Decision Time – Finalist Case Study

Why did you enter The Investors in People Awards 2020?

At reaccreditation we were hoping to get Gold, so we were absolutely delighted to be only a fewFramework Indicators off Platinum. We knew that ​Gold was achieved by only 17% of organisationsand our score of 833 out of 900, placed us fourth out of 70 benchmark IT companies, 100 pointsabove the average score! Those figures gave us the courage ​to enter the awards. A​s witheverything in Decision Time, we base our thinking, planning and decisions around the deeply heldprinciple that if we attract and retain the right People, they will deliver exceptionally high qualityproducts. ​This belief that putting our people first breeds success, is backed up by our customerretention (of over 98% each year) and our remarkable growth (of 20%+ every year for the last 5years). We hoped this very simple but strong message would resonate with the judging panel forthe IiP National Awards 2020.

You’ve been announced as a Finalist – what does that mean to you and your people?

When we were then shortlisted to the Top 20 in June, we felt a real sense of achievement andwere extremely happy that the experts in IiP liked our thinking. Now, after beating 81 othercompanies, we have found ourselves in the Top 10 in our category nationwide, the only one fromNorthern Ireland. This is huge for us. It is going to give us a real boost in terms of recruitment,which is a challenge for the tech sector in NI. It has also given our own staff a real buzz, knowingthat they are working for one of the best IiP companies in the nation. It’s wonderful to have thisrecognition. It isn’t in our nature to publicly praise ourselves so it’s great to have IiP doing that forus!

What would you say is the standout point in your entry?

Everything in our business starts with, comes back to and ends with our people. It’s as simple asthat. Decision Time Directors are kind and fair and have always looked for novel yet sensible waysto make life at work happier. Here’s what two of our staff said earlier this year.“​Working here is a challenging but extremely rewarding experience. By far the best part ofworking for Decision Time is the people. It is a privilege to experience the kindness these peopleshow and to learn from the experience around me. Our very well received products and highlyrated customer service show what can be accomplished when you bring a team like thistogether. I truly believe I have never experienced a working environment like this and probablynever will again.”“Throughout the seven years I’ve worked for Decision Time the one thing that has stood out forme is how supportive and understanding everyone is from the directors down. Having peoplearound you that listen, are approachable and that take an actual interest in your work andpersonal life, really means it’s hard to even think about working anywhere else.”

What would it mean to win?

We employ only 17 people and so are on the small end of the small to medium business category.2020 has been an extraordinary year already and when we were setting our objectives for theyear back in late 2019, we had no idea what was ahead. We put the ‘2020 vision’ cliche right inthe middle of our goal setting and added another cliche “Going for Gold” for our IiP ambitions.And what a year it’s been. Without mentioning the obvious, let’s just say 2020 has delivered its fair share of surprises, but there have been lots of successes too – getting Gold in January andthen into the Top 20 in June. In September, our Business Director, Sinead Higgins was presentedwith the IOD Director of the Year Award in the small to medium business category. And at the same time, we heard that our principles and practices, the bedrock of our business, secured us a Top 10 shortlist place in this year’s Investors in People Gold ‘Employer of the Year’ category. To say we’re thrilled is an understatement. ​It would mean the world to us to win, and hopefully to ourcustomers too. Customers rely on us to be on top of our game, particularly during theseuncertain times, without investing in our people, where would we be?

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