National law firm Shoosmiths has become the first top 40 legal firm to be accredited with the prestigious Investors in People (IIP) gold standard for a second time.
The award is based on what Shoosmiths staff say and feel about working at the firm and is a respected, worldwide stamp of quality in people management.
Shoosmiths joins an elite band of just 7% of all UK businesses to be re-awarded the hard-to-earn gold standard which involves a rigorous nine-day assessment.
Assessors spoke with both legal and non-legal staff around the business, which has 10 offices and 1400 staff across the UK.
Lead assessor from IIP, John Waldon, said:
'The assessment team received complete courtesy and helpfulness from everyone we came into contact with: we found Shoosmiths to be a culture where people take responsibility to move situations forward.'
As well as saying that Shoosmiths is a people-driven organisation where values are clearly embedded, the assessment team found that people had pride in working for the firm. They also emphasised Shoosmiths' reputation and standing in the legal community and its approach to client service.
John Waldon added: 'Shoosmiths is extremely focused on encouraging people to recommend improvements: managers do not view such suggestions as criticism in any way; they listen well and put people's suggestions into operation wherever possible. As a result of this encouraging and empowering culture, trust and respect are firmly embedded.
'Throughout the business there is a strong commitment to social responsibility (recycling, supporting local and national charities and supporting the local community) which occurs naturally and strongly links into the pride staff have in working for the firm.
'Investing in people within Shoosmiths can be summed up in one quote from a member of staff who said: "Do I think they invest in people? They're brilliant!"'
Shoosmiths' HR director, Louise Hadland, said:
'Our employment strategies allow people to flourish as individuals which delivers great work satisfaction but they also centre on collaborative working which enables us to deliver excellent client service. Our corporate responsibility ethic is equally embedded in our culture and this shone through in the feedback from our staff.
'To have Investors in People re-endorse our approach is extremely gratifying and this complements perfectly our other employment awards, such as coming top of the diversity survey conducted by the Black Solicitors' Network and topping the 2014 independent Legal Week Employee Satisfaction Survey.'