Employment accolades

Here’s an interesting story that happens to tie in with another of my core activities. A franchise operation, the Dyno Group, has won an award as a good place to work.
Actually …

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20th June 2007 at 7:05 pm

Here’s an interesting story that happens to tie in with another of my core activities. A franchise operation, the Dyno Group, has won an award as a good place to work.

Actually there’s a little more to it than that. The franchise’s parent company has won, so the franchise – which no doubt played its part alongside all of the other elements of the organisation – has claimed its share of the credit to garner some publicity. All good fun and part of the marketing mix.

I actually edit an annual book of top employers so I know a bit about how at least one of these schemes works, though, and I do wonder just how they’re awarded in this particular instance. A lot of organisations put themselves forward (mine doesn’t allow this, but it insists on a ‘contribution towards payment’ so there’s self-selection in that people can opt out by not wanting to pay). Then a researcher is sent in, usually, asks some questions and the employer fills in a questionnaire.

The end result can have a lot of value but one of the worst experiences I ever had was in trying to evaluate the Go Ahead Group, which is in transport. Although not a franchise operation it shared many of the features you might come across in looking at a franchised group, in that there were many affiliated businesses with their own structures. In this case there were also distinct and different company cultures within the group, and according to the article I’ve highlighted the same was true of the Dyno Group’s parent.

The question that occurred to me when I was writing about Go Ahead was: how do you write about company culture and assess an organisation like this as an employer when it’s actually not a single entity anyway? The Group itself felt I’d misunderstood the ethos and written a misleading profile anyway, so they pulled out of the scheme; the issue remains, though, that it’s difficult to judge a group when it consists of so many different parts.

I’m pleased for the Dyno Group and its parent, really I am. I’m just worried that the Dyno bit could have been responsible for the whole of or none of the practices that won the award – and nobody would ever know.

Guy Clapperton

Guy Clapperton is a freelance journalist who specialises in small business issues and has written for the likes of The Guardian, the FT and the Daily Mirror. Guy has written about finance and franchising for SmallBizPod. http://www.guyclapperton.co.uk

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