WM People publishes 2024 Best Practice Report

WM People has published its 2024 Best Practice Report which highlights best practice in flexible, family-friendly and inclusive working, including detailed employer and employee case studies.

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The WMPeople.co.uk 2024 Best Practice Report is published today, highlighting employer best practice in everything from flexible working, family support, age diversity and talent attraction and outreach.

The Report, which begins with an overview of developments in family friendly and inclusive working over the last year, aims to show what the most progressive employers are doing, how they are doing it and what the impact is on their employees and on the business.

The Report includes interviews with all the winners of this year’s Top Employer Awards who talk about what they have done to affect culture change as well as individual employee case studies which demonstrate the difference they make.

The employers represented are ServiceNow, AMS, Murphy, 4PS Construction Solutions Ltd, AtkinsRealis, Financial Services Compensation Scheme, Lloyds Banking Group, Harper James, Phoenix Group, Aviva, Vistry Group and Motel One.

Service Now won Overall Top Employer and Best for Diversity and Inclusion as well as sharing the Special Innovation Award with Murphy. It was praised for its innovative approach to diversity and inclusion, including its NextGen programme, part of its wider RiseUp with ServiceNow initiative, which aims to equip one million people with tech skills by the end of 2024. NextGen is about diversifying employment opportunities for people in tech with a focus on lowering the barriers to entry through supporting under-served groups and communities such as refugees, women, veterans and the unemployed. Recruitment to the programme is based on ServiceNow’s three foundational pillars – poverty, gender and racial equity.

Philippa Hunter, DEI Lead for EMEA, says: “We are very clear at ServiceNow about our commitment to DEI. We will continue to make sure that all our programmes are equitable for everyone.  We are clear that we cannot build our business without diversity, and we also work with a diverse mix of suppliers. If anything, the evolving dialogue has acted as a rocket to galvanise us to keep going when others are not. We are not taking our foot off the pedal.”

There were three new categories at the Awards in 2024. Best for Learning and Development won by hotel group Motel One which offers extensive training for all employees, a Special Innovation Award [construction business Murphy shared this with ServiceNow for its innovative approach to hiring people on the autistic spectrum] and Best for Talent Attraction and Outreach won by construction firm Vistry Group which targets young people through a series of different avenues to attract a diverse workforce.

Other categories include Best for Family Support, won by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme who have a comprehensive range of support for families, from 20 days paid dependents’ leave to extensive support for carers; Best for Mental Health, won by 4PS who put workload front and centre of its mental health policies and offer a range of activities which are proven to boost wellbeing, from gardening to creative sessions; Best for Older Workers won by Phoenix Group who have a comprehensive approach to supporting 50+ workers; Best for Flexible Working won by design, engineering and project management firm AtkinsRéalis which in 2019  brought in a day one right to request flexible working, offers flexible bank holidays and helps to educate its employees about their flexible working rights; Best for SMEs won by law firm Harper James, SME winner Harper James which was founded by Toby Harper in 2014 as an alternative law firm to the traditional model, with an emphasis on work-life balance; and Best for Returners won by Lloyds Banking Group for its forward-thinking approach to normalising the hiring of returners.

Top Employer Awards

The aim of the Report and the Top Employer Awards is to spread employer best practice. The launch of the Report follows the opening of entries to the 2025 Top Employer Awards. There is one new category on age diversity which embraces multigenerational working and the mental health category is extended to cover health and wellbeing to reflect the links between physical and mental health and growing concerns about economic inactivity due to health issues. Find out more here.

The judges of the 2024 Awards were Gillian Nissim, founder of WM People;* Andy Lake, editor of Flexibility.co.uk; Jennifer Liston-Smith, Head of Thought Leadership at Bright Horizons Work + Family Solutions;  Dave Dunbar, Head of Digital Workspace at the Department for Work and Pensions; Clare Kelliher, Professor of Work and Organisation at Cranfield School of Management; Salma Shah, Founder of Mastering Your Power Coach Training; and Kim Chaplain, Associate Director for Work, Centre for Ageing Better.

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