Awards 2005: employer of the year – BDO Stoy Hayward

For the second-year running, BDO Stoy Hayward wins our Employer of the Year
Award, leaving the competition standing.

In an award voted for by Accountancy Age readers, BDO’s employees rated the
firm highly. The firm scored well across the board, but particularly for the
number of employees who said that they were proud to work there.

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list of award winners

BDO’s strength appears to be good communication with its staff and reacting
to its staff’s needs before problems arise.

The firm conducts an annual ‘pulse’ survey to find out how its employees feel
about the company. The aim is for them to be honest and frank, and it provides a

valuable resource for management ­ more than three-quarters of staff took part
in 2004.

BDO recently made headlines for its use of technology to create flexible
working solutions. The firm invested £2m in 3G mobile phones and BlackBerries,
so that staff could choose to work when travelling or out of the office. This
gives staff the chance to manage their work-life balance and organise their
workload in the way that suits them best.

Keeping employees happy need not hurt the bottom line: staff need only to use
their BlackBerries for 20 minutes each month for the firm’s investment to break

The move was a response to findings in BDO’s internal survey that showed the
majority of its employees wanted to adopt more mobile working practices.

‘BDO are committed to achieving the right work-life balance,’ said one
employee. ‘Opportunities are endless and the flexible benefits on offer are
excellent. There has been fantastic support during my training and a sense the
firm genuinely cares about its employees, who in turn work hard for the firm’s

Our survey found the firm also scored highly for its commitment to training
and development. Investment in training increased by 26% this year to £3,540 per
person and there were 11 internal promotions to partner. Of these, two had
joined the firm as trainees and three had joined BDO immediately after

One employee said: ‘Career progression and training is excellent, and
remuneration is considered and reviewed regularly. They offer me, and many
others, fantastic career potential.’

Other employees praised the benefits package, which is tailored to each
individual’s needs. Staff can choose to receive cash instead of benefits if they

Our survey also found that BDO had created a supportive working atmosphere in
which staff are encouraged to feel a real sense of ownership. ‘Each employee is
valued,’ said one member of staff. ‘This is reflected in the number of staff
that have been with the firm for many years.’

Staff from Numerica, which was acquired by BDO this year, also praised the
way the firm had spent significant time and resources to integrate them and make
them feel part of the organisation.

As one judge said: ‘Large companies need to make employees feel valued. BDO
achieves that.’

Nominations were accepted from anyone who worked for an accountancy practice,
a business, or an organisation from the public or voluntary sectors.

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