Ask most people what comes to mind when you mention Investors in People, and they’ll tend to reference our distinctive laurel, proudly displayed in receptions around the world.
As we mark thirty years this month since the first organisations were accredited and I reflect on our journey since 1991, what comes to my mind are the faces of all the people – clients, colleagues and community – that have shaped the organisation we are today.
Passionate people with a purpose
Investors in People is, and always has been, built on a community of passionate people determined to influence the world around them to be better. We do this by creating workplaces that release potential; to be more productive, creative and healthier. Investors in People today is an ambitious, agile agent for change, driven by our core purpose of making work better.
Over the last thirty years, we’ve assessed over fifty thousand organisations from around the world – from large businesses to owner-managed businesses and SMEs. It’s not just about numbers or the size of the organisation, though; I’m most proud of the impact we’ve made on the people this figure represents.
CEOs and business owners who’ve turned their teams of 20 into 200 realised their ambitions for their business and weathered the economic hits.
HR Directors and Managers who’ve designed ambitious change programmes, forged better workplaces and presented powerful cases for the return on investing in their people.
People, who’ve enjoyed working lives where they’re heard when they speak up, have seen themselves grow and achieve beyond their expectations on what was possible and have engaged with their work on a much more meaningful level than just rocking up for a paycheck.
Our partners are our secret ingredient to success
None of this would have been possible without the beating heart of our community. While they’ve had many names in the last thirty years (assessors, coaches, practitioners…), the word that most closely describes them is a partner.
They walk side-by-side with organisations and use our frameworks to help our community reflect on success and opportunity areas, lend an ear when it’s needed, and a little nudge when it can make a difference.
In my eyes, this unique three-cornered partnership, between the client organisation, the practitioner and us as a community interest company (CIC), is the secret ingredient to the extraordinary mix which is Investors in People.
Our community is all about connection
Our community may come from every different industry and size band. Still, they all benefit from this mixture of inspiration and constructive challenge at the core of our experience. Being part of the Investors in People community is also a standing invite to connect with others on the same journey and push each other to reach even higher; the improvement never stops!
Excitement for the next 30 years
As I look ahead to what the next thirty years may hold for Investors in People, I feel a great sense of excitement. More than ever before, work is being seen as more than a means to an end. It’s a tool in combatting social injustices in our society.
It’s a key player in reducing the impact we have on our planet. It’s a source of purpose, meaning and connection. Most of all, and in this sense, it’s no different to those early days in the 1990s; it’s a place where we can make people’s lives better.
Let’s make work better for future generations
From a personal perspective, as I watch my children grow up and begin their first work experiences, I take satisfaction from knowing that they won’t encounter the same hardships, challenges and frustrations that were commonplace early in my career.
My sons may not know it, but they’re benefitting from the hard work and dedication of thousands of people walking into work in the morning and thinking: ‘this could be better, and I’m going to make that happen’.
That’s the spirit of Investors in People, and I’m proud to say it’s a purpose this community will never stop believing in.
Paul has been heading up Investors in People since August 2011. He led the transfer of Investors in People from the UK Government in 2016. Investors in People became a Community Interest Company in February 2017 and is run for the benefit of the community of employers and individuals that it serves. Prior to this Paul was Head of Organisational Development at the Scottish Prison Service, during his time there all 17 Prisons in Scotland were awarded Investors in People recognition.