RHSU Ranked 7th in Best Charities To Work For 2020

We are delighted to announce that we have placed 7th in the inaugural Best Charities To Work For rankings, which identifies and recognises employers in the sector that have created outstanding workplaces.

The rankings were a joint effort by Third Sector - the UK’s leading publication for the charity and voluntary sector - and Best Companies Group, an independent workplace excellence research firm.

The programme was open to all UK-registered charities with more than 15 employees and consisted of an Employer Questionnaire (25%) combined with an Engagement & Satisfaction Survey (75%) completed by permanent staff members.

SU President Jack O’Neill was delighted with the news: "As an Officer who has worked here for only two years, it has been a real privilege to be surrounded by dedicated, hardworking and caring staff - it also means I get to learn a lot!

“I am incredibly pleased and proud of the staff team and this recognition is certainly deserved. An organisation can only achieve its strategic aims and make a difference when there are the people there to do it - at Royal Holloway Students' Union, the great people and culture enable us to do all of the great things that we do."

image showing the charities that made the top 10, featuring RHSU at number 7

What does it take to be one of the best employers in the charity sector?

Here are some of the key findings from the research:

  • Creating an environment in which staff feel valued and their wellbeing is taken seriously.
  • Encouraging activities to create strong teams and foster good personal relationships.
  • Finding ways to support staff to advance their careers.
  • Strong leadership and strategic planning - an impressive 95% of staff from charities who made the top 15 agreed that they had confidence in their organisation’s leadership. An even higher 97% said they understood the organisation’s long-term strategy, compared with just 79% of staff in charities that entered but did not make the list.
  • Pay and conditions – 81% of staff who work at charities that made this year’s list said they were satisfied with the organisations' benefits schemes, compared with just 62% of staff in charities that did not make the cut.

What were we recognised for?

The full report has yet to be analysed, but these were some of the key things highlighted in the news article announcing our ranking:

  • Values Awards – our instant recognition and reward scheme that aims to promote and recognise outstanding job performance, linked to any of our five organisational values.
  • Benefits Scheme – including half-days on Fridays during the summer, birthdays off work, free Summer Ball tickets, and first-day-of-school leave for parents.
  • Socialising & Health – including wellbeing walks during working hours and the annual staff rounders tournament.

Students’ Union Chief Executive Dr Tom Flynn commented: “Since our major transformation started in 2016, the Students' Union has really put its values at the core of its work - embedding it in everything from recruitment to the reward and management of staff. The outcome of this has been an incredible culture where staff really support and rely on each other much like an extended family. It's fantastic to see recognition for all this hard work."

Why does this matter to me?

Of course, this is great news for the Union, knowing our staff members love working for us, but that’s not the crucial thing here. It’s about the direct positive impact this has on what we’re able to achieve for the most important people in this organisation – you, the students.

Creating a workplace where staff feel valued has helped us to recruit high-quality staff members who really care about their job and making your university experience the best it can be. This has led to us improving in two key areas – your overall satisfaction with the Students’ Union and the positive impact we have on your life at Royal Holloway.

Nothing shows this better than the year-on-year increases we’ve seen in our annual Rate Your Union survey, with scores also increasing on all five of our key strategic aims (improving your education, making campus fun, looking after your wellbeing, making you more employable, and empowering you to change the world around you).

As always, we know there is still loads more to do. We’re currently in the process of applying the finishing touches to the third iteration of our Strategic Plan, which ensures effective representation is at the heart of the Students’ Union as we continue to deliver positive outcomes for students. No matter where we are, representing you never stops.