'Everyone from paralegal to partner is approachable' - Best Employers 2016: Ashfords

Ken Bryant – Ashfords – BER

Ashfords head of human resources Ken Bryant talks to Legal Week Intelligence.

How would you define the culture? Not stuffy and hierarchical. It’s a meritocracy where everybody has the opportunity to progress. People enjoy working at Ashfords. It’s a friendly environment and they enjoy the people that they work with – I believe people would say “nice people, nice place to work”, but we have an ongoing culture and values programme to define this more fully. We are a progressive and growing firm and intend to carry on growing this business. You have a real opportunity to grow your career with us and not compromise on the quality of work.

What has been your greatest achievement in the last year? As a business, the firm’s substantial investment in learning and development (L&D) as part of the wider HR function. It’s also been a catalyst for change in terms of the implementation of a widespread engagement programme – we have a long-term commitment to engagement; listening to people and acting on that, with the aim of making Ashfords a great place to work.

What is your greatest challenge? We need to ensure we deliver on the significant investment in L&D. However, beyond this our biggest challenge continues to be attracting, developing and retaining talent in this business. It’s so crucial in what remains a challenging employment market. As part of our culture and values programme we are defining ‘the deal’ here – what can the individual expect from Ashfords and what does Ashfords expect from the individual? I want to hear feedback during the next 12 months that our people feel the benefit of our investment – that they are listened to, feel that there are career paths for them, and that Ashfords is a place where they can grow, be rewarded for their contribution and stay long term.

Top three BER scores – Ashfords

  • The reputation of my practice area/team
  • The quality of work handled by my firm
  • The level of client interaction I have

Ashfords BER comments – What do you like best about your firm?

  • ‘The people – egalitarian atmosphere, where everyone from paralegal to partner is approachable’
  • ‘Supportive and interested network of colleagues creating a broad knowledge base via developed expertise’
  • ‘The people, the opportunity for career progression, peer support, facilities such as the gym and yoga being provided onsite’

For more information on the Best Employers Report 2016, email lara.rosenthal@incisivemedia.com or call her on +44 (0)207 316 9864