Awards: Turning the spotlight on yourself

Shortlisted firms in the Best Places to Work in IT 2006 Awards carry out regular surveys to ensure satisfaction across the board.

Shortlisted firms in the Best Places to Work in IT 2006 Awards carry out regular surveys to ensure satisfaction across the board.

A best place to work in IT does not blithely assume it is a first class IT organisation - it checks it out, both with its own IT staff and those who use its services. This process occurs often at the firms shortlisted for this year's awards.

There are many methods of gaining vital information about what employers and customers think. At the London Business School, for example, there are focus groups, service probes and satisfaction surveys, which have resulted in the establishment of a staff committee.

Barclays Bank Service Operations conducts an annual employee survey, which allows managers to assess levels of morale and job satisfaction. Areas currently highlighted by staff include the organisation's reputation for excellence, job empowerment and fulfilment, and people development. All were reflected in the subsequent business plan.

At the Corporation of London, staff surveys are carried out within the IT division and throughout the corporation. The feedback is used to improve working conditions, personal development and training.

Kimberley-Clark's IT department also conducts an annual survey with end-users, whose satisfaction level has increased in each of the four years the survey has been running. The firm as a whole surveys staff satisfaction and engagement, and IT rates highest of all departments.

Similarly, Lancashire County Council uses Mori polls to survey staff. It found that 79% of IT staff expressed job satisfaction, compared to 69% of the rest of the council's staff.

The PepsiCo Organisational Health Survey found that IT staff want to focus on knowing more about the career planning process, more timely communication and more understanding about the business. The IT leadership team was then able to respond.

The Legal Services Commission's IT department has run staff surveys for the past three years on such aspects as training, job satisfaction, leadership, communication and benefits. The latest results reveal multiple year-on-year improvements, showing IT to be well above average compared with other departments. Each survey results in an action plan, and this year's highlights team communication, structured progress meetings and increased work on promoting benefits.

Overall, there is a clear correlation between IT departments whose customers are happy with them, and those with happy staff. Sometimes the two fit together neatly. At Davis Langdon, the annual customer satisfaction survey gave IT an excellent/good score of 90%, for which the IT staff got a two-day trip to Paris in recognition of their hard work.

The shortlist

Final winners of the Best Places to Work in IT 2006 Awards will be selected from the organisations listed below:

Banking and finance

  • Barclays, Service Operations
  • Birmingham Midshires
  • Britannia Building Society
  • Citigroup

Central and local government

  • Companies House
  • City of London
  • Lancashire County Council
  • Land Registry

IT services, including outsource providers

  • Cobweb Solutions
  • ITRM
  • Tessella Support Services

Construction, agriculture and mining

  • Davis Langdon
  • WSP Group

Business services

  • Berwin Leighton Paisner
  • Eaga Partnership
  • OCS Group

Manufacturing and engineering

  • Atkins
  • Kimberly-Clark
  • PepsiCo UK
  • Procter & Gamble

Other public/non-profit sector

  • Legal Services Commission
  • London Business School
  • Nominet UK
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

IT software  and  hardware

  • Compuware
  • Data Connection
  • Smart Human Logistics
  • Welcom Software

Retail, wholesale and distribution

  • Greggs (head office IT)
  • Past Times
  • Tesco Stores

Media, hospitality, entertainment and leisure

  • Chelsea Football Club
  • Yell

Utilities and communications

  • Judges' special award to be announced.


The judging panel

The members of the judging panel for Best Places to Work in IT2006 combine the best of business, IT and employment expertise. They include:

British Computer Society

The BCS provides service and support to the IT community, including IT practitioners and employers of IT practitioners. It also acts to generate public awareness and appreciation of the associated social and economic benefits of IT. The BCS was formed to establish and maintain appropriate standards of education and experience for people working in IT or studying to enter the profession.

IBM Computer Users Association

The IBMCUA is an independent organisation that arranges briefings on topical business-related IT subjects for IT managers and directors. The objective of each event is to provide attendees with information that can be used in their organisation to realise real benefits. Subjects range from the value of specific technologies to the business and how to deal with the latest issues to technical education for IBM iSeries users.

The Corporate IT Forum (Tif)

Tif is a subscriber organisation representing the corporate IT user community. Members, which come from some of the UK's largest blue chip organisations, work together to find practical solutions to everyday issues facing corporate IT, from technical architecture to policy and managing supplier relationships.

Centre of Computing & Social Responsibility

The CCSR is an academic body that carries out research and provides teaching, consultancy and advice to individuals, communities, organisations and governments at local, national and international levels on the actual and potential impact of computing and related technologies on society and citizens.

Institute of Directors

The Institute of Directors provides a professional network that reaches into every corner of the business community. Its global membership spans the spectrum of business leadership, from the largest public companies to the smallest private firms.

UK Oracle User Group

The UKOUG is an independent organisation dedicated to informing and educating Oracle users about Oracle products and services. It provides a forum where users can exchange experiences and influence Oracle management teams.

Awards ceremony

The Best Places to Work in IT 2006 Awards will be announced at a lunch at the Park Lane Hotel, London on 1 March. Places at the event are limited so to ensure your table, contact Nicky Allison on 020-8652 8583, email [email protected]

Computer Weekly's Best Places to Work in IT2006 Awards are organised in association with international recruitment services organisation PSD and are sponsored by consultancy Atkins, Barclays Service Operations and recruitment and resourcing firms Capita Resourcing, Madison Black, ReThink Recruitment and Spring Technology.

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