benefits, workplace planning, onboarding, learning and development, performance management, leadership development – to name just a few. But if you want to be acclaimed as a top employer and develop a brand that attracts and retains the best talent, these are the key areas you need to focus on.

Now, more than ever, doing that means putting people at the centre of your HR strategy. To showcase their commitment to people, businesses need to be more transparent in every aspect of their HR and employment policies, especially when it comes to how staff access development opportunities, and progress within the organisation. If you can demonstrate that, then you could be over the first hurdle on your way to being an award-winning employer.

Which award is right for you

There are numerous awards out there, so the best place to start is by finding out which ones are most suitable for your company before looking into the application criteria and what you need to do to beat the competition. It’s a good idea to start by getting a team together especially for the purpose. Employees from HR would be the obvious choice, but anyone with a marketing background can help here too.

Try to source case studies of applications from companies that have won in the past. That way, you can benchmark how you expect your company to perform based on your own policies and other criteria. Make a list of do’s and don’ts and review your people management programmes and processes to see what you could be doing better, or to deliver more in terms of winning criteria.

And, if you do win, make sure you get your PR team to follow up with a full campaign so your brand makes the most of the resulting media exposure.

If you don’t succeed at first, learn from the experience

Even if you’re unsuccessful in your first attempt, the application process should lead you to review how effective your current policies and initiatives are, so you can learn from the experience and do better next time.

Winning an award for being a great employer isn’t easy, but if you can do it, third-party recognition can really strengthen your employer brand and send out the message that your company is worth working for. Having some wording on your website careers page stating that you’re a great company to work for simply doesn’t come with the same credibility or impact as an award from an independent organisation. An award means that you’re a certified employer of choice, and that makes you a more attractive prospect to the best talent out there.

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