HTA wins AJ100 Employer of the Year, again

26 Jun 2023

HTA is extremely proud to win Employer of the Year at the AJ100 awards for the for the second consecutive year!

At HTA, we are dedicated to creating a supportive and healthy professional environment that nurtures talent, builds careers and fosters creativity, enjoyment and satisfaction in our shared endeavour. We work hard to be the best employer possible therefore it’s fantastic to, once again, receive recognition on such a prestigious stage.

The judges summary:

The culture of accountability and responsibility enables them to continue innovating to meet employee needs. In a difficult year dealing with the cost of living crisis and hybrid working, HTA offers a great employee experience.’

HTA is in the second year of a strategy to improve diversity and inclusion at the practice, and judges were impressed at its confidence in having conversations about race. Twelve staff achieved Part 3 Qualification in 2022, of which two-thirds were women and almost half were from ethnic minority backgrounds. At the end of 2022, 39 per cent of its architects were women and 18 per cent were from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Nearly all staff (98 per cent) think HTA takes equality, diversity and inclusion issues seriously. In addition to forums for Blacc (Black African Caribbean Collective), women, and LGBTQ+, a neurodiversity group has recently been established. The practice has introduced policies supporting menstrual and menopause leave and the provision of free period products. It has also formulated guidance on dealing with miscarriages, stillbirths and sudden death.

Staff have access to 150 hours of focused training annually. Training and mentoring programmes include a post-Part 3 study group, future leaders mentoring, and reverse mentoring.

In 2022, the HTA Partnership was expanded with the addition of 12 new associate partners as members of the limited liability partnership.

The practice’s new London office, a retrofit of a 19th-century warehouse, aligns with its approach. Staff benefit from free breakfast and lunch at the in-house café, which serves locally sourced and mostly vegan food. The office incorporates a variety of working settings, with attention to acoustics ensuring a calm environment that is particularly appreciated by neurodiverse staff.

A bookable wellbeing room is used variously for prayer, as a place of retreat, and by breastfeeding mothers to express and store milk. Employees also have the use of impressive shower facilities with towels provided.

Judges were impressed at the practice’s monitoring and evaluation of key metrics, including overtime, training and staff absence. The latter has fallen from an average of 9 sick days per year in 2016 to 3.3 in 2022, while overtime has fallen from 2 per cent to below 1.5 per cent as a percentage of overall hours.

Staff received an average salary increase of 6.5 per cent in March 22. A staff survey found that 96 per cent thought HTA was a good place to work, while 90 per cent felt HTA responded positively to new ways of working post-pandemic – 70 per cent now work three days a week or more in the office, and staff can apply for more flexible working arrangements.