What it takes to be Employer of the Year

What it takes to be Employer of the Year
7 Jan 2022

The Red Rose Awards

Written by Neil Whitaker

The Red Rose Awards Ceremony took place on the 25th November at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool and it was a fantastic celebration of business and success across Lancashire.

I had the pleasure in sponsoring and judging the Employer of the Year category, where I met seven fantastic businesses across Lancashire who inspired with their achievements throughout 2021. Ascentis AO were the deserving winners on the night and I caught up with Emma Knight, Head of HR and Phil Wilkinson, Group CEO after the awards to find out a bit more about what the award meant to them.

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Why the Red Rose Awards?

Emma Knight: We felt it was a really prestigious accolade and we went for the Employer of the Year award as we really invest a lot of time in to creating the best possible working experience for our employees.


What's been the general reaction to winning the award?

Emma Knight: Everyone feels really proud to of won this award. It's really an award for our employees as they're the ones who have been so committed and dedicated and put that time into creating a supportive and friendly culture.


What do you think made you stand out from the competition?

Emma Knight: I think there's a few reason that we stood out and they're all areas that we're particularly proud of. We've spent a lot of time on our employees and making sure everyone has a tailored, development plan which has resulted in 15% of our people being promoted in the last 12 months. We also invested in this brand new office space which was designed in response to our employee's feedback. We asked everyone to suggest one thing they would like to see in the new office and 98% agreed that we had listened to their feedback. In light of this we also carried out a survey with our workforce which highlighted that 100% of employees would recommend Ascentis as a great place to work.


What three words would employees use to describe Ascentis?

Emma Knight: I would love to ask them and we will be doing so in upcoming surveys but I would probably say the best words would be rewarding, supportive and friendly. 


What's next for Ascentis?

Phil Wilkinson: I would say that by any measurment the Ascentis group of companies is a very good company. But we're not satisfied with that, what we now want to be, is a truly great company! We're on a mission to put a five year plan in place with milestones that we will measure annualy to ensure we stay on track toward this great vision. It's an exciting vision and one in which we are going to challenge ourselves.



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