Employee engagement and empowerment could help Welsh businesses shake off the underdog tag, helping to position Wales as a business-leading nation.
This is the view of Chairman Colin Tucker and CEO Grant Santos of Caerphilly-based Educ8 Group, who gained national media attention this week having been recognised as the Best Mid-Sized Company to Work For in the UK as well as the Best Education and Training Provider to Work For.
Speaking of their award win Colin said: “In Wales we’ve always been underdogs, and perhaps at times we can be guilty of living in that shadow. However, Wales is not called the Land of Dragons without reason, and I think our award is proof that if we truly believe in ourselves and set the bar high, we can set the business world on fire. I see no reason why Wales cannot become one of the leading business nations globally. We certainly have all the vital ingredients: we’re hard-working, industrious have an entrepreneurial spirit and have leaders that do actually lead, we just need to believe in ourselves a little more and inspire the next generation to be go onto even greater things.”
It is a view shared by Wales’ Economy Minister Vaughan Gething who said: “Cultivating a working environment that prioritises happy, motivated and inspired employees is incredibly smart business practice.
“We have a raft of brilliant companies operating in this way across Wales, but Educ8 has consistently shown itself to be a leader in championing staff wellbeing year after year. Educ8’s success is a great advertisement for employee satisfaction to all businesses, big and small, across the UK. I congratulate them on another fantastic achievement.”
This is the 7th consecutive year that the training provider has been accredited for its outstanding employee engagement and leadership. Educ8 was founded in 2004 in response to skills shortages in the South Wales area and is run with an ethos driven by the values of honesty, integrity, respect and positivity and a passion for ensuring staff reach their full potential.
CEO Grant Santos added: “When we first entered the awards 7 years ago we found ourselves in 51st place, which as a new company was a fantastic achievement. However, we have always wanted, and strive to be, the best and are thus incredibly proud to have been recognised as so this year. We have always placed employee engagement as a high priority, we are a people focused business and, without our own people we would not have got to where we are today.”
Best Companies works with employers across Wales and the wider UK measuring, improving and recognising workforce engagement and satisfaction. With 72% of UK-wide employees stating they would work harder if they were appreciated, and companies with high employee engagement being 21% more profitable, the significance of the Best Companies results are evident.
Mr. Tucker concluded: “We are delighted to be number 1 in the UK, but it is important that we recognise that this has been an evolving 17-year process, not just the last 12 months. Every employee, whether currently employed, or previous team members, are each just as responsible for our success. They have been, and are, the building blocks that make our business a success. We are overwhelmed with pride, and delighted to celebrate (well, Celebr8) this great achievement.”
The news of the Best Companies top ranking comes at a time that Educ8 have made several announcements, including the recent partnership with the Institute of Directors and the launch of the first Welsh Healthcare Science Apprenticeship Programme in partnership with the NHS.