South Tyneside-based secure cloud experts Howell Technology Group (HTG) are in line for a top employer award, after being the only North East business to make the shortlist for a national listing which celebrates the UK’s best companies for diversity and inclusion, flexible working, career progression for women, mental health and family support.
Created by WM People, a group which aims to improve the world of work by inspiring and promoting best practice in diversity and inclusion amongst employers, the London award ceremony in February will see 24 shortlisted organisations including McDonald’s, Lloyds Banking Group, Zurich Insurance, and Unilever gather to hear the winners announced.
A win would see HTG profiled in WM People’s annual Top Employer Best Practice Report, which will take an in depth look at the winners of the Top Employer awards, investigating what made them leaders in their category and providing real life case studies and examples of their policies in practice.
HTG is one of three companies in the running for the Best SME category, created for those who demonstrate a real commitment to work life balance practices. The company recently doubled the size of its premises and added to its senior leadership team to support a growth plan which includes creating a raft of new jobs in 2023.
HTG’s Head of People and Culture Louise Roughley said: “We’re proud to be among such illustrious company and to be recognised for our approach to normalising the juggle of balancing work with outside responsibilities and interests.
“Seventy-two percent of our team work flexibly, which might be a four-day working week, term time working, remote working, hybrid working or adjusted hours. Some work flexibly to help them fulfil responsibilities as parents, and others do it on the grounds of positively contributing towards their wellbeing.
“Flexible working is not the only way we support those with caring responsibilities. Our staff can buy up to 10 days of additional holiday a year, and we also offer extra Milestone Leave so people can take time off for those special ‘life’ moments such as first days at school or graduations.
“We also provide six months’ full pay to primary caregivers and a month’s full pay to secondary caregivers when they welcome a child, as well as providing paid leave to manage emergencies related to dependents. It all adds up to supporting employees and helping them feel able to be present for the people in their lives.
“Our aim is to create a best in class people function that results in a happy, healthy and motivated team and appropriately supports people at every stage of their lives. It makes work a great place to be, and adds commercial value by attracting and retaining the right people to support our clients and our expansion plans.
“We are very excited about the finals, and look forward to flying the flag for the North East region.”
Gillian Nissim, Founder of WM People said: “The last year has once again seen a lot of turbulence with labour shortages across sectors being a big feature. We have finished the year in recession with pressing concerns about rising costs and demand for higher wages.
“The short term future is for more of the same so employers need to have the right structures in place to attract and keep the best talent and adapt to whatever they might face. Understanding the different pressures on different colleagues so they can deliver their best needs to be front and centre.
“We have been very impressed by the quality of entries to this year’s awards. Shortlisting has once again been very difficult as many employers have demonstrated that they have gone the extra mile despite all the pressures they are facing.
Those shortlisted all offer stand-out examples of good practice and we look forward to sharing that with other employers in our Best Practice Report next year.
“We hope that, in challenging circumstances, we will continue to see employers driving innovation so that everyone is able to fulfil their potential at work.”