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Our journey to becoming a top UK employer

27 February 2015 By Jo Freeman, HR Manager

YPO at Times 100 Awards Celebration 2015

YPO HR Manager Jo Freeman talks about some of the initiatives we’ve introduced after reaching the prestigious Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 2015.

It was a great honour to represent YPO at the Sunday Times Best Companies Awards Celebration on Wednesday 25 February.

Although knowing a little while back that we’d reached the list, we didn’t know where YPO would be placed until the night. There were some nail-biting moments, but we were thrilled to rank at number 71 on the list in our first year of entry!

Sunday Times Best 100 Logo Best Company 2015

The night was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our achievements to date, meet like-minded organisations from across the country and share best practice. 

It also felt like the positive culmination of a number of initiatives over recent years to improve employee engagement and satisfaction. Here are just a few examples of the things we’ve done to date:

Putting our values at the heart of everything we do

We launched our new employee values two years ago to help staff relate their roles to the overall purpose of the organisation. While raising internal awareness, we are ensuring that the values are part of our everyday working practices – embedded in recruitment policies, employee appraisals and day-to-day procedures. 

Rewarding excellence

We have introduced a number of initiatives to try and reward staff in any way we can. Alongside recognition awards we host an all staff event. This enables everyone to take a day away from their roles, meet colleagues from across the organisation and participate in team activities. 

Offering employment opportunities

We are committed to offering employment opportunities, particularly in our local area of Wakefield. Our apprenticeship scheme is becoming more popular every year, and offers young people the chance to gain work placements across various areas the business such as administration, customer services, sales and marketing, procurement, HR, finance and IT. Our first intake of six all gained permanent employment with us following completion of the programme.

Providing training and development

Since joining the Institute of Customer Service, we have begun an organisational-wide training course to equip employees with enhanced customer service skills. Staff are also invited to propose a service improvement opportunity – empowering people to make changes, however small or large, to improve processes and ultimately increase customer satisfaction. From introducing branded work wear to increasing dispatch routes, all sorts of ideas have been implemented to date.

Involving employees in our future direction

We have a successful staff suggestion scheme based on our values which last year alone saw over 60 suggestions from across YPO. This results in continual employee-led change and improvements. During our staff events, we have introduced interactive sessions where staff have the opportunity to have their say on the future strategic direction of the business. 

Caring for the environment

Our employees regularly volunteer to take part in local litter picking with neighbouring companies, making our local industrial estate a cleaner and more environmentally-friendly place. We have been accredited with the IS014001 standard and most recently have been declared a zero waste to landfill organisation.

Want to know more about working for YPO? Visit www.ypo.co.uk/careers.

*Each year hundreds of organisations from a wide range of industries measure employee engagement using Best Companies to Work For employee surveys. The responses from these surveys are collated and combined to produce an overall engagement score for each organisation. Only the organisations with the highest level of overall employee engagement qualify for the 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For list.

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