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 or call her on +44 (0)207 316 9864