We gave Stephens Scown this year’s award, breaking the mould through commitment to employee ownership. This was aligned with the specific objectives of enhancing the attractiveness of the firm to younger talent and increasing motivation. The impact is already visible: Stephens Scown is now the highest ranked professional services firm as a great place to work. At the same time 91% of clients rate themselves as ‘very satisfied’ with the firm’s work. Before embarking on the change of ownership, the firm’s leaders had alredy signalled a cultural shift away from hierarchy, stimulating discussion of the John Lewis ownership model which is an inspiration for the transformational change.
From left: Austin Healey, the team from Stephens Scown and Keith Tracey (Aon)
BWB is our runner up, migrating from a charity law firm to become a multi-disciplinary consultancy, to meet client needs. Certification and business planning processes have aligned BWB’s goal with behaviour, fostering cross-disciplinary teams which have proved to be attractive to clients and professionals alike. Staff turnover has nearly halved and millennials now account for 46% BWB staff. Sales have increased by 20% and profits by 10% because of the multi-disciplinary approach. Cross boundary collaboration has also broken the traditional mould of hierarchical leadership.