The IT department of Britannia Building Society has been named overall winner of Computer Weekly's Best Places to Work in IT for 2006, following this year's search for organisations that are taking the lead in attracting, retaining and motivating their IT staff.
Graham Gornall, IS service support manager at Britannia, said the win was a "fantastic" fillip for the society, and reflected the "huge amount of hard work" that went into ensuring its IT employees were valued and their skills developed.
"We undertake a lot of benchmarking of staff, as well as seeking out the views of IT's customers internally," said Gornall.
"Getting feedback from internal customers is crucial to ensuring that IT is working for the business and getting the recognition it deserves.
"Staff satisfaction is the other crucial measure, and in our last independently conducted survey, 88% of Britannia's IT staff said they felt that their job gave them a sense of personal accomplishment."
Other winners included specialist retailer Past Times, which won the retail, wholesale and distribution award category.
"It's a shock, because it is normally the big companies that win," said Rashpal Gill, IT director of Past Times. "I think this reflects the empowerment culture we have at Past Times, without rules or bureaucracy. It is an organisation that encourages entrepreneurial flair."
Phil Ives, IT director of award-winner Yell, said there was a "culture of improvement" in the firm, and because technology was crucial to the business, the motivation of its IT staff was essential.
A key theme at this year's awards was how IT can improve its standing within an organisation by engaging better with its internal customers - and the rest of the organisation understanding that IT can make a real difference.
Where IT is successful, it is also essential that users get to hear about that success.