These are officially ‘The Best Places to Work in HR’

Personnel Today’s new Best Places to Work in HR Awards, in association with Courtenay HR, are the first awards to focus specifically on HR departments, rather than employers as a whole.

The Best Places to Work in HR Awards are designed to give the best HR departments in the UK the opportunity to demonstrate their appeal to existing and potential employees, as voted by the HR professionals who work in them.

Thousands of HR professionals from hundreds of organisations completed the online survey, and more than 100 organisations achieved the qualifying completion rate (the survey required 50% of the total number of HR employees in an HR department to complete the questionnaire).

HR departments were given a score by their staff on a range of measures, including:

  • benefits (pension, health insurance, gym membership, childcare provision, flexible working, etc)
  • holidays
  • staff retention
  • leadership and management
  • professional development
  • employee engagement
  • reward and recognition
  • working environment and work-life balance
  • the effectiveness and reputation of the HR department itself.

Each of these scores was given a weighting to reflect its importance to employees, and then contributed to a final score, which determined the overall results and produced the following shortlists (below). Scores were automatically calculated, so there was no intervention from any other source – the HR employees were the only judges.

Best Places to Work in HR shortlists

Best Large HR Department (representing 10,000+ staff)
Lloyds TSB
McDonald’s Restaurants
Royal Bank of Scotland

Best Medium-sized HR Department (representing 500-9,999 staff)
Motability Operations
Standard Life Healthcare
Sytner Group

Best Small HR Department (representing up to 499 staff)
Big Yellow Self Storage
Broadway Homelessness and Support
Cabot Financial (Europe)

Best HR Department for Leadership*
McDonald’s Restaurants
Motability Operations

Best HR Department for Professional Development*
McDonald’s Restaurants
Preston County Council

Best HR Department for Employee Engagement*
Broadway Homelessness and Support
McDonald’s Restaurants
Wilts Wholesale Electrical

Best HR Department for Reward and Recognition*
Cabot Financial (Europe)
McDonald’s Restaurants
Motability Operations

* Shortlist made up of the highest scoring small, medium and large organisations in each category.

The survey results will culminate in the Best Places to Work in HR Awards drinks reception on 17 October at St Paul’s Cathedral, where the Best Place to Work in HR will be revealed. Scores and rankings will be e-mailed to all qualifying participants after the event.



Gareth Jones, leader at Courtenay HR, says: “The results are in and the shortlists have been compiled. And what a great response. The concept of running a ‘Best Places’ survey seems so obvious in the context of the people function that many have asked why we didn’t do it earlier. And judging from the level of participation in the event, maybe we should have. The response has been fantastic, with thousands of respondents from hundreds of participating organisations leading to more than 100 qualifying entries. The diversity of responses was also very pleasing, with large and small, public and private sector organisations all being well represented.

To all those organisations that took part, I would like to send our thanks and support. While there will be winners, there are no losers here, as all participating organisations have the option of receiving their feedback benchmarked against all other entrants. Next stop, the awards. Good luck everyone.”

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