HLM Architects’ reputation as a great firm to work for was given a further boost last week when staff from the firm’s Belfast office attended the UTV/Business Eye Awards this week to receive a commendation in the Employer of the Year category.
“A well motivated workforce is essential, particularly in a creative and service oriented business such as architecture, and that’s what we’re striving for,” said HLM Architects’ Regional Director Karl Ruddle, who leads the Belfast office.
“HLM’s considerable success is a direct result of the commitment, skills, motivation and leadership of our employees. So we do everything we can to nurture their talents, reward their efforts and create a culture which makes working at HLM a hugely positive experience. This has been especially important during recent times,” he added.
Business Eye, the leading business magazine in Northern Ireland, joined forces with UTV for the fourth year running for the UTV Business Eye Awards 2010, which were sponsored by Bank of Scotland (Ireland). The panel of judges included UTV’s Business Correspondent Jamie Delargy, Business Eye Editor Richard Buckley and leading local business journalists. The event was hosted by UTV presenters Pamela Ballantine and Paul Clark.
Hundreds of companies entered and the competition was tough in each of the 15 categories.
Speaking after the event Karl Ruddle said that HLM attributes its success as an employer to several key principles. The firm encourages innovation and input from every member of the team, so that everyone feels that they can make a difference.
The firm also invests heavily in a programme of on- and off-the-job training. The firm, which has offices in Belfast, Glasgow, Sheffield, Cardiff, London, Guildford and Plymouth, also operates a genuine one-team culture, keeping all management hands-on and removing office politics once and for all. Each office is part of the whole and the most appropriately qualified staff work for the practice’s clients – someone working in Belfast could be working anywhere, thus providing equality of opportunity among staff.
The firm also offers support beyond the working day: helping people fulfil career aspirations while meeting personal commitments through an extended family culture, flexible working policies and relocation opportunities.
“Being a great architectural practice is not just about great architecture, it is also about providing excellent client service. We recognise that both are dependent on having a well motivated team so we strive to create the kind of environment which staff find both rewarding and challenging and which fosters a strong level of commitment,” said Karl Ruddle.
The UTV/Business Eye Awards commendation is not the first time that HLM’s relationship with its employees has been recognised. Staff opinions were also a factor in HLM being named Northern Ireland’s top architectural practice in the recent AJ100 Regional Awards and being awarded an ‘outstanding’ two stars in this year’s Best Companies Accreditation List, one of only five organisations in Northern Ireland to achieve accreditation.