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Year with a bang! Starting the New; Coventry and Warwickshire's Employer of Choice Awards - Congratulations to: our 2009 winners! Some of the top employers to work for in Coventry and Warwickshire...

THE best companies to work for in Coventry and Warwickshire were celebrated at a glittering awards ceremony this month.

A whole host of employers including National Grid plc, Coventry Building Society, Willenhall Community Forum and Warwickshire CAVA - Community and Voluntary Action - were among the many organisations recognised for their exceptional work practices.

Introduced by Warwickshire County Council in 2002, the awards recognise those employers who have got the work/life balance right for their employees and in 2008 an Employer of Choice Partnership was formed with Coventry City Council which continues in 2010.

On Wednesday, December 2, 2009, employers from across Coventry and Warwickshire gathered for the glittering ceremony to celebrate the achievements of their peers - who have demonstrated that they can beat the recession by offering flexible working opportunities to their workforce and a caring attitude which includes support for the wellbeing of employees. Good employment practices which keep people happy and reduce costs are vital for business survival. They are appropriate for all employers from small community organisations to the large international corporations. Awards and certificates of commendation were presented by Councillor Peter Fowler, of Warwickshire County Council and Councillor Gary Ridley, from Coventry City Council.

Warwickshire CAVA Highly Commended Employer of Choice Award in the Small/Medium Category Special Achievement Health and Wellbeing Award WARWICKSHIRE CAVA is a county-wide infrastructure establishment, supporting the local community and voluntary sector, which was created on April 1, 2008 through a merger of local voluntary sector organisations.

Since the merger excellent progress has been made in integrating best practice examples of employer of choice policies into this new umbrella organisation for the community and voluntary sector. Over the past year, it has worked really hard to get health and wellbeing embedded into the new culture.

Instarmac Group plc Joint Winner of the Employer of Choice Award in the Large Category, Commendation Health & Wellbeing Award in the Large/Corporate Category INSTARMAC is a privately owned manufacturing company which was established in 1977 by its late chairman Charles Hudson who developed a cold lay macadam product. By 1991 this innovate idea had seen sales reach the pounds 1 million mark leading up to the new Instarmac headquarters being built in Dordon, Tamworth in 2007/08. This Company is very clear about the benefits of flexible working or change in shifts. The workforce is more engaged enjoying both work and home life to the full and turnover and absence figures reduce annually. This is an exceptional example of employer of choice policies that really work in a manufacturing environment.

National Grid plc, Warwick Winner of the Employer of Choice Award in the Corporate Category, Commendation Health & Wellbeing Award in the Large/Corporate Employer Category THIS utility company has its UK headquarters and largest site in Warwick, housing 1,800 employees out of the 10,000 total UK employee base. The new headquarters was created following a merger of Transco and National Grid and moved existing staff from locations such as Coventry, Solihull, Hinckley, Leicester and Birmingham. National Grid's workforce is 91 per cent male and an exceptional range of policies have been developed to support them. As a global organisation, flexible working is key to its success, extending working hours to accommodate international meetings and business demands. The support for staff in this organisation is endless with a doctor, dentist and gym on site and subsidised food in the restaurant.

Holiday Inn, Coventry Joint Winner of the Employer of Choice Award in the Large Category Commendation Health & Wellbeing Award in the Large/Corporate Category HOLIDAY Inn, Coventry is a 158-bedroomed hotel on the outskirts of Coventry situated off Junction 2 of the M6 and close to the Walsgrave Triangle.

It has come a phenomenal way in the last 12 months due to strong leadership and drive from the manager with support from his HR team. Flexible working has helped manage the business more effectively, through peaks and troughs in demand, creating a more diverse workforce where several "fit and well" employees are working well past retirement age. This organisation is a great example of one that has looked at best practice and implemented what works for them.

Coventry Building Society Highly Commended Employer of Choice Award in the Corporate Category, Winner Health & Wellbeing Award in the Large/Corporate Category THE Coventry was founded in 1884 and celebrates is 125th anniversary this year. With a call centre and headquarters in Coventry and 48 branches in the UK it is the third largest building society in the country, with assets of more than pounds 17 billion, and serves over one million customers with members in every postcode in the country.

A wide range of flexible working opportunities have been developed to meet business and employee needs and to ensure retention of good staff. The benefits are apparent, seeing a reduction in staff turnover, reduced sickness absence good staff survey results and improved business performance - impressive in the current financial climate. It is an outstanding employer which has created a great place to work.

Willenhall Community Forum, Coventry Winner Health and Wellbeing Award 2009 in the Small/Medium Employer Category, Commendation in the Small/Medium Employer Category WILLENHALL Community Forum has been in existence since 1994 and is a consortium of local and has been essential in securing the future of the area which had previously been suffering from a range of negative social economic factors including: high crime, poor social housing, lack of shops and lack of community services.

It is a great place to work where staff are highly engaged and committed. The business case for health and wellbeing as well as the benefits are clearly understood and the mantra is to know staff and to know them well. This is an exemplar organisation which has really embraced the whole health and wellbeing and work/life balance agenda by listening to its staff and understanding their needs.

Tommies Childcare Ltd, Coventry Winner of the Employer of Choice Award in the Small/Medium Category THIS childcare business started in 1998 when the company director took over an ailing pre-school. In 2005 its first out of school club opened and expansion began. It now works in partnership with Coventry City Council to provide full family services for the Holbrooks Community.

The directors have created an outstanding work environment, where care of staff and children is high on the agenda. Although the workforce includes many parents juggling work and home commitments, flexible employment contracts, paid time off to attend children's activities, and creativity with time in lieu, helps staff to accommodate their work-life balance and unpredictable family emergencies, whilst still maintaining a quality service to its customers.

Coventry & Warwickshire Employer of Choice Awards - The Commendations Tiny Teddies Day Nursery, Coventry Commendation in the Small/Medium Employer Category TINY Teddies is a private company launched in 2003. Its first nursery, based in The Old Fire Station in Radford, Coventry was opened in November 2003 by Paul and Michelle Ingram, following two years of planning and preparation borne about by a difficulty in finding appropriate childcare for their son.

Progress Children's Services Ltd, Coventry Commendation in the Small/Medium Employer category PROGRESS Children's Services, established in 2000, is an independent company, specialising in the provision of high-quality fostering and residential services for lookedafter children and young people.

British Horse Society, Stoneleigh Warwickshire Commendation in the Small/Medium Employer Category THE British Horse Society (BHS) was established in the 1940s to provide services and a public voice for the horse owning and riding public. The BHS represents the interests of the 4.3 million people in the UK who ride or who drive horse-drawn vehicles. It is the largest equestrian charity in the UK.

Warwickshire Association of Youth Clubs Ltd (WAYC) Commendation in the Small/Medium Employer Category Commendation Health & Wellbeing Award in the Small/ Medium Category WAYC was formed in 1954 and is an association of 130 youth clubs working with over 6,000 young people and 800 youth workers throughout Coventry, Solihull, and Warwickshire.

Apex Credit Management Ltd, Stratford upon Avon Commendation in the Large Employer Category APEX Credit Management Ltd was founded in 2000 and focuses exclusively on providing credit management services to the financial services sector, notably credit management, debt collection and debt purchasing services.

CSWP Ltd Commendation in the Corporate Employer Category Commendation Health & Wellbeing Award in the Large/Corporate Category COVENTRY Solihull and Warwickshire Partnership (CSWP Ltd) is a partnership for local economic regeneration and economic development. It unites all sectors of the area's economy with the common aim of working together and moving in the same direction.

Warwick University Commendation in the Corporate Employer Category THE University of Warwick was founded in 1961 and is situated on a large 700 acre campus which straddles the boundary between the City of Coventry and the County of Warwickshire. It now has almost 17,000 student and just over 5,000 staff.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Dec 30, 2009
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