HTA wins AJ100 Employer of the Year

HTA is extremely proud to win Employer of the Year at the AJ100 awards for the second time.

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 practice has more than 250 staff across offices in London, Edinburgh, Manchester and Bristol. It demonstrated that it takes strategic responsibility for the wellbeing, progression and diversity of its teams by finding out where there is room for improvement, developing detailed plans, and taking effective action.

HTA impressed judges with its new EDI action plan for all aspects of diversity and inclusion, including race, gender, sexuality, disability and neurodiversity. ‘It has a clear strategy to ensure that each of its offices reflects the community it serves,’ said the panel.

Judges also praised the practice’s clarity of values and clear career progression routes supporting a diversity of talent from student through to senior leadership. This includes the promotion of 13 people to the new level of associate partner, with partner capital loans available, in order to widen the opportunity for business ownership.

Staff have access to mentors from either within or beyond the practice.

Partners share project and practice management information at a monthly board with HTA’s 40 associates, and weekly design reviews are open to all staff. The practice has seven Level 7 apprentices.

During the pandemic, the practice was still able to give a pay rise (an average rise of 2.5 per cent) in March 2021, with a rise of 6.5 per cent awarded this year. A profit share was also distributed between staff, who also enjoy free breakfast and lunch each day and other generous employee benefits.

In the practice’s annual staff survey, 96 per cent said they believed it was a great place to work, and 96.5 per cent felt diversity and inclusion was taken seriously. While the practice is expanding – turnover grew by more than 20 per cent – staff turnover remains below 10 per cent.

HTA has introduced a flexible approach to working, setting a non-mandatory target of three days a week for attendance in the office. It is currently formalising its overseas working policy. Overtime is monitored, with targeted action to ensure that resources are sufficiently allocated. As a result, overtime hours have fallen to below 1 per cent, supported by increased time off in lieu allowances.

The practice measures its own carbon footprint, and is looking at the potential for growing some of its own food and minimising food waste.

In London, HTA is currently in temporary accommodation before moving to its new home, a former plastics factory at Hackney Wick, which the practice is in the process of repurposing. As well as breakout and wellbeing areas, planned facilities include a breastfeeding area with fridge and a wudu area for ritual washing before Islamic prayer.

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