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Suffolk’s Best Employers revealed at awards conference

Suffolk’s Best Employers were celebrated at the Best Employers Eastern Region 2018 awards conference which brought together over 150 business people from across East Anglia.

The awards conference, held at the Rowley Mile Racecourse in Newmarket in October, revealed the 2018 winners of Best Employers Eastern Region Awards and Accredited organisations. It was also the opportunity for the region’s business leaders to learn from one another about creating engaging, inspiring and inclusive workplaces which bring out the best in their people.

The Best Employers Eastern Region initiative was founded by professional recruitment specialists Pure and psychometrics experts eras ltd. It is sponsored by law firm Birketts and provides businesses with the opportunity to gain unique data on their employee engagement levels through the initiative’s free employee survey which measures employee engagement, culture and values. The chance to be officially recognised as one of the region’s best employers is based on the survey results.

As well as the award-winning organisations, more than 40 businesses were also presented with Best Employers Eastern Region Accreditations at the event. New for 2018, the Platinum and Gold Accreditations were awarded to the organisations which scored in the top 25% of the Best Employers Eastern Region employee engagement survey and which also submitted further evidence for judging.

The Suffolk organisations presented with prestigious Best Employers Eastern Region 2018 Awards and Accreditations were:

Award winners:

·         Best Overall Large Company Award winner and Platinum Accredited: Concertus Design and Property Consultants Ltd, based in Ipswich

·         Best Overall Small Company Award winner and Platinum Accredited: Aramar Solutions Ltd, based in Ipswich

· Best Digital and Technology Company Award Winner and Gold Accredited: Integrated marketing agency StrategiQ, based in Ipswich

· Best Manufacturing Company Award winner and Platinum Accredited: Flavour and fragrance solutions company Treatt, based in Bury St Edmunds

Platinum Accredited:

· Beckett Investment Management Group based in Bury St Edmunds

· Morgan Sindall Construction East construction and regeneration group with offices in Ipswich

Gold Accredited:

· IPRS Health based in Little Blakenham

· Juddmonte, bloodstock and racing group based in Newmarket

· PolicyBee, specialist business insurance broker based in Ipswich

· Ryans, chartered independent insurance broker based in Ipswich

· Taylor Wimpey, regional homebuilder with an office in Bury St Edmunds

· Thule Group, outdoor and transport solutions company based in Haverhill

The judges also presented further accreditations to the organisations which showed high levels of engagement and which they believe are the ‘Ones to Watch’ ahead of the biennial Best Employers Eastern Region in 2020. This included Brown & Co which has offices in Bury St Edmunds, Curtis Banks in Ipswich, Harrod UK in Lowestoft, Pioneer Pump in Bury St Edmunds, Superstructures in Ipswich, Suffolk law firm Gotelee Solicitors and Ensors which has offices in Ipswich and Saxmundham.

Sarah Cossey, Executive Finance Director at Concertus Design and Property Consultants Ltd, which received the Best Overall Large Company Award and Platinum Accreditation, said: “We are extremely proud to win this award for Concertus Design & Property Consultants Ltd. As part of our vision and values, we are fully committed to doing the right thing for our employees and ensuring they are listened to. We continually introduce initiatives to enhance our wellbeing, employee engagement and benefits. Our employees are our asset and we will continue to evolve and be the best we can be to be able to deliver exceptional service.”

Rob Howell, Sales and Operations Director at Aramar Solutions Ltd, winners of the Best Overall Small Company Award and Platinum Accredited, added: “We are really pleased to have won Best Employer Overall Small Company and to also be accredited as a Platinum employer. It is a fantastic achievement for us which reflects the hard work all our employees and associates have put in to making Aramar a great place to work.”

 On being presented with the Best Digital and Technology Company Award and Gold Accreditation, Andy Smith, CEO and founder of integrated marketing company StrategiQ said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive the Best Employers award. It's really important for us to ensure our team work in an environment they can grow in and be part of a culture where they can develop personally and professionally. As we continue to grow we want to attract the best talent in the region and this award continues to support our vision of ‘building a brand people want to be part of’.”

Daemmon Reeve, Group CEO at Treatt, winners of the Best Manufacturing Company Award and Platinum Accredited, added: “Winning this award is a fantastic achievement for Treatt and it’s very encouraging to see us progressing year on year. Our people are at the heart of our organisation and of course we are aiming to attract exceptional people who are genuinely passionate about what they do. Having Platinum Accreditation as a company is significant to ensuring we continue to bring the right talent to our business, creating an engaged culture that can deliver success now and into the future. The happiness and well-being of our staff is incredibly important to us and from the analysis of the Best Employers survey, we are keen to continue optimising staff engagement in the workplace in order to remain a Best Employer in the years to come.”

Lynn Walters, Executive Director at Pure and founder of Best Employers Eastern Region, said: “We would like to congratulate all our winners and accredited organisations. The full list really demonstrates the breadth of amazing organisations we have in our region and this external recognition will help them to further enhance their employer brand. We developed Best Employers Eastern Region to raise the recruitment profile of organisations and the region as a whole. In today’s competitive recruitment market these businesses will now be in a stronger position to attract and retain the high calibre employees needed to achieve business growth. As well as being a celebration, the event was a unique opportunity for our region’s businesses to learn from one another. I would like to thank all our guest speakers for sharing their employee engagement journeys and helping us in our purpose of contributing to the growth of the eastern region by sharing insights on increasing employee engagement and productivity as a result.”

The guest speakers at the event included Marc Holl, Managing Director at IPRS Health based in Little Blakenham, which won the Best Employer category at the recent Suffolk Business Awards 2018. Jeanette Wheeler from regional law firm Birketts also led an interview with Catherine Spitzer and Julie Archer from Bidwells, in which they shared their experience of redesigning their Cambridge office as a catalyst to change the culture of the business.

At the event, Paul Henderson and Alex Pearce from eras ltd shared the key findings and regional trends from this year’s Best Employers Eastern Region employee engagement survey.

Alex Pearce, Managing Director at eras ltd, said: “We’ve had a fantastically diverse range of organisations taking part in Best Employers Eastern Region 2018. With double the number of participants completing this year’s survey we had some really high quality and valuable data to share.”

The awards event also raised money for charity with a proportion of ticket sales being donated to the regional offices of MIND. Together with money raised at the Best Employers Eastern Region 2018 launch event in February over £5,200 has been raised for the mental health charity.

The full list of award winners and accredited organisations is shown on the dedicated Best Employers Eastern Region portal.

Sue Wilcock