CIPD has recently celebrated its centenary and as part of the celebrations it put together a task force to judge the 20 best organisations for HR in the UK. The panel judged a number of different areas including having a reputation for treating staff well over the last 100 years, a history of HR innovation, recognition of HR practice and the commercial impact HR has had on the organisation as a whole.
Whilst many household names made the top 20, the winner was Cadbury founded in 1824. Having recently been to Bourneville on a family trip, the winner was not a total surprise. Part of the Bourneville experience is an insight into the development of the Company. The site was of course a worker village where 370 staff and their families lived. Staff were offered homes with gardens that had vegetable plots and Cadbury’s also developed sporting and medical facilities within the village for its staff. The site was developed to improve conditions and allow staff to work in a pleasant environment close to work. It also established a very generous (even by today’s standards) benefits and welfare programme including pensions. The videos and images from the history archives of the Company were quite inspirational.
Even 10 years ago Cadbury had one of the highest engagement scores of any British business. Of course since this time, Kraft has taken over and the publicity has not always been positive. Some of you may recall that Kraft shut the Bristol factory with the loss of 600 jobs shortly after purchasing Cadbury and were accused of going back on a deal agreed to keep the factory open. My last visit to Bourneville was more historic than that and the number of visitors to the experience is huge nowadays with a massive shop on site too. Only time will tell whether Kraft will continue to reap both financial rewards and maintain the culture and promising history established by Cadburys.