Suffolk Business Awards: Employer of the Year

Silhouette of group business team making high hands over head in sunset sky evening time for busines

Has your business helped its people get through a tough year? We're looking for Suffolk's Employer of the Year - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The past 12 months have been tough on everyone - but the best businesses have gone out of their way to look after their people. That's why the Employer of the Year award is such an important one in the Suffolk Business Awards.

The Employer of the Year award recognises the impact Covid-19 has had on employees and employers. And one of the things that co-judges Jodie Woodrow, business director at Pure Executive, and Catherine Johnson, partner at Birketts, hope to discover through the entry process is how successful businesses have adapted to support their workforces during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We expect organisations to demonstrate that they have a culture that listens, adapts and is brave and open to change,” said Jodie Woodrow. “We’re looking for an organisation which has tried new things and recognised what has and hasn’t worked.”

Jodie Woodrow, business director at Pure Executive Picture: David Johnson Photographic

Jodie Woodrow, business director at Pure Executive - Credit:

Ms Woodrow adds that employee wellbeing was in the spotlight before the pandemic, but has the last year accelerated its priority level.

“Awareness of employee wellbeing has increased,” she said. “We have never been in a situation where so many more people have been working remotely, raising many different issues around wellbeing. 

“Leaders have spoken out more and shown their vulnerability. We have heard some extraordinary stories about the care and support for their people. 

“As the economy starts to open up fast, we are hearing of individuals being under considerable pressure and this puts a strain on their mental and physical health, so it will remain a key feature in future.”

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So why should businesses take the time to enter this award? “This award celebrates the organisations who are attracting, developing, and supporting their people to achieve business success, whilst treating everyone as an individual,” said Catherine Johnson.

Catherine Johnson, partner at Birketts Picture: Birketts

Catherine Johnson, partner at Birketts - Credit: Birketts

“Employer brand is important for many reasons and an organisation’s focus on its recruitment and retention is critical to success, particularly learning from the challenges and opportunities of the past 18 months.

“It’s a rapidly changing candidate landscape and the CIPD expects 38% of people to change jobs in the next 18 months. It is more important than ever for an organisation to future proof themselves and stand out from their competitors.”

The judges are looking for evidence in three key areas: care, adaptability and innovative approach.

Enter the Suffolk Business Awards at

Meet the sponsors

For more than 150 years, Birketts’ core belief has remained the same. The professional skill and integrity of our lawyers and support staff is our most important asset. 
With a reputation for being forward-thinking and ambitious, Birketts is a leading regional law firm with an impressive national and international network of clients. We have over 750 lawyers and support staff working from offices across the East of England and London.

The Birketts team outside their offices on Princes Street Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The Birketts team outside their offices on Princes Street - Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Pure Executive
Pure Executive is the executive search division of Pure, the leading professional recruitment company for the East of England. Specialising in board appointments (both executive and non-executive), we work in partnership with privately owned organisations, non-profit and listed businesses across diverse industries, sourcing executive talent on a national and global basis.  
We deliver both interim and permanent appointments and our services extend to board development, executive coaching, executive reward benchmarking and advising on developing inclusive people strategies. 
As co-founders alongside eras, of the Best Employers Eastern Region programme, and achieving Gold Investors In People, employee engagement is close to our hearts.