Alex Triplow, head of HR at Holkham Estate, explains why its people are central to its mission to be the UK’s most pioneering and sustainable rural estate – and how the Best Employers survey has been instrumental in achieving this.

The Holkham Estate on the north Norfolk coast is a diversified business centred around the magnificent hall and its parkland. The estate manages the award-winning Holkham National Nature Reserve and beach, as well as the beach at Wells-next-the-Sea.

Alongside this, is Holkham Farming Company; a Land and Property team that manages 300 properties, develops properties and manages serviced offices; The Victoria Inn; three cafes; Pinewoods Holiday Park and a weddings and corporate events business.

Holkham’s vision is to be the UK’s most pioneering and sustainable rural estate. This will be realised through achieving five key ambitions, one of which is: ‘We want Holkham to be a great place to work, where talent is developed, teams set their own high standards and the human touch is never lost’.

The Holkham team of around 300, supported by a dedicated group of volunteers, take a great pride in their work at Holkham. Our participation in the Best Employers survey has been instrumental in building upon our ambition to make Holkham a great place to work.

We first participated in the survey in 2018, and were delighted to see further improvements in this year's survey results.

Time and again, participants told us of the pride they feel working here and when they are wearing the Holkham badge. Collectively, we share a passion for quality and to do the best we can in our work. At the heart of it, we are a family business and it’s extremely easy to tap into that and be part of the Holkham community.

In particular, we received praise and thanks from respondents for the way in which we handled and supported staff through the pandemic. Many also recognised that we had listened and improved since the first survey.

We are delighted that, as a reflection of the strong results of the survey, we have not

only been awarded the Gold accreditation, but have also won Best Employer in the hospitality and retail sector. Everyone at Holkham is beyond thrilled.

Here’s what our people say about working here:

Rachel, weddings and events co-ordinator: “I joined Holkham’s weddings and events team in mid-June. I’d worked in hospitality previously and was looking for something different. No day is the same and we’ve had a busy summer with nine weddings in September alone – I think people are excited to finally get married and have a party!

“I’ve lived in the area for quite a while and knew a lot about Holkham, but it’s been interesting learning about what goes on behind the scenes.

“When I’m sat at my desk and see deer running around, it’s stunning and slightly surreal, a real pinch-me moment.”

Ellie, university work placement: “I am studying business and management at the University of Kent and as part of my degree I get to spend a year working in industry. There’s a great sense of community at Holkham and you are empowered to make things happen.”

The Best Employers programme was founded by recruitment specialists Pure and psychometrics experts eras, and is supported by Archant and full-service law firm Birketts.