11th May 2017

What makes a great employer?

As sponsor and a judge of the Employer of the Year category at the Harrogate Business Awards, it’s fantastic to hear about the great work and initiatives local firms are involved in.

Defining what makes a great employer – such as this year’s worthy winner Recruit4Vets – can be a challenge. Just like the diverse range of businesses Harrogate has on its doorstep, there’s no one formula for success, though there are common attributes: 

1. Maintaining a good work-life balance can be a struggle – we all juggle pressures of work, family and other commitments – but getting this right can be a real boost, helping as it does to reduce stress and increase employee fulfilment. Great employers tend to help the balance with schemes, such as those offering flexible working, social events or support with child care.

2. Supporting career progression among a staff is another building block for an engaged workforce. An employer who takes the development of professional skills seriously will help employees feel supported and empowered to achieve their potential – something which will, of course offer real benefits to the wider business too.

3. A good benefits package also helps great employers to stand out. While ensuring the salary on offer is fair and rewards success is at the heart of ensuring a workforce which feels appreciated, the wider package is just as important. With a recent survey indicating that 66% of staff are more likely to stay with an employer that offered good benefits, going beyond the pay packet is vital to attract and retain valued employees.

Ultimately, great people are the foundation of any successful business – it’s been shown that happiness at work leads to better productivity, so the employer who takes the time to understand and support their workforce to grow will generally reap the rewards of that investment.

We all interact differently, so there’s no hard and fast rule for the steps to take. The path taken comes down to the organisation at hand and how successfully this is done is the difference between a good or a great employer. 


Mike Patterson is a Director in Berwins’ Commercial Team. He is ranked in leading industry directories and specialises in Employment and HR law.  


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