Great Place to Work was recognised in our recent poll as being the most effective accreditation for an employer to receive. We have spent the past few weeks looking at what it takes to become accredited, and the benefits. We have spoken to HR Leaders of employers who have gained this accreditation across our region successfully. We are grateful to Karen Arch – Chief People Officer at BHP Chartered Accountants for sharing her specific insights with us.

Great Place to Work - explained in simple terms
  • Great Place to Work targets employers who are caring, passionate and inclusive.
  • Their people conduct assessments of workplaces and their people to determine employee satisfaction. The results are then benchmarked against 10,000 organisations.

The evaluation process typically involves surveys and assessments to gather feedback from employees regarding their workplace experiences, culture, and leadership effectiveness.

  • Those who meet the standard receive an accreditation as a Certified™ great workplace.
  • Every employer receives feedback and suggestions to improve the strength of their EVP.
  • The awards cover various categories such as Best Workplaces for Wellbeing™, Best Workplaces for Women™ and Best Workplaces for Development™. This diversity allows companies to showcase their strengths in different aspects of workplace culture and environment.
  • Winning or being certified by Great Place to Work UK provides public recognition and credibility for a company. It can enhance the employer brand, attracting top talent and improving retention rates.
  • Participating in the awards program provides networking opportunities with other recognized companies and industry leaders. This can lead to knowledge sharing and collaboration opportunities.
Benefits of gaining the accreditation:
  • Enhanced Employer Brand: Being recognised as a great place to work enhances the company's employer brand, making it more attractive to prospective employees.
  • Improved Employee Morale: Participation in the awards program and potential recognition can boost employee morale and pride in the company, leading to higher engagement levels.
  • Talent Attraction and Retention: A positive workplace reputation attracts top talent and helps retain existing employees, reducing recruitment costs and turnover rates.
  • Increased Productivity and Innovation: Happy and engaged employees are more productive and innovative, leading to better business outcomes and competitiveness in the market.
  • Positive Public Image: Public recognition as a great place to work enhances the company's reputation among customers, investors, and the general public.
  • Employee Development: Focusing on creating a great workplace fosters a culture of continuous learning and development, benefiting both employees and the company as a whole.

Insight from Karen Arch – Chief People Officer at BHP Chartered Accountants on their experience of the Great Place to Work accreditation:

What attracted the firm to the Great Place to Work programme?

As a firm we were looking for a credible engagement platform that would give us a real understanding of how are people feel about working at BHP.  We wanted to ensure we could easily benchmark ourselves with similar businesses and against the best of the best.  Added to that we needed the flexibility to be able to create our own surveys throughout the year.  Great Place to Work offered all of this and felt that they closely reflected what we are trying to achieve.

How did you find the application process?

Straightforward – we have found the Account Manager and Support team to be very supportive, flexible and helpful – so very positive and really responsive.

What do you believe to be the biggest benefits to you as an employer from both the process and achieving the certification?

The biggest benefit has been the ability to get a greater insight into how our people are feeling and what they value.  Great Place to Work allows us to do this at a macro level as well as delve deeper at a micro level to understand what factors affect specific groups of people (e.g. age, tenure, department etc.).  This insight allows us to target our initiatives, making them more impactful and effective.  In earning the certification, we have benefited by being able to promote this within the wider business community as well as to prospective future employees.

What do you believe are the benefits to the employees of working for an organisation with the Great Place to Work certification?

I believe it creates a sense of pride and validation for employees that they work in a positive environment where they have a voice - Partners want to listen and make things better.  Through Great Place to Work we have an annual plan around engagement which we communicate to all employees – so it also gives reassurance that actions will be taken to continually improve and that their voice matters.

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