Nominate your firm for Computer Weekly's Best Places to Work in IT awards
Building on the success of the past two years, Computer Weekly is now accepting nominations for the third Best Places to Work in IT awards. This is set to be the most extensive assessment of IT departments in the UK, with equal chances for large and small companies to benefit.
The aim of the awards is to identify and highlight employment best practice by asking how departments create a positive working environment, what opportunities exist for IT staff for continued professional development, and how departments promote a healthy work/life balance.
Anyone who considers that their IT department deserves to be recognised as a best place to work can make a nomination.
The awards are split across 11 categories covering all types of IT users and service providers. A new section has been introduced this year: "IT Services Including Outsourcing Providers" so there is a category to suit all.
To enter your department for the awards, simply click on the link at Computerweekly.com and fill in a nomination form. We will then send the IT manager of your elected department an entry form to complete and return. More information may be requested later in the year as part of the judging process.
The entries will be judged by 30 senior industry figures from the UK's major professional IT organisations. A shortlist will then be drawn up and profiled in Computer Weekly from January 2006, with winners announced at the Park Lane Hotel, London on 1 March. The deadline for nominations is Friday 14 October 2005.
More details and nomination form:
Virtuous circle breeds enthusiasm and boosts productivity
For Denise Plumpton, chair of the Corporate IT Forum and a judge of Best Places to Work in IT 2006, a great workplace revolves around a virtuous circle, in which employees' enthusiasm for what they are doing means they do it very well.
"Working on exciting projects, using up-to-date products and technologies, which develops their careers by extending their training and widening their experiences within their company - maybe through secondments or working as part of a virtual project team - makes them feel they are making a difference and that they can be proud of delivering those kind of projects," she says.
Set that kind of motivating work in an environment where their boss is supportive and they feel valued by their company, where they are given the right tools and technologies to work with, where they are not hemmed in by a rigid working regime, and productivity will take off.
But if IT is to deliver maximum value to business, those who manage it "need to be with colleagues in other business functions," says Plumpton. "They should lead by example, recognise that management is not a one-size-fits-all approach. They should be encouraging and supportive, give people opportunities to stretch themselves, reward success and learn from the difficulties they encounter to identify opportunities for improving performance."
The growing demand by staff for flexible working is a case in point, says Plumpton.
"Flexible working is a personal wish for many who juggle childcare and/or just want a better work/life balance, and this is on the increase," she says. "However, it remains a nightmare for team leaders and managers who need to completely readjust their approach to management to take account of this. The good ones have sorted it."
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 in 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.
CIO Connect is a networking group for chief information officers and IT directors, with regular events around the country, a magazine and membership forums. Part of the National Computing Centre, the purpose of CIO Connect is "to inform and develop CIOs and their core teams to enable organisational success through optimum use of technology".
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 for Computing and 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 its 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.