Category Archives: HR News

Aspiring and Central Co-op launch ‘Leading the Difference’ development programme

Aspiring HR, a provider of leadership coaching and HR solutions, recently partnered with Central Co-op to successfully launch the ‘Leading the Difference’ senior leadership development programme.

At the heart of Central Co-op’s ethos is a commitment to making a difference to Members, customers and communities. Recognising that effective leadership is critical to realising this commitment, Central Co-op asked Aspiring to design a programme tailored to the unique needs of its senior leadership team.

Over the course of seven months, 21 Central Co-op leaders spent time developing their leadership skills and promoting stronger team connections to enhance performance. Aspiring’s bespoke programme encompassed a blend of theoretical insights and practical strategies, equipping attendees with the practical tools to work as a leadership cohort to engage their teams to deliver Central Co-op strategy.

Sarah Dickins, Chief Member, Customer and Colleague Officer at Central Co-op, commented:

“We are thrilled with the outcomes of the ‘Leading the Difference’ programme. This initiative has not only enhanced the leadership capabilities of our senior team but also reinforced our commitment to making a positive impact for Members, customers and the communities we serve. By investing in the growth and development of our leaders, we are better equipped to grow our talent, drive innovation and foster a culture of making a difference across the Society.”

Liz Beck, Founder and CEO of Aspiring, added:

“We are delighted to have partnered with Central Co-op in delivering the ‘Leading the Difference’ programme. The commitment displayed underscores the importance of investing in effective leadership development. Central Co-op serves as an example of how organisations can drive meaningful change by prioritising leadership excellence from the top down.”

The Great Mismanagement Crisis: Nearly Half (47%) of UK Managers ‘too Overwhelmed’ to do their Job

As the economic downturn rumbles on with no end in sight and UK organisations continue to look to do more with less, the impact on front line managers is enormous.

Shockingly, 47% said that in the last six months they have felt too overwhelmed with their routine responsibilities to be able to carry out their role to a maximum efficiency. And, worryingly, 31% disagreed or were unsure whether their company leaders have supported them to be a more effective manager.

Those are some of the key findings in a new YouGov survey conducted on behalf of the leading people management platform, Lattice.

 

Three Quarters of Managers Want More Support 

73% of the survey respondents are looking for support from HR and company leadership to help them perform better as a manager. The area most in demand (31%) across all demographics was for more training and development on core management skills. This was especially the case for the 35-44 age bracket (41%). This was followed by 27% of all respondents looking for clearer policies and guidelines on issues such as recruitment, performance management, employee relations and disciplinary procedures and then 23% who cited needing more support in terms of specific performance management tools and resources.

When looking at the particular factors that are affecting their ability to be an effective manager in their current working environment, the top overall answer (28%) was a lack of flexibility and managing their work-life balance. Hot on its heels, 25% mentioned communication/team collaboration challenges and 23% cited employee engagement as considerable issues

Interestingly, senior business decision makers in London are significantly more likely to be experiencing overwhelm (64% v 47% national average) and also reported far higher levels of problems with regard to flexibility and managing work-life balance (46% vs. 28% national average) and communication/team collaboration challenges (44% vs. 25% national average).

 

Commenting on the findings, Stan Massueras, General Manager International at  Lattice, said:  “In a high performance culture, managers are the glue between performance strategy and execution. With their primary role being not to make every employee perform, but to challenge direct reports to be the best version of themselves, they are a critical piece of the performance puzzle. But if organisations expect their managers to drive impact in their performance strategy, they need to get in their corner – and they need to get the high-load tasks out of their managers’ way. For people leaders, augmenting managers with AI will be the biggest lever to accelerate growth, innovation, and performance within their organisations.” 

 

NB: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 523 senior business decision makers. Fieldwork was undertaken between 9th – 12th April 2024.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of British business size and region.

 

Only third of UK businesses are fully utilising their people data, research shows

Robust HR analytics and reporting is essential for any organisation looking for real-time insights into their workforce. But only a third of UK employers are thought to be getting the most out of their people data.
New research commissioned by HR software provider Ciphr shows that just 32% of HR professionals believe that their organisation fully utilises its people data to make evidence-based, strategic decisions.
That leaves over two-thirds (68%) of organisations that are not fully utilising workforce reporting to better inform decision-making and improve outcomes.
The findings, from a survey of 300 UK-based HR decision makers, also suggest that nearly two-thirds (64%) of organisations don’t actively seek HR’s input on business decisions – even though HR are the people who know the makeup and capabilities of the workforce better than anyone.
Claire Williams, chief people and operations officer at Ciphr, says: “It’s important to recognise the impact that utilising people data can have on overall company performance. Businesses that aren’t fully harnessing these powerful insights, particularly for planning ahead, are being incredibly short-sighted. People costs can be at least 80% of an organisation’s P&L (profit and loss), so this data should be scrutinised and leveraged in every way possible – the same way many look at their sales, marketing and pipeline data.
“Everyone knows you need people to run a business. Successful businesses know how to identify and harness their talent – their people – to ensure they continue to grow and succeed.
“People data is essential to this. Having an improved understanding of your workforce can help instil business confidence that you can scale your people in line with forecast growth. It can help inform workforce planning so that you can hire ‘just in time’ rather than once the capacity gap has started to impact your customers. It can give a clearer picture, backed by evidence, of how long it takes you to get new starters competent and ready to start making sales or servicing customers.
“As a business, could you easily identify your risks in relation to turnover or burnout, without in-depth workforce reporting? Do you know who your high and low performers are? If you don’t know where to focus your time and energies, it’s much harder to overcome retention challenges, for example, or ensure the right training needs are met.
“HR teams need to be able to access and utilise robust people data to answer these questions. Especially when the HR profession is becoming more recognised at board-level for its strategic value.”

So which HR metrics are the most useful to report on?

When asked to select which HR metrics (if any) they believed to be most important for their organisation to track regularly, nearly a third of the 300 HR professionals polled cited employee turnover rate (31%), employee engagement (30%) and quality of hire (30%).
Absence records ranks fourth (selected by 27% of people), followed by employee performance measures or KPIs – key performance indicators (26%).
Next on the list is reasons for absences, followed by employee training qualifications and training days per employee (with 23%, 22% and 20% of votes respectively).
Revenue per employee (17%) and compliance reporting – ie the percentage of employees trained in company policies (14%), round out the top 10 of must-track metrics.
To get a more complete picture of how HR teams use their HR systems’ reporting capabilities, Ciphr also compiled a list of the most popular standard reports used by its HR customers (custom reports were not included).
Ciphr found that some of the most commonly run HR reports tend to be those that track staff leaving (leavers report and leavers by department) or measure employee leave and absence, such as who is away, holiday left, reasons for absence, absence summaries and Bradford Factor scores. Pay-related reports are also popular, pulling together data on job and pay point in time, starters for payroll, job and pay changes, and current pay, for example.
Ciphr HR customers’ most reported on people data:
  • Leavers
  • Who is away
  • Holiday left
  • Reasons for absence
  • Departmental listings
  • Job and pay point in time
  • Absence summary
  • Starters for payroll
  • Start date
  • Departmental summary
Ciphr commissioned Onepoll to conduct an independent survey of 300 HR decision makers in February 2024. The full results are available at https://www.ciphr.com/infographics/the-hr-metrics-that-matter-most.
Ciphr is the go-to HR software and solutions partner for medium and large organisations in the UK. Its integrated HR, payroll, learning and recruitment software, services and content provide invaluable insights to HR teams to inform their people strategy and grow and develop their organisations. Based in Reading, Ciphr is on a mission to amplify the voice and value of HR through intelligent people data solutions that help HR be heard – in the boardroom and across the business.
For more information, please visit www.ciphr.com.

STIEBEL ELTRON ranked in top companies for workplace development

STIEBEL ELTRON UK has been listed as one of the top 100 companies across the country for developing and furthering its employees’ careers.
The leading supplier of renewable heating technology was ranked at number 70 in Great Place to Work’s 2024 UK’s Best Workplaces for Development as a result of its culture, benefits, and approach to leadership and development.
Reacting to the listing, STIEBEL ELTRON UK Managing Director Mark McManus said: “Our employees are the driving force behind everything that we do at STIEBEL ELTRON. So, ensuring they are given the tools they need to excel in their careers is vitally important to us and we’re delighted to see this recognised.”
As well as creating a positive, inclusive culture which can be enjoyed by all employees, STIEBEL ELTRON UK invests in various training initiatives across all departments to ensure its workers are equipped with the skills they need to succeed.
Training schemes the company offers include management courses, sales training, SAP assessor courses, a customer relationship management program, and comprehensive Microsoft training.
Additionally, STIEBEL ELTRON UK is set to send two employees on an open university course in September this year, while the company also runs a graduate scheme for up-and-coming students who are looking to venture into the renewable heating industry.
Great Place to Work is a global authority on workplace culture and uses employee surveys to help guide organisations in building a strong work environment.
Its certification process captures valuable employee feedback using its research-driven Trust Index™ survey, as well as compiling information on the company’s culture, benefits, and approach to development, to benchmark its value proposition against the culture employees experience.
The latest accolade builds upon the company’s strong track-record in delivering an environment where employees can thrive, with the company being previously listed in Great Place to Work’s top 50 Best Workplaces list in March this year.
Listed in the UK Small Business category, 100 percent of employees said STIEBEL ELTRON treated them fairly regardless of race or gender, gave them the resources to do their job, created a safe environment, and provided facilities for a good working environment.
As well as identifying trust and fairness within the company, workers highlighted how they wanted long and established careers at the company, as well as how they are proud to work for the organisation.
Mark McManus, STIEBEL ELTRON UK Managing Director, said: “At STIEBEL ELTRON UK we know how valuable our workforce is. They give so much to the company and make it a unique and special place to work.
“So it only makes sense that we give them everything they need to build a successful career, and we place a special focus on doing this with numerous training and development measures.
“It’s incredibly rewarding to see our employees acknowledge this, and a huge thank you goes out to them for their superb work and fantastic attitude which makes STIEBEL ELTRON one of the best places to work in the country.”
Lynsey Green, STIEBEL ELTRON UK Head of People, added: “Training and development means more than just equipping employees with the skills they need. It’s about showing that they are valued, that we believe they can progress, and crucially, that we will support them with their career ambitions every step of the way.
“It’s fantastic to see our efforts in this regard recognised both by employees and Great Place to Work.”
As well as developing its employees, STIEBEL ELTRON UK has placed an onus on growing its offering to the UK’s renewable heating market as it looks to drive the adoption of heat pumps across the country with the most innovative technologies and comprehensive training for installers.
Following an initial £350,000 investment into a new state-of-the-art training centre and programme in November 2022, the company expanded the facility at its headquarters in Bromborough, Wirral, in September last year to increase capacity for new heat pump installers.
Meanwhile, the company expanded its operations into the Irish market in February this year with a view to delivering renewable heating technologies and driving greener homes across the country.
Throughout 2024 the company is committed to growing every aspect of the business, from investing in new renewable energy technologies and products, to further developing its training facilities and workforce.
For more information visit: www.stiebel-eltron.co.uk
STIEBEL ELTRON’s Great Place to Work Accreditation can be found here.

Vero HR Wins Clutch Global and Clutch Champion Awards 2024

Peterborough, 29 May 2024 Vero HR, the HR outsourcing and consulting provider, has been recognised as a 2024 Spring Global Award winner for HR services on Clutch, the leading global marketplace of B2B service providers, along with being lauded a 2024 Spring Clutch Champion.

The Clutch Global and Clutch Champion Awards showcase the very best in the B2B services industry worldwide.

Honourees of the Global Award are selected based on their industry expertise and ‘ability to deliver’ scores that are calculated using customer feedback from thousands of reviews published on the Clutch platform.

Vero HR’s primary focus is on providing exceptional service, and receiving this award is a testament to the excellent client work and service Vero HR has delivered this year as highlighted through the voice of their clients in their reviews.

The Clutch Champion Award is presented to the top 10% of Clutch Global winners, a designation that recognises business service providers across the world for their industry expertise and ability to deliver exceptional results compared to other companies in their line of service.

This award recognizes Vero HR as a top-rated leader in the HR services space based on its clients’ satisfaction and high-quality service ratings – of which it currently boasts an overall review rating of 5/5 across 13 individual customer reviews.

“I’m thrilled that Vero HR has been awarded the Clutch Global Award, but to also be named a Clutch Champion and sit within the top 10% of Global winners due to our high service ratings is the cherry on top. This recognition demonstrates our team’s dedication to providing top HR and client service every day, and a huge thank you goes out to our clients who have taken the time to provide such sterling reviews,” Vero HR Founder and CEO, Mike Kealey, commented.

“It is a joy to witness the incredible success of leading companies worldwide on our platform, and an even greater joy to recognise these companies as Clutch Global winners. Their dedication to delivering next-level services to clients has not only bolstered their own success but empowered numerous clients to thrive as well,” said Sonny Ganguly, Clutch CEO. “We are also delighted to present the Clutch Champion Award for the second year, celebrating both new and returning achievers for their outstanding performance. These honourees represent the top companies on our platform, consistently exceeding client expectations and receiving an abundance of positive feedback from their clients.”

This recognition follows a successful 2023 awards season for Vero HR, winning the Customer Service Award at the Peterborough Telegraph Business Awards, Silver Award for Service Excellence at the SME Cambridgeshire Business Awards, and being a finalist at the Personnel Today Awards for Large HR Consultancy of the Year.

About Vero HR

Vero HR is a HR solutions and outsourcing provider with over 20 years of experience. Working with businesses of all sizes and sectors, Vero HR offers expert advice, services, and technology tailored to transform and help organisations work more efficiently in all aspects of HR – supporting clients across the UK, Europe, and internationally.

 

From Teacher to HR: Amazon Employee Shares Her Career Journey and Tips for Learning at Work Week 2024

An HR associate partner from Chesterfield is sharing her career story during Learning at Work Week 2024 (13th-19th May) to celebrate the career progress they’ve made thanks to the lifelong learning programmes at Amazon.

Learning at Work Week is an annual programme run by the charity Campaign for Learning. The charity works with organisations around the UK to create activities and fun challenges in the workplace to help employees learn and grow.

This year’s theme, Learning power, explores how lifelong and continual learning gives people power to change, grow and achieve individual, team and organisational goals.

Amazon.
Career Choice : MAN4 Anna Cooper, HR Associate Partner. 9 May 24.
© Victor De Jesus / UNP 0845 600 7737

Anna Cooper, who works at the Amazon fulfilment centre in Chesterfield, has used Amazon’s development and training opportunities to shape her professional career.

 

One of the programmes Anna has taken part in at Amazon is Amazon Career Choice. The programme, which has been running at Amazon for the past decade, pre-pays up to 95% of tuition and fees for courses in high-demand fields, up to £8,000 over four years, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon.

Courses available include accountancy, HGV driving and software development, and are designed to help employees build careers at Amazon or elsewhere. It means that eligible employees are given the opportunity to gain the skills and qualifications needed to follow their career aspirations.

 

Anna, who used the programme to help secure their role as a HR business partner, has shared their story to encourage others to take their career to the next level using the Amazon Career Choice programme.

Anna is an HR associate partner at Amazon in Chesterfield. She joined the company during the COVID-19 pandemic in a temporary role.

 

Before joining Amazon, Anna worked as a primary school teacher for four years. She said:

“I joined Amazon because I wanted a change from teaching, so I worked in a temporary role in the Inventory Control and Quality Assurance department. I ended up enjoying working at Amazon so much that I never left. I spent a bit of time in recruiting before moving across into HR.”

 

Anna completed the CIPD Level 3 HR qualification through Amazon Career Choice. She added:

“When I first joined the HR team, I knew I wanted to complete the CIPD course as it’s an industry standard for HR. I loved that I was able to continue working full time and study at my own pace. I did the course through Avado, which gave me clear deadlines and the support I needed.”

“Career Choice has given me a much broader understanding of my role in HR,” Anna continued. “I now understand our policies better and why Amazon is so unique in its culture. I’m now doing an apprenticeship, working to become an HR partner. I wouldn’t have been able to work towards this without Amazon supporting me through Career Choice and the apprenticeship programme.”

Amazon.
Career Choice : MAN4 Anna Cooper, HR Associate Partner. 9 May 24.
© Victor De Jesus / UNP 0845 600 7737

Anna has some advice for anyone considering furthering their careers through learning and development programmes.

“There are so many opportunities out there to develop your career, so make sure you seize them! Programmes like Amazon Career Choice offer such a wide variety of support for your career journey, so if you have the opportunity to take part in further learning through your job, then go for it.”

 

Amazon also provides opportunities to improve existing skills or learn new ones through internal career progression opportunities such as apprenticeships, transferring to a different department and promotion to a managerial role.

Amazon Chesterfield Site Leader, Kris Hammond, added: “We are proud of Anna’s success through the Amazon Career Choice programme. Career development is at the core of our culture at Amazon, where lifelong learning is promoted at every turn. Many of our team members have taken part in Career Choice and are now fulfilling their potential on Amazon teams all over the UK, Ireland and further afield. Others have gone on to successful careers elsewhere, and we are proud to have supported them in their professional development by giving them extra tools for success in their new roles. We look forward to offering employees even more choices in the future as Amazon Career Choice evolves and grows.”

 

Amazon employees receive competitive pay and comprehensive benefits. Pay starts at a minimum of £12.30 per hour in Chesterfield and employees are offered a comprehensive benefits package, including private medical insurance, life assurance, income protection and an employee discount as well as a company pension plan.

 

Amazon has been named as a ‘Top Employer UK 2024’ by the Top Employer Institute, one of the world’s most prestigious certifications in the field of human resources management. This award recognises Amazon’s commitment to the development and well-being of its employees. In addition to the UK accolade, Amazon has also been certified as one of the Top Employers in Europe for a second consecutive year.

In 2023, Amazon ranked in second place on LinkedIn’s Top Companies list — an annual list that identifies the most sought-after places to work and grow your career in the UK. Using data from LinkedIn’s 900 million members, LinkedIn’s Top Companies list is designed to help professionals identify the best companies to grow their careers.

To find out more about a career with Amazon, visit Amazon Jobs.

IKEA partners with BHN to launch new Home and Tech employee benefit

BHN (Blackhawk Network) today announced that its employee benefit, Techscheme, is rebranding to Home and Tech, owing to an industry-first partnership with IKEA. Employees of participating businesses now have access to IKEA’s full range of products, alongside the existing Currys offering, at a discounted rate. Launching on April 22nd, the rebranded Home and Tech scheme provides customers with the opportunity to save up to 8% on all purchases at IKEA, in addition to any sales and promotions available.

And it couldn’t come at a more pertinent time. New research from BHN reveals that although 16% of employees use their disposable income for furniture and other home goods, a surprising 51% have never used a cost-saving benefit like Home and Tech for those sorts of larger purchases.

The addition of IKEA’s extensive home furnishing range to BHN’s Home and Tech benefit, means that employees can now save money across the full IKEA range, alongside existing supplier Currys who offer a breadth of technology and white goods. Although each employer sets their own Home & Tech benefit spending limit, an employee with £2,000 to spend could save up to £160 a year on furnishing their home. This represents a significant annual saving on furniture and other home goods, which employees typically spend around £420 on per year. Such savings can greatly improve employees’ financial wellbeing, and therefore overall health of the business.

Rising costs continue to put a strain on employee finances. This partnership with IKEA not only allows employees to save money, but also split the costs of larger ticket household items interest-free, eliminating traditional finance barriers like credit checks and additional ‘convenience’ costs. BHN’s Techscheme’s interest-free structure has offered a key solution to this since 2012. However, the need for such options is even stronger today. A 2024 survey shows 58% of employees prefer splitting payments, and 66% have the same frustrations with their benefits package as they did in 2023. Employers risk losing talent by not offering a comprehensive benefits offer to employees; BHN research suggests even basic support, like helping with the costs of furniture and other home goods, can boost retention by 15%.

Kash Henderson, Key Account Manager, IKEA UK and Ireland states that, “Since IKEA launched 80 years ago, affordability has been in our DNA. We’re delighted to launch this partnership with BHN, enabling customers to save on our products and access our range even more affordably than before – another step towards our goal of creating a better everyday life for many people.”

Chris Ronald, VP at BHN added, “IKEA is one of the world’s most recognisable brands, and we are thrilled they have chosen us as their first partner in this space. For our clients and their employees, access to IKEA products vastly expands what it is possible to save through Salary Sacrifice. In a world where employees are looking to split the cost of large purchases, employers must consider how the benefits they offer can help support employees in this respect. Cost-spreading initiatives can have a dramatic impact on an individual’s finances, but the ability to access larger ticket items through salary sacrifice will enable employees to access this in an affordable and financially healthy way.”

The power of learning: Rugby HR business partner offers career tips during Learning at Work Week 2024

An HR business partner from Rugby is sharing his career story during Learning at Work Week 2024 (13th-19th May) to celebrate the career progress they’ve made thanks to the lifelong learning programmes at Amazon.

Learning at Work Week is an annual programme run by the charity Campaign for Learning. The charity works with organisations around the UK to create activities and fun challenges in the workplace to help employees learn and grow.

 

This year’s theme, Learning power, explores how lifelong and continual learning gives people power to change, grow and achieve individual, team and organisational goals.

Ieuan Spanswick, who works at the Amazon fulfilment centre in Rugby, has used Amazon’s development and training opportunities to shape his professional career.

 

One of the programmes Ieuan has taken part in at Amazon is Amazon Career Choice. The programme, which has been running at Amazon for the past decade, pre-pays up to 95% of tuition and fees for courses in high-demand fields, up to £8,000 over four years, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon.

Courses available include accountancy, HGV driving and software development, and are designed to help employees build careers at Amazon or elsewhere. It means that eligible employees are given the opportunity to gain the skills and qualifications needed to follow their career aspirations.

 

Ieuan, who used the programme to help secure their role as an HR business partner, has shared their story to encourage others to take their career to the next level using the Amazon Career Choice programme.

Hailing from Hengoed, South Wales, Ieuan is an HR business partner at Amazon in Rugby. He joined the company five years ago and was part of the team that opened the Rugby site.

 

Before joining Amazon, Ieuan studied Psychology at the University of Cardiff. During this time, he worked part-time in retail, where he moved into a full-time role for a year after graduating to save and move abroad.

Ieuan spent three years living abroad – first in Australia, where he worked in a variety of roles including farming in the outback, as well as in bars and restaurants. He then moved to Brazil for two years, where he taught English. It was after his teaching job that he decided to come home. He said:

“When I got back to the UK after living abroad, I knew that I wanted to get into HR and saw an opportunity with Amazon. I knew there’d be no better place to start my HR career than at one of the biggest companies in the world.”

 

Ieuan completed the HR CIPD Level 5 certification through Amazon Career Choice. He said:

“Career Choice is an excellent offering by Amazon and it really helped me progress in my career. I started in a very ground level HR role before taking a step-up role to HR partner level. While in this step-up role, I started my Career Choice course. Since joining Amazon, I’ve completed two step-up roles and gotten two promotions. I’ve advanced multiple levels in my career thanks to the Amazon Career Choice programme.”

Ieuan added: “I would like to continue taking on new responsibility and further career progression beyond my current role and would love to go on and complete my HR CIPD Level 7 certification at some stage through another training programme we have here – the Amazon Apprenticeship programme. This is the most advanced HR CIPD course there is and would be the equivalent to a postgraduate master’s degree.”

“I also love that in my job I can help others to develop their careers,” Ieuan continued. “I’m involved in the training, upskilling and mentoring of lots of great people at Amazon, which can be really rewarding. I would encourage any one of my colleagues to try Career Choice. If you’re engaged and eager, you should definitely get involved.”

 

Amazon also provides opportunities to improve existing skills or learn new ones through internal career progression opportunities such as apprenticeships, transferring to a different department and promotion to a managerial role.

Amazon Rugby Site Leader, James Pitt, added: “We are proud of Ieuan’s success through the Amazon Career Choice programme. Career development is at the core of our culture at Amazon, where lifelong learning is promoted at every turn. Many of our team members have taken part in Career Choice and are now fulfilling their potential on Amazon teams all over the UK, Ireland and further afield. Others have gone on to successful careers elsewhere, and we are proud to have supported them in their professional development by giving them extra tools for success in their new roles. We look forward to offering employees even more choices in the future as Amazon Career Choice evolves and grows.”

 

Amazon employees receive competitive pay and comprehensive benefits. Pay starts at a minimum of £12.30 per hour in Rugby and employees are offered a comprehensive benefits package, including private medical insurance, life assurance, income protection and an employee discount as well as a company pension plan.

Amazon has been named as a ‘Top Employer UK 2024’ by the Top Employer Institute, one of the world’s most prestigious certifications in the field of human resources management. This award recognises Amazon’s commitment to the development and well-being of its employees. In addition to the UK accolade, Amazon has also been certified as one of the Top Employers in Europe for a second consecutive year.

In 2023, Amazon ranked in second place on LinkedIn’s Top Companies list — an annual list that identifies the most sought-after places to work and grow your career in the UK. Using data from LinkedIn’s 900 million members, LinkedIn’s Top Companies list is designed to help professionals identify the best companies to grow their careers.

 

To find out more about a career with Amazon, visit Amazon Jobs.

 

The power of learning: Amazon Swindon employees offer career tips during Learning at Work Week 2024

Two employees from the Amazon fulfilment centre in Swindon are sharing their career stories during Learning at Work Week 2024 (13th-19th May) to celebrate the career progress they’ve made thanks to the lifelong learning programmes at Amazon.

Learning at Work Week is an annual programme run by the charity Campaign for Learning. The charity works with organisations around the UK to create activities and fun challenges in the workplace to help employees learn and grow.

This year’s theme, Learning power, explores how lifelong and continual learning gives people power to change, grow and achieve individual, team and organisational goals.

 

Bharat Arya (pictured above) and Cristina Oprea (pictured below), who work at the Amazon fulfilment centre in Swindon, have used Amazon’s development and training opportunities to shape their professional careers.

One of the programmes Bharat and Cristina have taken part in at Amazon is Amazon Career Choice. The programme, which has been running at Amazon for the past decade, pre-pays up to 95% of tuition and fees for courses in high-demand fields, up to £8,000 over four years, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon.

Courses available include accountancy, HGV driving and software development, and are designed to help employees build careers at Amazon or elsewhere. It means that eligible employees are given the opportunity to gain the skills and qualifications needed to follow their career aspirations.

 

Bharat, who used the programme to help secure his role as a waste coordinator, and Cristina, who did the same for her role in HR, have shared their stories to encourage others to take their career to the next level using Amazon Career Choice.

Bharat joined Amazon in 2018 in a temporary role before taking up a permanent position in 2019.

 

“Before joining Amazon, I worked in a fast-food restaurant in Coventry. I wanted a change, so in 2018 I joined Amazon in Coventry as a temporary employee. I really enjoyed my job and was impressed with working there, so when I heard there was a new fulfilment centre opening in Bristol, I moved there in a permanent problem solver role,” Bharat said.

“I really like the flexibility of Amazon and how you’re always supported for whatever you need. You’re encouraged to take up a role and tasks that suit your skill set, and this was really helpful for me.”

 

Bharat moved to the Swindon fulfilment centre when it opened in 2021 and was promoted to waste coordinator. Since then, he has completed the Natural Resources and Training Group (NRTG) Environmental Field Skills programme through Amazon Career Choice. The course provides participants with in-demand environmental monitoring field knowledge and skills. He’s currently taking part in his second Amazon Career Choice qualification, this time in environmental management. He said:

“I graduated from Coventry University with a degree in environmental law, so I was really interested when the NRTG course became available to me through Amazon Career Choice. It’s really helped me in my current role and has given me the confidence and opportunity to develop further within Amazon or move externally into a new role.

“Amazon pays 95% of the course fees, which is amazing, and means you can complete a course that you might not have done otherwise. I’m currently completing the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) Environmental Management Certificate, which is a globally recognised qualification that teaches me how to implement effective environmental management systems. If I didn’t work at Amazon, I would have to fund this all myself.”

 

Speaking on what’s next for him, Bharat said:

“After I complete this course, I hope to keep developing and gaining more knowledge. I also hope to keep applying for more environmental development programmes to further my career.”

 

Bharat has some advice for his colleagues looking to develop their careers:

“Definitely go for Amazon Career Choice. It helps boost your confidence, build your career and opens up more job opportunities. Amazon never restricts anyone and will always help you to pursue the career you want.”

 

Christina Oprea – Amazon BRS2 Swindon.

Swindon-based Cristina Oprea works in the HR department at the Amazon fulfilment centre in the town. She initially joined the picking department at the Amazon Daventry fulfilment centre in 2016 after moving to the UK from Moldova.

When Cristina joined the company, she was impressed with the employee benefits on offer. A particular opportunity that stuck out to her was Career Choice. She said:

“Before moving to the UK, I wanted to become a doctor but couldn’t afford the price of tuition. I applied instead to study English and French and spent some time as a teacher at the end of my degree. When I moved and joined Amazon, I really liked the thought of working in HR, so I applied for Career Choice. Within that time, a job in HR came up in so I applied for that too. I was successful with both applications and went on to complete my HR CIPD Level 3 and Level 5 certifications while taking on a new position.”

“The programme is fantastic,” Cristina continued. “It gives Amazon employees the opportunity to complete a course in something they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford or would never choose to do outside of work. Amazon is so supportive and encourages those of us who complete Career Choice to take our new skills into new chapters of our careers. The course doesn’t have to be relevant to the job you’re already in. You get to decide the terms and do something for yourself, investing in your own future, which I really like.”

 

Cristina met her husband Aleksandar working at Amazon, and the pair now have two children – four-year old Gabriel and two-year old Elena. Aleksandar is currently completing an RME Mechatronics Apprenticeship through the Amazon Apprenticeship programme. Cristina added:

“Working at Amazon has changed my family’s life. Both Aleksandar and I are currently developing in our careers, which wouldn’t have been possible without the opportunities we’ve been given through Amazon Career Choice and Amazon Apprenticeships.”

 

Speaking on what’s next for her, Cristina said:

“I would love to go on and do another course in the beauty industry or something similar. I have also always dreamed at having a pet hotel. I like that in Amazon I am encouraged to reach for my dreams, no matter how big or small they are.”

 

Amazon also provides opportunities to improve existing skills or learn new ones through internal career progression opportunities such as apprenticeships, transferring to a different department and promotion to a managerial role.

Amazon Swindon General Manager, David Tindal, added: “We are proud of Bharat and Cristina’s success through the Amazon Career Choice programme. Career development is at the core of our culture at Amazon, where lifelong learning is promoted at every turn. Many of our team members have taken part in Career Choice and are now fulfilling their potential on Amazon teams all over the UK, Ireland and further afield. Others have gone on to successful careers elsewhere, and we are proud to have supported them in their professional development by giving them extra tools for success in their new roles. We look forward to offering employees even more choices in the future as Amazon Career Choice evolves and grows.”

 

Amazon employees receive competitive pay and comprehensive benefits. Pay starts at a minimum of £13 per hour in Swindon and employees are offered a comprehensive benefits package, including private medical insurance, life assurance, income protection and an employee discount as well as a company pension plan.

Amazon has been named as a ‘Top Employer UK 2024’ by the Top Employer Institute, one of the world’s most prestigious certifications in the field of human resources management. This award recognises Amazon’s commitment to the development and well-being of its employees. In addition to the UK accolade, Amazon has also been certified as one of the Top Employers in Europe for a second consecutive year.

 

In 2023, Amazon ranked in second place on LinkedIn’s Top Companies list — an annual list that identifies the most sought-after places to work and grow your career in the UK. Using data from LinkedIn’s 900 million members, LinkedIn’s Top Companies list is designed to help professionals identify the best companies to grow their careers.

To find out more about a career with Amazon, visit Amazon Jobs.

Egress recognised in UK’s Best Workplaces for Development™ 2024 List

Egress has officially been named as one of the UK’s Best Workplaces for Development™ 2024 by Great Place To Work®, the global authority on workplace culture. Egress ranked 33rd in the inaugural year for the UK’s Best Workplaces for Development List, which recognises companies making employee development a key part of company culture.

Egress’s inclusion on this exclusive list officially acknowledges the ongoing commitment to development, innovation, and employee growth. In the past year, Egress has invested in learning and development at all stages of the business, from emerging talent via an extensive graduate scheme to management programs for aspiring managers and existing leaders.

As well as bolstering the team’s technical skills through job-specific qualifications across all areas of the business, open workshops to support soft skills have been popular including handling change in the workplace, providing the best customer experience, and working in a high-performance team; Egress will shortly embark on a careers fortnight, covering a breadth of topics for employees at all stages of their careers.

Laura Probert, Chief People Officer at Egress, comments:

“We’re so proud to be ranked 33rd for the UK’s Best Workplaces for Development 2024 – this is an area our team has really focused on, and to be listed in the first year of launching the category is exciting. Developing a culture of learning as well as our team members goes far further than improving skills to do the job in front of them; we’re proud to be supporting our employees to be future-focused, enjoy what they do, and feel pride in their development.

“As a company that is unrelenting in proving world-class employee wellbeing, we will be introducing 360 evaluating soon to raise our team’s self-awareness and clarify areas of development. This approach will offer a holistic view for employees to self-evaluate without pressure to meet company-set goals, and I’m excited to see how it affects our team’s view to development in the next 12 months.”

Benedict Gautrey, Managing Director of Great Place To Work® UK, comments:

“Employee training and development isn’t just about teaching employees to do their jobs. It’s about showing employees they are valued and that there is a path of progression available. Each year, we recognise organisations whose thriving workplace cultures are enabling both their people and their business to flourish.

“Opportunities for learning and development are a crucial element of this success, which is why we’re so thrilled to be recognising this year, for the very first time, the UK’s Best Workplaces for Development. Congratulations to Egress for being part of our 2024 UK’s Best Workplaces for Development List.”

To compile the UK’s Best Workplaces for Development List, Great Place To Work® reviewed each company’s culture, benefits, approach to leadership and development, alongside anonymous responses from employees. These data insights are then used to benchmark each company’s employee value proposition against the culture employees actually experience. Only the businesses that achieve the highest scores after evaluation receive Best Workplaces™ status.

About Great Place To Work®

Great Place To Work® is the global authority on workplace culture. Our mission is to help every place become a great place to work for all. We give leaders and organisations the recognition and tools to create a consistently and overwhelmingly positive employee experience, fostering cultures that are proven to drive business, improve lives, and better society. Our recognition is the most coveted and respected in the world for elevating employer brands to attract the right people. Our proprietary methodology and platform enable organisations to truly capture, analyse, and understand the experience of all employees. Our groundbreaking research empowers organisations to build cultures that retain talent and unlock the potential of every employee. Our coaches, content, and community connect the boldest leaders, ideas, and innovations in employee experience. Since 1992, our Certification™, Best Workplaces™ Lists, and global benchmarks have become the industry standard, built on data from more than 100 million employees in 150 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.greatplacetowork.co.uk

About Egress

As advanced persistent threats continue to evolve, we recognise that people are the biggest risk to an organisation’s security and are most vulnerable when using email.

Egress is the only cloud email security platform to continuously assess human risk and dynamically adapt policy controls, preparing customers to defend against advanced phishing attacks and outbound data breaches before they happen. Leveraging contextual machine learning and neural networks, with seamless integration using cloud-native API architecture, Egress provides enhanced email protection, deep visibility into human risk, and instant time to value.

Trusted by the world’s biggest brands, Egress is private equity backed with offices in London, Sheffield, Cheltenham, New York, Boston, and Toronto.