Norfolk Business Awards 2022: Meet the finalists for Employer of the Year

Supporting a business and developing its people is often a crucial part of its continued success and the Employer of the Year award, sponsored by pure executive and Birkettsto Norfolk Business Awards 2022 aims to celebrate the companies that recognize it.

Here we find out which local businesses were named finalists in this year’s Employer of the Year category.

QMS International

Based in Norwich, QMS International is a consulting and certification body that offers a range of support services to help companies obtain ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certification.

Established in 1993, QMS today has over 10,000 active customers and 150 employees who are passionate about providing high quality customer support service.

The judges called QMS International a “well-aligned” and “focused” company with inspiring leadership, “where culture and engagement are a driving force behind the company’s overall financial success.”

They said the company has demonstrated a “full range of progressive people strategies” that recognize diversity and show that staff are at the forefront of the company.

QMS also impressed the judges with its “continuous improvement mindset” and the energy, passion and empathy shown by the company’s leaders.

Eastern Daily Press: Big C Cancer Charity Staff at Norfolk Show 2022Big C Cancer Charity staff at the Norfolk Show 2022 (Picture: Big C)

Big C Cancer Relief Charity

Based at Norwich Research Park, Big C Cancer Relief Charity provides support and information to people affected by cancer across Norfolk.

It has 85 staff and 330 volunteers who are passionate about providing exceptional care.
Founded in 1980, Big C and its supporters have raised over £40million, funding centers and support centres, groundbreaking cancer research, the latest equipment for Norfolk hospitals and more.

The judges called Big C “an impressive and forward-thinking organization” that has demonstrated that people and culture are at the heart of everything it does.

They said it is clear that the organization is values-driven and makes an effort to ensure that all areas of the organization feel included and understand its vision and values. Staff have the opportunity to grow, develop and feel valued for their contribution.

Eastern Daily Press: Breakwater IT demonstrated a number of innovative staff initiativesBreakwater IT demonstrated a number of innovative staff initiatives (Image: Phil Barnes Photography)

IT breakwater

IT breakwater is based in Norwich and provides IT support and services to businesses in Norfolk and the UK. It was founded in 2005 and has since grown into a team of over 20 engineers, account managers and administrative support workers.

Breakwater partners with some of the industry’s leading vendors including HP, Cisco and Datto, is a Microsoft Gold Partner and is Cyber ​​Essentials Plus and ISO27001 certified.

The judges said Breakwater’s management team appears to be well-connected to its employees and is “clearly committed to being an employer of choice”, with a “well-structured, people-focused strategy” and a “progressive, fun and dynamic. ”.

The company has a number of initiatives in place that demonstrate an ‘innovative’ approach to rewarding and recognizing staff contribution and development, providing the dual benefits of improving staff retention and benefiting customers.

Eastern Daily Press: The AF Group is a farmer-owned buying group based outside NorwichThe AF Group is a farmer-owned buying group based outside Norwich (Photo: Richard Drury)

The AF group

The AF group is a non-profit farmer-owned cooperative buying group based in Honingham Thorpe, outside Norwich.

It employs 105 people and buys everything from fuel, fertilizer and seeds to iPads, electricity and machinery for farmers, and aims to offer great prices, valuable market information and excellent customer service.
The company has embarked on a transformational journey in recent years to refocus the culture of the organization and is now reaping the rewards, according to the judges.

They praised the “excellent” leadership skills and “visible improvement” shown by AF Group and said it was clear the company was committed to engaging with its people.

They were particularly impressed with the “inclusive and collaborative nature of the business and the way everyone has their say” and said it offers a “very comprehensive” benefits package and development opportunities.