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East Midlands Chamber News

East Midlands Chamber named one of best places to work in the Midlands

Creating a family-like workplace culture with complete transparency and strong support has helped East Midlands Chamber to be recognised as one of the top organisations to work for in the region.

The chamber of commerce for Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire features in two categories of the Best Companies to Work For lists released today (Friday 21 May) – ranking 77th in The Midlands’ 100 Best Companies to Work For and 13th in the national Business Services’ 20 Best Companies to Work For.

It follows in-depth staff surveys by the industry-leading employee engagement specialist that reflected well on a steady programme of changes in recent years to improve workplace culture at the Chamber, which employs 180 people across offices in Chesterfield, Derby, Leicester, Nottingham, Glossop and Mansfield.

These include improving internal communication methods, establishing new online meetings in which all employees are invited, and adopting and benchmarking against a set of values.

East Midlands Chamber director of resources and HR lead Lucy Robinson said: “We set out a vision about five years ago to make the Chamber a better place to work and one where people can thrive. We’re trying to create a culture where it feels more like a family than just a workplace.

“Improving our internal communication has been at the centre of this work and we’ve found the weekly all-staff meetings we hold have made it a lot easier and quicker to get messages out.

“The pandemic has been an isolating experience for many people in the world but keeping staff informed and part of the wider team means they’ve been able to feel part of something bigger than the four walls may have been working in. We’ve learned a lot of lessons over the past 14 months that will guide the way we communicate in the future.

Lucy Robinson

“By becoming a more supportive employer, people will feel like they can bring their whole self to work. It all comes back to the work we’ve done to build our values and the responses in the survey corroborated this.”

East Midlands Chamber’s workplace culture

As part of the Chamber’s vision to enhance East Midlands businesses and communities, it has established four key values – be creative, celebrate success, take responsibility and support others.

Team leaders are encouraged to ensure their employees are given the tools to do this, while the weekly hour-long virtual meeting for all staff introduced since the first lockdown in March 2020 has also played a key role.

It offers general updates, provides transparency on organisational health, and allow staff to share success stories. Other new regular sessions focus on topics such as values and mental wellbeing.

In addition to the collaborative and supportive culture that employees are encouraged to buy into, staff can access a list of benefits at the Chamber.

These include birthdays off, two training or study days and two CSR days annually, a generous pension contribution, a health cash plan, access to the Bike2Work scheme and employee social events.

How Best Companies creates its rankings

The Best Companies rankings are established following the b-Heard Survey, which is sent to all employees. It asks them to respond to statements about their wellbeing, pay and benefits, personal growth, team, the leadership and other factors.

It is scored on a seven-point scale that allows for nuanced responses, with its academically-rigorous methodology providing a Best Companies Index (BCI) score that determines the rankings, while offering honest and insightful feedback for employers.

Organisations with a high enough BCI score also receive either a “One to Watch” status or one to three-star accreditation.

As well as the two category listings, the Chamber was awarded a one-star Best Companies accreditation, which signifies “very good” levels of workplace engagement.

Scott Knowles

East Midlands Chamber chief executive Scott Knowles said: “Being recognised in the Best Companies to Work For list, which is one of the most well-respected rankings for recognising an excellent workplace culture, is a huge achievement for our organisation and the work we’ve done over the past five years or so.

“But more importantly, it gives us something to benchmark ourselves against for the future to ensure everything we’re doing is in line with best practice and to measure our continual improvement.

“It’s about valuing our people so they feel respected in the work they do, which in turn means we can provide the best service to our 4,000-plus members.”

Working at East Midlands Chamber

East Midlands Chamber currently has three vacancies:

  • Membership and sales manager for Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire (£28,000 to £30,000, based in Chesterfield)
  • Employment services support officer (£19,000 to £20,000, based in Mansfield or Nottingham)
  • Digital marketing specialist (maternity cover £27,000 to £30,000, based in Chesterfield or Nottingham)

For more information, visit www.emc-dnl.co.uk/job-vacancies/vacancies-other-opportunities/chamber-vacancies