Championing the IIP standard

Investors
in People (IIP) have selected 16 companies to act as Investors in People
Champions – organisations viewed as outstanding examples of employers who
promote the values and principles of the IIP standard. Simon Kent talks to some
of them

The
Moat House at Acton Trussell

This
privately-owned family run business took up the IIP standard in 1997 at the
start of an expansion programme. “The Moat House went from being a pub to being
a hotel and Investors in People was key,” says general manager, Mark Lewis. “Within
three years, we went from an organisation of 30 employees to 120 employees and
IIP gave us a clear process for people management.”

Now
employing more than 200 staff, Lewis believes IIP has made a significant
contribution to instigating and maintaining staff morale and commitment in an
industry where turnover can be significant. Not only that but the standard has
helped the company survive a major fire and achieve further expansion through
the acquisition of the other hotels. “We have enjoyed success in many areas
over the years,” says Lewis. “Fundamentally, that success has been down to our
culture and the way we have developed and supported our people.”

The
Old School House Day Nursery, Newmarket

With
30 staff and a business delivering both nursery care and training services,
Linda Baston-Pitt believes IIP confirms her company as one with a clear
learning culture. “I was looking for a business model we could use in the
nursery, and while IIP wasn’t traditionally used in the education sector, it
was clear we had the same issues with regard to staffing,” she says.

Turnover
and sickness has declined, but overall, Baston-Pitt reports the organisation’s
confidence in its work has increased. “Career development has always been
important to me,” she says. “I’ve always made sure people are fulfilled in
their job and that there are a lot of possibilities for them. IIP has proved
particularly motivating for the nursery’s staff since it is something all staff
understand, contribute to and benefit from.”

Oakwood
Eyecare Centre, Derby

Starting
a new business from scratch meant dedicating expenditure to training, and
assessment was a significant cost, but Liz Jackson and her husband did just
that when they created their optician business in 1994. The Investors in People
standard gave the couple their entire management structure and processes.
“We’ve grown as a business as IIP has grown,” says Jackson. “Every time we’ve
come to be reassessed, we’ve gone to our staff and asked whether we will get
additional value from the exercise. Every time we have agreed that there is
something we’ll gain from the process.”

With
12 staff now employed by the business, Jackson believes the company delivers
better service to its customers as a direct result of being Investors in
People. “There’s always potential in people,” she says. “It’s never a case of
our receptionists just answering the phone – 75 per cent of business is won on
the first call someone makes to us so the opticians can’t do their job if the
other team members don’t do theirs.”

Investors
in People is not a static achievement for Jackson and her company, but a method
of achieving ongoing improvement. “Whenever you discuss what you’re doing, you
end up questioning why you do something in a certain way,” Jackson explains. “Our
staff are extremely proud of the award but they’re always ready to learn or to
find better ways of working.”

The
other IIP Champions are:

Barnfield
College, Luton

Bodelwyddan
Castle Hotel, Clwyd

Chelmsford
College, Chelmsford

Clinphone
Group Ltd, Nottingham

Escrick
Park Estate, York

Farrelly
Facilities and Engineering Limited, Sutton Coldfield

Nationwide
Building Society, Swindon

South
Farnham School, Farnham

Springfarm
Architectural Mouldings, Antrim

St
Mary Magdalene Primary School, West Bromwich

St
Mary’s Girls College, Londonderry

Swiss
Cottage School, London

TNT
UK, Warwickshire

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