Invest in your staff to grow your business
Roland Cross, director of PR company Broadgate mainland, assesses the direct benefits to his business of adopting the people management standard, Investors in People.
What business would turn down the opportunity to grow by following a few simple steps? Very few, yet many companies are missing out by failing to develop their businesses effectively.
People make a business and well-motivated and trained staff support business growth. This is what Investors in People (IIP) sets out to achieve. Irrespective of industry, by following a proven and respected standard, every business can benefit. IIP is the UK’s leading people management standard and is based on a simple principle: good people make great business. It is awarded to organisations that meet set criteria across learning and development, leadership skills and recognition and reward of staff.
So why aren’t more businesses adopting IIP Standard and using it to grow their business? The answer is probably that they aren’t aware of the benefits it brings and how empowering IIP it can be. Broadgate Mainland has always had a culture and ethos to invest in its people, but we have seen tremendous results having embraced IIP in 2011. This year we received the highest accolade – a Gold award, which only 7% of the 15,314 IIP accredited organisations in the UK have achieved.
IIP takes the view that the best evidence of whether a business meets the standard is whether staff can describe what initiatives are in place, and what they mean for them. It doesn’t matter if management can explain its processes in perfect detail, or provide pages of beautifully prepared paperwork, what counts is whether staff are feeling the benefit.
We worked to achieve the IIP with a company called Inspiring Business Performance (IBP), which delivers the IIP Standard in London, the South East and South West. Kevin Line, the IBP assessor, provides consultancy and suggests solutions from the strategic to the tactical, to build success and competitive advantage through the alignment of our staff with the business direction and objectives. As a result, we have developed a more motivated and productive workforce, who are engaged and share in both creating and achieving the business objectives.
In the last three years our business has grown in revenue terms by over 20% despite a market that has been tough to operate in. Research by the UKCES Employer Perspectives in 2012 found that 60% of IIP accredited firms predicted business growth, compared to the UK establishment average of only 47%.
Best practice benchmark
The IIP Standard helps each business to know what good people management is and how to achieve it. It’s a benchmark for best practice and recognises a company’s commitment to developing its people and is very flexible, so easily tailored to meet our own business goals.
The transformation in our business by creating forums, discussion groups and actively managing individual’s training and development, has been exciting to witness. Today we are in control of the business, its culture, developing the leadership qualities of staff, engaging them in all aspects of the business and challenging them to achieve their full potential.
Following the initial IIP assessment back in 2011, we created an action plan to develop the business to the benefit of all. Looking at new ways to reward and recognise achievements at an individual, team or company level, through to the training and development for every member of staff, we have set ourselves targets to improve and then measured the impact of each enhancement. The cost of IIP has been easily covered by both the increased profitability of the business and the high satisfaction levels that staff expressed in our annual employee survey. The target now is to maintain this level as we constantly strive to grow the business.