IIP Awards 21 – The Small Business Award: Portal

Written by Investors In People

IIP Awards 21 – The Small Business Award: Portal

At the start of 2021, there were 5.5 million small businesses (with 0 to 49 employees), 99.2% of the total business. We believe small businesses need to be commended for their work with smaller teams, which is why we gave The Small Business Award to Portal.

We caught up with Gwawr Booth, who shows how putting people before profit helps keep team happiness at the forefront of the business’ philosophy. 

Why do you think you won the award, and how did you exceed the judges’ expectations?

We always put people before profit, and happiness is key to us. When decisions are made, we ask each other, will this make us happy? If the answer is no, then we leave the project be. These are simple sentiments to live by, but it seems to have worked for us.

There have been tough moments over the 11 years since Portal was founded, but we’ve stuck to the above principles and turned to our core values of being respectful and having fun whilst working as a great team when times have proved difficult.

Recruiting the best people who have a similar vein of passion, professionalism, and general happiness has proved hugely successful. The team takes such pride in all that they do and are ambassadors for the company. Their hard work on the front line ensures we have repeat customers and that we enjoy the successes that we’ve had. 

The winning moment. Where were you? Who was there? What was the reaction?

We were absolutely and completely taken by surprise! We were watching and discussing who the other shortlisted entrants were, not expecting our name to hold centre screen as the winner was announced.  

The phone then started ringing, and the emails started flooding in with messages of congratulations, and I don’t think it sunk in until later in the evening, exactly what we had achieved. The whole experience felt surreal.  Never in our wildest dreams did we expect to win the award. Thank you, IIP, for the privilege.

How do you and your people feel about winning the award?

Well, what can we say? We’re thrilled, delighted, overjoyed, ecstatic! To be recognised on a UK platform is just overwhelming, yet the team so richly deserve this. Yes, we are small, but goodness, are we mighty in heart. 

Who would you like to thank?

Undoubtedly, the entire team and those who have supported us as a company throughout the years. As I’ve stated above, the team is on the front line and are true ambassadors for the company. Without them, Portal wouldn’t have the huge heart it does, and we wouldn’t enjoy the successes that the past few years have afforded us.

What impact will winning this award have on your organisation?

It will reaffirm our belief that our focus on our lovely people, their happiness, and sustaining high quality in everything we do has proved successful for us. Hopefully, it will raise our profile of being a great company to work for and raise our confidence to push forward with even more ambitious projects.

If you could pass your secrets to success onto future entrants in your category, what would they be?  

We’ve always lived by a few sayings at Portal. My lovely mentor said the first one, who told me: ‘Chase quality, and everything else will chase you’.

The other is a lesson from my Dad: ‘Always look after those who look after you’. 

I think these two sentences embody us as a company. We look after each other, and we’ve chased the highest quality in everything we do, even when it means a far more difficult journey. This award is testament to the team’s commitment to these attributes.

How can you become the best organisation you can be? 

Most of our winners are Investors in People Accredited, which means they hold one of our prestigious accreditations; which will be in wellbeingpeople management or apprentices

Their commitment to continuous improvement ensures they’re always improving work for their people and have a better chance of winning one of our awards. 

About Investors in People

Investors in People have been working with a huge range of big and small organisations from Public Sectors, SMEs, Charities, PLCs and anything in between for over 30 years. We have accredited more than 50,000 organisations and our  accreditation is recognised in 66 countries around the world, making it the global benchmark when it comes to people management. So we know we speak your language and can offer the specific kind of support and guidance your organisation needs.

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14th Nov 2023 | Old Billingsgate, London



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