Innovative schemes enable our shortlisted organisations to inspire their employees through continued professional development
Computer Weekly's Best Places to Work in IT 2005 Awards are designed to spotlight those organisations which provide a model of best practice in the workplace.
One of the judges' primary criteria during the selection of the shortlist (right) was clear evidence of continued professional development. This can be proved through enjoyable and effective training, coaching and mentoring as well as valuable appraisal methods and genuine career progression.
These initiatives can be innovative and imaginative, as in the case of Hogg Robinson, a shortlisted candidate in the Business Services category. To offer opportunities to further employees' careers internationally, the company introduced its Interchange programme in 2003.
The programme enables employees from all 20 countries where its operations are based (including Australia, China, Canada, Norway, Russia and Italy) to experience first-hand the different cultures, industry nuances and client service issues. Employees apply for a "job" in another country, stay for a month and share their business knowledge and expertise.
Coaching and mentoring
The value of coaching and mentoring, in addition to regular appraisal and counselling on career development, is increasingly recognised in the UK's IT departments. For software and IT services group Compuware, "having flexible access to a mentor who can coach the employee and help address issues enables employees to achieve a balanced approach to their work and home life".
The company recognises that coaching needs to be linked with responsibility and variety to create a well-rounded member of the team. "We empower staff with increasing levels of responsibility, supported by coaching," said the company. "Individuals are given projects on top of routine work, engendering a sense of ownership, trust, variety and enabling them to make a difference."
Another aspect of career development which matters to many is being able to take advantage of a wide range of career paths. The digital and communication technology department at BP, shortlisted in the Utilities and Comm- unications category, is setting up a "digital academy", where individual career aspirations are discussed between management from different areas of the business. "This helps to identify suitable positions and career paths within and outside the function," said the company.
Computer Weekly's Best Places to Work 2005 Awards are organised in association with Sun Microsystems and are sponsored by recruitment and resourcing groups Hudson, Madison Black, Orgtel Finance, Pathway IT Resourcing, Progressive, Real IT Resourcing, Search IT, and the IT Job Board.
Final winners will be selected from the 35 organisations listed below
Banking & Finance
- Allianz Cornhill
- Barclays Bank, Service Point, Enable
- Birmingham Midshires
- Citigroup, Technology Infrastructure
- Hogg Robinson
- The Corps
Gartner Central & Local Government
- Adult Learning Inspectorate
- Department for International Development
- Land Registry (Information Systems)
Construction, Agriculture & Mining
- Bucknall Austin
- Davis Langdon
IT Software, Hardware & Services (less than 250 employees supported)
- Brett Technologies
- Cobweb Solutions
- Tessella Support Services
IT Software, Hardware & Services (more than 250 employees supported)
- Data Connection
Manufacturing & Engineering
- BWB Partnership
- Procter & Gamble
- WS Atkins
Media, Hospitality, Entertainment & Leisure
- Fishburn Hedges
- The NEC Group
Other Public Sector & non-profit sector
- Classroom 2000 (C2K)
- Metropolitan Police Service Directorate of Information
Retail, Wholesale & Distribution
- Avon Cosmetics
- Hillarys Blinds
Utilities & Communications
- BP IST
- Kingston Communications (Hull)
The judging panel
Members of the judging panel for Best Place to Work in IT2005 combine the best of business, IT and employment expertise. They include:
- British Computer Society With a membership of more than 42,000, the BCS is the leading professional and learned society in the field of computers and IT.
- IT Directors' Network This social, networking club for heads of IT (or equivalent) was formed more than 18 months ago. Co-founders Roger Ellis and Julie Loveday have had a long association with the IT industry.
- UK Oracle User Group An organisation that provides an independent voice for corporations and individuals using Oracle products and technologies in the UK and Ireland.
- E-Skills UK The industry body responsible for articulating and acting on the IT skills needs of UK employers.
- National Computing Centre The independent membership and research organisation whose mission is to promote the more effective use of IT.
- Communications Management Association The UK's premier business communications user association represents individuals who have responsibility for communications systems. Members are drawn from the ranks of the top 1,000 UK organisations.
Book your place at the ceremony
The final winners of Best Places to Work in IT Awards 2005 will be announced at the awards luncheon at The Park Lane Hotel, London on Wednesday 2 March.
Join Computer Weekly and fellow IT professionals from across the industry at this celebration of the very best IT workplace practice. Places are limited so to ensure your table, contact Teresa Murphy on 020-8652 3887, firstname.lastname@example.org You can also book online at www.computerweekly.com/bestplacestowork/book.asp
This was first published in January 2005