The 18th annual Amazon Growing Business Awards are back with a bang on 30 November, but before then we need your help to determine which business will take the coveted Employer of the Year prize home.
We’ve got a shortlist bursting with innovation, achievement and drive to put staff first and foremost. In this article you get to hear from Simply Business about why it feels worthy of the accolade, but make sure to check out the other seven companies vying for your vote before making a selection.
The Simply Business Employer of the Year pitch
We really believe that a happy workforce is a productive workforce. The success of Simply Business is a credit, not an impediment, to the happiness of our staff so we have numerous initiatives in place to help employees develop and progress in both a personal and a professional capacity.
Examples of this process in action include LevelUp, our company‐wide knowledge‐sharing initiative. LevelUp encourages team members to offer classes and seminars where they can share specialist skills with the wider team. From coding to pensions and investment insight, the floor is open to anyone who has knowledge to share.
We also aim to identify promising talent within the office early with our Simply Business Leadership Network. This initiative encourages the next generation of leadership within the company to be a part of the decision‐making process, offering extra responsibilities to those who want them. Through the Simply Business Leadership Network we encourage peer support and learning, allowing us to invest in the future of our business.
As a business we are keen to gain feedback and suggestions from our staff in order that improvements and innovations to service and practice hit no obstacles. The main forum that we use for this is Retrospective, a monthly meeting scheduled to review completed projects, providing an open platform for feedback. Sessions are structured so that comments are invited from all colleagues and then formed into clear actions so improvements can be made. This process is linked to a “Show and Tell” initiative in our London office, where staff are encouraged to share particularly interesting projects upon completion. A larger version of this process occurs during our annual company trip abroad – this year to Barcelona – a celebration of our achievements over the entire year to which all members of staff are invited.
We use all sorts of mechanisms to share credit when it is due, with a particular emphasis on making it personal. For example, in our Northampton office we have a Wall of Fame with winners announced at regular intervals. Prizes are awarded for exceptional service or when personal development goals are achieved and include everything from free coffee for a week to extra holiday.
In addition, each year we take the entire Simply Business team on holiday – always a fun and unique weekend to look back on. It’s a really valuable annual celebration of our achievements.
Just as vital as our employees’ professional development is the safeguarding of their mental wellbeing. To help ensure work is “working” in harmony with our out of office hours, we offer things like easy‐access sabbaticals, truly flexible working, Google Hangout integration, yoga classes, a subsidised meditation app, the option to auto‐delete emails whilst on annual leave as well as flu jabs and eye tests for all employees, among a range of benefits. On top of this we offer healthy snacks and subsidised fitness classes to all members of staff, to limit the health issues that correspond with desk work.
Have a look at the other Employer of the Year shortlisted businesses:
Make your vote count by picking your favourite for the Employer of the Year category at the 2016 Amazon Growing Business Awards below.