Best Practice Awards
The 2018 Working Families Best Practice Awards are now closed for entries.
Closing date: 23rd April 2018
Showcase and celebrate your achievements by entering your flexible/agile working, work life and parent/carer support initiatives for the Working Families’ Best Practice Awards. Tell us how your policies and practices are helping to build a flexible and employee-friendly working culture for all; how you are offering additional support to parents and carers; and how your initiatives are supporting career progression and increasing gender diversity and equality in your workforce.
About the Award Categories
Best for Mothers
This is about mothers at all stages of their children’s lives. We are interested in motherhood from maternity and beyond until children leave home as young adults; and indeed, until they have children of their own and mother becomes grandmother.
This award is about your support for fathers at every stage of their children’s development. We are interested in your support for paternity and beyond until children leave home as young adults; and indeed, until they have children of their own and father becomes grandfather.
We are interested in innovative and effective ways of supporting employees with caring responsibilities, including eldercare. Please answer as many of the questions as you can – not all may be applicable to an organisation of your size. In addition to your narrative, these help the judges to understand the policy context and organisational support you provide for carers.
Best Family Network – new category for 2018
More and more organisations are seeing the value employee networks provide. From peer to peer support, to raising awareness and developing a flexible and inclusive culture, networks are a great way to support colleagues and understand more about their work-life challenges. Please tell us about your family/parent/carer network, specifically what networks do you provide; how do you recognise the contribution of the people who volunteer to run the network; how do you market your network/encourage sign-up?
Best for Diverse Families
How do you support all the diverse families within your organisation? This is an opportunity to tell us what you do to ensure that you are thinking about the different types of families you employ, and how you can support them. For example, but not exclusively, you can tell us about policies and practices you have including, but not restricted to, fertility treatment, surrogacy, kinship care, same sex relationships, community celebrations, religious observance, global families and expats, divorce and relationship support. We are also keen to see evidence that policies and practices aren’t just confined to high value or senior level employees, but are available all the way down through the organisation.
Whether it’s a major initiative or one small action which has made the difference, we are looking for examples of innovation in building a flexible, high performance and family friendly organisation. This isn’t about change that had a big impact, it’s about innovation. Your initiative can be about flexible (agile, smart, dynamic) working, support for parents or carers, leave arrangements, communications strategies or childcare, or anything that supports the engagement and performance in your workplace of employees with family and/or other caring responsibilities.
Best for Flexible Recruitment
Tell us how you incorporate flexible working into your recruitment activities. We are interested in how you ensure that prospective employees know that flexibility is an option when they apply for a job, and how roles are assessed for their flexible potential prior to recruitment.
Government Equalities Office Best Returner Programme – new category for 2018
A returner is someone who has been out of the workplace for an extended period due to caring or other responsibilities. We are interested in hearing from businesses across sectors who have plugged into this large talent pool to help support and encourage people with skills, experience and potential, built up over many years in the workplace back into competitively paid positions.
Best for Embedded Flexibility
Tell us how you have embedded flexible (agile, smart, dynamic etc) working into your organisation. What we mean by embedding flexible working is when working flexibly is regarded as ‘business as usual’, is taken up by both women and men, is found through all parts of the organisation and at all levels of employee from junior to senior.
Best Flexible Working Initiative
Tell us about any flexible (agile, smart, dynamic etc) working initiatives or programmes that you have introduced. This might be a flexible working policy or programme that you have introduced in all or part of your organisation, or it might be an existing flexible working policy or guidelines that you have overhauled to improve effectiveness. This category can include recently introduced initiatives, and we recognise that you may not yet have robust metrics. But if you have quantified the benefits to the organisation (perhaps in terms of increased productivity, higher engagement, improved staff satisfaction, improved retention or savings in business travel, real estate, reduced absence) please ensure that you explain this fully, including relevant metrics, in your entry.
Best for Line Manager Support
Line managers are crucial to the flexible/agile culture of an organisation. Please tell us how you train, develop and support line managers so that they understand the advantages of a work life culture and have the confidence and skills to manage flexible workers and teams. This might include training on supporting women through maternity and returning to work; or supporting fathers and carers transitioning into caring. Tell us how you ensure that your managers have the right skills and develop into effective leaders who can embed flexible working, and to use it to deliver results.
Best Employer – in large private, small private, public or third sector
We want to hear about your approach to family/employee friendly working practices, policies and culture. What was the purpose of creating such a culture and how has this benefitted your employees and your business? What makes you unique compared to other organisations when it comes to supporting employees to integrate home and work life, in particular employees who have family caring responsibilities? What evidence can you provide of your flexible/agile working culture and practices and what difference has it made to your business success?
The 2017 UK-wide Working Families Best Practice Awards were announced on 6th July 2017. Find out the winners.
Read the case studies on the 2017 Working Families award winners and finalists and find out what they told us about their policies and practices.
The 2018 Scottish Top Employers for Working Families awards
The Scottish Top Employers for Working Families Awards will be announced on 22nd March. For full details please visit the Family Friendly Working Scotland website.
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