Providing opportunities to grow

Awards: Shortlisted firms for the Best Places to Work in IT 2006 Awards are helping staff realise their potential through career development.

Awards: Shortlisted firms for the Best Places to Work in IT 2006 Awards are helping staff realise their potential through career development.

For organisations that are best places to work, career development is not just about ensuring employees excel at their current jobs, or even grooming them for their next job within the organisation.

It is much broader than that. It is about bringing them on as individuals, at whatever stage of their careers they are, and about broadening their horizons, exploring possibilities and releasing potential.

There are multiple ways of doing this. The Land Registry, for example, offers staff a technical mentoring scheme working with a key supplier to enable effective knowledge transfer of new and existing technologies, and WSP offers staff an external coach. Mentoring is also used at ITRM, Birmingham Midshires and Kimberley-Clark, where each IT staff  member has a mentor to support and encourage them.

At Compuware, the internal account management scheme ensures that IT staff are assigned to a business area, such as marketing. Similarly, at Tessella the IT staff are all trained scientists and engineers, who are encouraged to build on their subject knowledge to create and support systems aimed at specialist scientific and engineering sectors.

At Imerja, self-empowerment is strongly valued, and the company enables employees to work under their own initiative on a day to day basis, encouraging ownership and commitment to the end customer.

Developing leadership is key. Britannia Building Society nurtures staff with management potential through its an Excellerate programme. And at the Land Registry, IT has introduced a Future Leaders scheme to identify and develop a pool of credible internal candidates for middle and senior management posts. Staff can also undertake research both across and outside the organisation, helping to develop leadership skills.

At Companies House, all IT managers are encouraged to take part in a Leadership Plus course, and 80% of IT managers do so. Senior managers also participate in an ongoing Transforming Leadership programme that includes strategic thinking and planning, emotional intelligence and managing and motivating teams.

At Procter and Gamble, the prevailing culture of "build from within" for its entire range of corporate skills places a heavy emphasis on developing the maximum potential of staff.

Finally, staff development can on occasion be outside even the broadest career envelope. Lancashire County Council has supported software engineer Emma Parker in competing for Britain in the World Archery Championships by allowing her concessionary days and flexitime.

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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