BEST WELLBEING IN THE WORKPLACE STRATEGY - SMALL & : BEST PLACE TO WORK - SMALL
WINNER: BENNETT FREEHILL
Best Place to Work (Small) winners Bennett Freehill. Pictured are Christopher Morrow from award sponsor NI Chamber; Caitriona Cairns and Cormac Freehill, Bennett Freehill.
Bennett Freehill: Double awards glory for firm setting standards worldwide
Bennett Freehill is one of Northern Ireland’s foremost engineering consultancy firms with a dynamic talented workforce and teamwork truly at its core, and staff recognition and appreciation embedded in its company values.
This was very much reflected as they scooped two awards at the WEA 2023, winning the Best Wellbeing in the Workplace Strategy (Small) and the Best Place to Work (Small) categories. Bennett Freehill was established in 2020 by Chartered Engineer Cormac Freehill, and provides a quality, client focused and professional Mechanical, Electrical and niche Sustainability Engineering design service in the UK and Ireland.
At the age of 36 Cormac moved from a secure job to owning a business in the face of Covid and Brexit.
With his vision, energy and fresh leadership the company has transformed, thrived and grown to position themselves as one of Northern Ireland’s foremost engineering consultancy firms
“There was much to set this firm apart from its rivals – notably its pioneering design excellence, its niche sustainable engineering design hub and a clear staff retention strategy.”
A PASSIONATE TEAM
Central to their success is their passionate team, which has grown from five to 11, who focus on delivering technical excellence. They are very much people-focused.
They recruit and retain dynamic, talented individuals who balance office banter with business deadlines, are a collaborative happy workforce with teamwork at its core, and who are committed to the business’s success.
The firm says they have created a supportive, flexible and mentally healthy workplace; their inclusive team-centred culture is fun, rewarding and transparent and promotes development of ideas, skills and a productive team spirit in an open and progressive learning environment. Bennett Freehill create opportunities for employees to work on innovative projects from their niche engineering design hub and embrace advancements in digital engineering, i.e Passivhaus, NZEB, BREEAM, Commissioning.
“Central to its success is our dynamic team, which focuses on delivering technical excellence. Our winner recruits and retains dynamic, talented individuals who balance offce banter with business deadlines This is a collaborative happy workforce with teamwork at the core.”
Clients recognise their unique technical capability – their designs are setting standards worldwide by providing environmental and energy efficiency benefits and delivering habitable comfortable buildings such as SWC Erne Campus Enniskillen, RICS UK Project of the Year 2022 and the world’s first educational Passivhaus Premium rated building
Cormac and senior management foster an open, communicative and collaborative
environment in a two-way stream providing opportunities to engage, listen and learn, raise issues and provide feedback, and convey operational changes effectively.
Staff feel secure and know they are valued; they value the business and are committed to its success.
Stress-testing project workshops, bi-weekly full team meetings and small breakout sessions ensure everyone is involved in decisions, can share and develop ideas, share and delegate responsibilities and control workloads. “Each person thinks outside the box, is professionally equal and brings balance, their enthusiasm, expertise and personality to projects,” said Bennett Freehill in their awards submission.
“We recruit ambitious, technically accomplished and creative people; nurture and mentor them to realise their potential in our supportive, flexible, well-balanced working environment, which encourages friendships extending beyond the office,” “Our passion is our people.”