We invest in people (Platinum) -

At the heart of the Bassadone Automotive Group is a highly skilled team, made up of more than 200 staff. It includes engineers, technicians, customer service representatives and specialists in logistics, parts, sales, infrastructure, support and development. Thanks to their dedication and commitment to excellence, Bassadone has achieved Investors in People Platinum status and international and local recognition.

The Journey begins

Established in 1904, the Bassadone Automotive Group is one of Gibraltar’s biggest specialist companies, comprising five distinct entities that deal primarily with vehicle sales and exports. Just over 10 years ago, Bassadone decided that in order to develop staff to their full potential and embed key leadership skills and capabilities in their teams, they needed something new. The Japanese philosophy of ‘Kaizen’ meaning continuous improvement was already ingrained across the business. Investors in People (IIP) was chosen to compliment ‘Kaizen’ and provide a framework of best practice to measure performance, identify gaps and to help create a company-wide development action plan.

Leadership How do we get from good to great leaders?

Bassadone’s goal is to ensure managers at all levels are role models for their vision and values and that they inspire and motivate their teams and lead by example. Leadership capabilities, based on company values are included in the company Competency Framework, which forms part of the leader’s personal development review process. Managers are encouraged to attend development and coaching programmes designed to develop leadership capabilities. Performance is fed back through 360 degree appraisals and mentoring. A Talent Management Programme is in place to prepare emerging leaders for progression and succession.

Innovation and continuous improvement
How do we embed continuous improvement in everything we do?

Having embraced ‘Kaizen’ philosophy, Bassadone wanted a means to embed it in to everything they did. Incorporating IIP’s indicator 8 ‘Delivering Continuous Improvement’ as a benchmark alongside Kaizen, enables Bassadone to measure, monitor and evolve. Innovation is championed throughout the organisation, with employees encouraged to explore new approaches in a no blame culture. Solution-focused meetings are widely used to discuss, analyse and reach a successful outcome. As a result, new IT, accounting LEADERSHIP ICON and HR systems have been implemented, improving processes and productivity

Investing in our people How do we develop and motivate staff to their full potential for sustainable results? Integrating the IIP framework at Platinum level and Kaizen objectives, Bassadone created ‘Select’ – a robust, user friendly online performance management system. Designed to measure both individual performances and values, it also accommodates the skills and needs of the mostly manual workforce. The data from ‘Select’, informal feedback and engagement surveys comprises Bassadone’s people improvement and talent management strategy. In addition to formal courses and on-the-job training, employees are offered training in neuro linguistic programming, internet based learning and the opportunity to attend supplier’s courses abroad. The results have been outstanding – annual turnover is a low 2.6%, absence rate – 1.7%.

Corporate Social Responsibility
How can we give back to the communities we live in, how can we make a difference?

Bassadone ethos is ‘Part of the community, at the heart of the community’. Being part of a movement of responsible businesses that creates positive change in the world is important to Bassadone. A CSR committee drives the agenda on how to contribute both financially and in a more practical, hands-on way. Key partnerships have been developed with local and overseas communities, customers and employees. Acknowledging their environmental obligations and seeking to reduce environmental impact, Bassadone has achieved ISO4001, the environmental quality standard.

Something to shout about

Bassadone employees provide input on what they value as a reward or recognition and as a result, an innovative app called ‘SHOUT’ was developed to create a more interactive recognition programme, easily accessible by all staff on their phone.

Vision and strategy

Bassadone has a clear “Growth Vision Statement”, which is the driver for all five of the Group’s trading companies. That statement succinctly sets out their vision: To be the most admired company in every market we operate in. Each year, a series of solutions-focused meetings are held that provide an opportunity to focus on what Bassadone terms “future perfect”. Using the IIP enabling framework, the management team and Human Resources create a strategic plan to address any gaps identified at the meetings and incorporate the necessary actions and changes. Throughout the year, Kevin Jones, Bassadone’s CEO reviews the Group’s results and future strategy with the management team.

GRAHAM is an industry leading construction, facility management and investment company with a national footprint. Ranked 16th in the prestigious annual Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250, and with an annual turnover of £565m for 2016-17, GRAHAM is renowned for delivering a premium service founded on a customer focused approach.

 Despite its prominent position in the construction industry, GRAHAM, as a family run business, has retained its core values. This is reflected in the high levels of motivation and engagement of its 2000+ employees, who range from award winning civil engineers and construction professionals through to the young people taking their first career steps in the innovative GRAHAM Academy.

 In addition, while delivering quality on site, GRAHAM continues to set the standard through its active promotion of innovation in technology (Building Information Modelling), people processes (CONNECT). GRAHAM is a BIM Level 2 and PAS 1192-2- 2013 accredited contractor, one of the few contractors in the UK to achieve this level.

Executive management buy in

It is no coincidence that GRAHAM’s rapid growth in size, scale and turnover has coincided with its journey to IIP Platinum accreditation. GRAHAM’s Executive Team has consistently recognised the importance of achieving the IIP mark, for both the business and its employees, and has subsequently embraced the values enshrined within the standard since GRAHAM’s first accredited mark in 1999. In the preceding years, this commitment to the core ethos of IIP has enabled GRAHAM to progress from Bronze accreditation, to Gold and most recently Platinum in 2017.

 As of 2017, GRAHAM now has 16 regional offices, employs over 2000 people and enjoys an annual turnover of £565m. A culture of proactivity, championed by HR Director Michael Smyth, has ensured that the feedback and recommendations culminating from each IIP report have resulted in innovative solutions such as the bespoke personal development process ‘CONNECT’ and a focus on wellbeing and Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR). Michael Smyth is a firm advocate of IIP and believes GRAHAM’s journey to the Platinum Standard has served to enhance all aspects of the business.

The graham way

Uniquely, given its size and market leading position, GRAHAM remains committed to its central ‘family’ values, which shaped the early inception of the company and continue to influence every facet of its operations.

These values, epitomised by the ‘GRAHAM Way’ culture, are clearly defined, understood and demonstrated which ensures all company decisions are values-based. High levels of leadership and ownership, through empowerment and involvement, have maximised levels of collaboration, networking and problem solving.

The Executive Team passionately drives the ‘GRAHAM Way’ culture throughout the organisation which ultimately delivers lasting impact for its clients. Employee development is key to GRAHAM’s success with over £600k spent on learning and development in 2017. There is a strong focus on leadership development from graduate to senior management with ILM programmes and talent management personalised coaching. Reinforcing the importance of the ‘GRAHAM Way’ and its positive impact upon employee development, Managing Director Alan Bill said: “The development of our people, reflected in the ‘GRAHAM Way’, is recognised as being vital to the success and growth of our company.”

World class, leading edge, people practices

Adopting the recommendations from IIP audits, in parallel with staff feedback, GRAHAM has consistently identified opportunities for innovation in its approach to investing in the learning and development of its people. This commitment to continuous improvement and innovation is exemplified best within its internally developed, bespoke personal development process, ‘CONNECT’. CONNECT is a leading edge personal development process which is based on the latest HR research. GRAHAM has dispensed with the traditional annual appraisal process. This has been replaced with a system that focuses on:

  • Managers and Employees ‘connecting’ on a regular basis both informally and formally through structured and purposeful ‘conversations’
  • Removal of ‘scoring’ and form filling
  • Individual ambition and development driven through the High challenge/High support model
  • A focus on creating engagement/wellbeing and high performance through the connections
  • Fully trained managers supported via workshops and coaching on the GROW model
  • Getting regular feedback from managers/employees to ensure fit and fine tune improvements.
  • In a dynamic and evolving environment, Brother UK identified the need to build a peoplecentric organisation that was able to adapt and thrive into the future
  • Using Investors in People to support their change journey and people focused strategy, they have seen impact in a number of areas including a more integrated business model
  • Brother UK are now one of the first organisations to achieve IIP Platinum against the sixth generation Standard, winning Platinum Employer of the Year at the IIP Awards 2016

What was the IIP motivation?

 Brother UK Ltd is the UK sales subsidiary of Brother Industries Ltd (BIL) and has been based in Tameside, Manchester since 1968.

A company with a long history, they’ve gone from being a key supplier of technology products to a leading solutions provider. No stranger to change, Brother UK now supplies services to the NHS, corporate end users, banks, retailers and SMEs across the UK.

As a technology company priding itself on innovative solutions, Brother UK has recognised the key part their people play in their success and how a loyal, engaged and skilled workforce is crucial to the flexibility and future of the business.

 This has become particularly apparent in recent years as their business environment has developed. Providers now not only need to offer high specification products but also robust and cost effective business solutions too.

This opportunity and the need to adapt set about a re-evaluation of Brother UK’s strategy, leading them to build a people-centric organisation. With the support of Investors in People, they believe this people-focused approach will help the business to compete and thrive in an evolving , dynamic and fast-paced environment.

How did IIP help?

 Since working with Investors in People, Brother UK has been able to align their change journey with a practical framework that supports their peoplefocused strategic direction.

As Phil Jones MBE, Managing Director at Brother UK Ltd explains: “Our initial involvement with Investors in People was as a self-assessment opportunity to see how our practices really supported our people and performance – but it has soon led to much more. “IIP has helped us to explore, understand and ensure that our strategies are delivering the desired outcomes both financially and for our customers.

 “It has really helped us to inspire and enable meaningful change with our people at the centre.” The practicality of the Standard and the nature of assessment have also been particularly beneficial to Brother UK, helping the organisation to review and identify where improvements can be achieved.

“Working with our IIP Practitioner and being encouraged to look at our practices from ‘outside’ as well as from our usual internal perspective has been fundamental to our success” explains Louise Marshall, Infrastructure and Shared Services Director. “It has been extremely helpful in identifying improvements and has also made us appreciate what we do have and do well already.”

 Describing their IIP journey as invigorating and cost-effective, Brother UK first achieved Investors in People with Gold accreditation in 2014. They later went on to achieve IIP Platinum in 2016 following the introduction of the sixth generation Standard. “Achieving IIP Platinum has been really fulfilling and even more so after winning Platinum Employer of the Year Award at the IIP Awards” adds Linda Willows, Head of Legal & Business Management.

 “But it’s a close second to the feedback that Investors in People has allowed us to access. Knowing the pride that our colleagues place in their work and the enthusiasm they give to the organisation is fantastic. “It all benefits the business and what we’re trying to achieve. Not only is there an impact on our performance but also on our wider community through initiatives like Forever Manchester and our CSR work.” As Louise continues, “having happy and loyal people means that we can achieve what we need to and flex over time. It’s really rewarding to know this ethos is embedded and supported by everything we do within the business. When apprentices are tweeting that they’ve ‘landed on their feet’ working for us it says everything.”

What was the impact?

 Since working with IIP, Brother UK Ltd are more integrated as a business with greater interdepartmental understanding and appreciation.

Joint learning and development, CSR and commercial projects are now commonplace and help to combat silo thinking, support innovation and the adoption of a ‘one team’ approach.

This has been seen through the organisation’s colleague recognition scheme PRIDE, which is now being actively used across departments to recognise work well done and received.

 Although Brother UK already had good attendance and length of service across their workforce before Investors in People, their IIP journey has seen a renewed interest in self-development.

 This has led to learning and development increasing exponentially and benefits such as better retention of talent and more opportunities to retrain and internally promote. This in turn has led to increased employee morale as well as efficiencies that have helped increase turnover and achieve above budget profits.

As Linda adds, “we would really recommend other organisations to work with Investors in People because simply put, all companies need people and all people need purpose. “IIP will encourage you to look at your approach and honestly assess the results and where you can improve.

 Integrated, mutually supportive and empowered teams are a critical advantage shared by successful businesses and IIP can help you get there.” “[IIP] has really helped us to inspire and enable meaningful change with our people at the centre”

 Phil Jones MBE | Managing Director

  • Working with Investors in People for over 25 years, the Standard has been a way for the Society to develop their approach towards people practice and in turn, customer service.
  • Having recently achieved IIP Platinum, the opportunity to continuously review and develop their people approaches has been a key benefit for the organisation.
  • Whilst engaging with Investors in People, Skipton Building Society has seen consistently high levels of employee engagement which they believe has translated into excellent levels of customer service

    What was the IIP motivation?

Skipton Building Society is a mutual financial services provider. First established in 1853, the organisation now has a team of over 2000 employees across its head office in Skipton and 87 branches.

The Society still lives by its founding principles to help more people into homes, help people save for life ahead and supporting long term financial wellbeing. Today, the organisation works to deliver its core purpose through a focus on customers, colleagues and relationships which they believe is intrinsic to their culture.

As a mutual, Skipton Building Society understood the value of investing in their people and the positive impact it could have for both the organisation and its customers.  Investors in People has been a way for them to develop their approach as Chloe Hanby-Roberts, People Development Consultant at the Society explains:

“We believe that investing in and supporting our people is a key enabler to great customer service. Nurturing, protecting and developing our culture, founded on our mutual values of ‘Trust, Ownership and One Team’ is essential to our sustainability.

“Our strong culture, people orientation and approach to customer service is something we are incredibly proud of,

but it is also important to benchmark our progress against good practice – taking the opportunity to really understand how our colleagues experience us as a Society so we can keep improving our approach and ultimately performance and sustainability.

“We really value Investors in People as a way to help us do this as it allows us to seek feedback and look more objectively at what we do so we can maintain good practice and continuously improve.

“Skipton Building Society has been accredited for over 25 years now which is testament to our commitment to the Standard and the value it has brought us over time.”

How did IIP help?

Having worked with Investors in People over the last 25 years and recently going on to achieve the IIP Platinum accreditation in recognition of their people practices, the opportunity to continuously review and further develop their people approaches has been a key benefit for Skipton Building Society.

“We admire and share the aspirational nature of Investors in People – challenging ourselves to always improve what we do and enabling our people to help us to do so,” continues Chloe. “We value the insight and independent external perspective and listen carefully to the feedback. “

“It provides us with a benchmark of good practice which we interpret and adapt in a way that is aligned to our values. This people insight and working with our IIP Practitioner has also helped us to gain targeted feedback on areas we need to work on for the future.
“This has really helped us to understand pressure points in the organisation from an external perspective and in turn gives us the opportunity to work through them for the benefit of the organisation.”

Describing their Investors in People journey as ‘stretching, collaborative and positive’, Skipton Building Society uses Investors in People in a way that aligns with and supports other people development and engagement initiatives the organisation employs.
“We have found our assessments and reports incredibly useful as they help us to pinpoint areas where we could be doing something differently or investing more into. It helps us to see how all of our initiatives and activities are working together and the impact they are having.

“Overall our Investors in People journey and in particular our recent work with generation six, has been a real eyeopener for us internally as it has helped us to understand all the great things that are happening across the organisation.
“The way in which assessment with generation six gives everyone the opportunity to be involved has also been very rewarding and ensured all of our team across the Society has had a voice in the activity. This allowed us to get a really honest insight and having that additional opportunity to be heard has also been a way for us to build further engagement.“It certainly helped us reinforce our appreciation for all the people that work here and what they bring to the organisation and our customers every day.”

What was the impact?

Whilst working with Investors in People, Skipton Building Society has seen consistently high levels of employee engagement which they believe has translated into excellent levels of customer service.

This includes placing 7th in the KPMG Nunwood UK Customer Experience Excellence Analysis 2017 – making the Society the 3rd best financial services company on the list and the top building society.

The insight and feedback they have received working with Investors in People has also helped the Society to direct resources into new projects for the benefit of their people and organisational performance, all aligned with their core purpose and values.

Some recent examples include projects around wellbeing, leadership expectations, new starter journeys, talent management and diversity.
“For us, Investors in People is a really useful way to analyse our business and people approach from an external perspective rather than relying solely on internal feedback and assumptions,“ continues Chloe.

“We always want to be aware of how our culture is developing at Skipton Building Society and Investors in People allows us to measure this and gain feedback to move things forward positively.

“Our people are fundamental to the Society and we want to continue making sure our team members are engaged, happy and supported so they can perform to their potential.

“We believe that people are an organisation’s strongest asset and if we can make sure they are feeling engaged and enjoy coming to work, this will absolutely be evident in commercial output as they’ll naturally want to do well and have a connection with their employer.

“Put simply, the more we have invested in our colleagues, the more we have seen engagement rise and have a positive impact on customer satisfaction. For us, this link between people and performance is what it is all about.”

We invest in people (Gold) -

What was the IIP motivation?

 The Care department is part of the Welfare Board in the Alvesta municipality. The Board’s responsibilities are primarily care for the elderly, care for persons with disabilities, as well as care for persons with mental, physical and intellectual disabilities. The department has 670 employees. The Board’s vision is “quality of life – all of life”. One of the goals set up by the Board, as part of the strategy to reach the vision, is for the department to be accredited by IIP.

The organisation has previously been accredited by Investors in People in 2006, 2009 and 2013. In the reassessment 2013 we managed to reach gold level, an achievement that was repeated in the latest assessment in May 2016.

An important effort for us is to keep IIP’s ambitions and spirit alive in the business. IIP is by now being used on a daily basis as a work procedure and as an instrument for continuous development and evaluation.

How did IIP help?

 Since the first assessment in 2006, the IIP framework has been a very helpful tool in finding the areas of improvement that we need to work with in order to achieve the vision of the Board. We have actively fulfilled our action plans based on the improvement areas shown by the assessment in 2013.

Two areas have developed significantly since then: more managers per employee and clearer objectives and measures. More managers per employee helps create the basis for a professional leadership.

One of our main strategies is to be a learning organisation. The IIP framework has contributed in creating a leadership and management that encourages learning and personal development among all employees as a natural part of everyday business. Reflection over what we do, how we do it and why we do it has become an essential part of the daily work for both managers and employees.

What was the impact?

IIP is based on an essential anchoring at all levels. In our work of developing the organisation, we have seen that the process of anchoring at all levels is a crucial part of whether change will be successful or not. Plans and implementation can be followed from the top political leadership out to each unit and each employee. Furthermore, the processes within the organisation are well developed and managers can describe how they try to get everyone at the workplace involved in the business.

We have, by a long term and sustainable development, achieved an organisation with a strong health promotion approach. The employees have a high level of job satisfaction, are proud and motivated and feel that the work they do is meaningful.

Jean Thomson stated that they knew they had financial challenges, and welfare reform on the way, and the impact that that would have financially. The three key measures are the rental income, maximising it, making sure properties don’t lie empty and that they maintain them.

Cernach have moved to a new style of management where staff are empowered to make decisions.

Using a game based activity day, the team explored their 4 key values of improving lives, protecting assets, engaging with customers and making it happen.


Cernach have been IIP accredited since 2000 and achieved Gold in 2014

Impacted culture

Using IIP accreditation and advisory services have changed the culture of the organisation


Benchmarking themselves on the QEF of 32 housing associations, have made positive strides on every indicator

“The staff now are also getting peer recognition that they weren’t before because there were small teams that were working in silos. Now all teams understand how their actions impact on others and how they are one team working towards the same objectives.”

Fujitsu have been IIP accredited since 1999 and they remain just as passionate about investing in their people today. Fujitsu understand exactly what good practice looks like and many of their sustainable people development strategies are linked to the Investors in People framework.

“Investors in People and talent are almost inextricably linked”

Rachel Rose | Head of Talent

The Gold standard award demonstrates that National Accident Helpline is an esteemed and commendable people-orientated company. Their staff members have been an integral part of making it an exciting, innovative and forward-thinking company.

IIP has been instrumental in helping National Accident Helpline excel with transformational leadership and good people management throughout the business. It has been a crucial contributor to the engagement and motivation of their people, which ultimately translates into an exemplary level of customer service.

Regard is a national provider of social care services to people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury. Regard specialise in supporting people with complex needs and people on the autistic spectrum. Service models include registered care homes, supported living schemes and services to people who live in their own homes.

Regard provides a ‘whole life’ experience for vulnerable people to enable them to live as independently as possible and to fulfil all of their citizenship rights in their local communities.

Why IIP?

The people they employ and the people they support are extremely proud of this huge accolade and over 150 ‘gold parties’ have been held simultaneously across England and Wales on the 30th of September to celebrate this success.

Following the September 2015 launch of the Investors in People Sixth Generation Standard, Regard’s next steps will be for assessment against this new framework and they aim to achieve the new Platinum award.


Regard has always been proud of the high calibre work force that they employ and fully acknowledges that their people are their greatest asset.

 2. Growth

Regard has grown and developed as a very successful provider of social care services and on that basis the company wanted to gain a nationally recognised accreditation.

3. Market sector leader

Regard’s continued investment in its highly skilled and trained workforce has contributed to their position as a market sector leader.

Rebekah Wallis, Director of People & Corporate Responsibility…

RICOH: A Golden Journey

Ricoh empowers digital workplaces using innovative technologies and services that help people to work smarter. We have offices in London, Europe, the US and Singapore, operate in nearly 200 countries and regions and our global headquarters is in Tokyo.

Five into one

Between 2007-11, Ricoh UK went through a period of real change as we integrated five organisations into one. At the end of those four years, we were assessed by Investors in People, but that assessment was unsuccessful because some areas of the business didn’t meet the benchmarks for good people practices.

As disappointed as we were, we took the news as constructive feedback rather than a defeat, and used that feedback as the starting point to really get to know our people.

And we started that journey by sharing the results from our Investors in People assessment and our own engagement surveys. This was essential for us, as was working closely with both our Employee Forum and focus groups. 

Through open discussion with our people we identified immediate and long-term actions to make Ricoh a place where people want to work.

Then – acting on this feedback – we took a leap… And made three key changes.

Three key changes

First, we introduced Leadership Training for first level managers based on Investors in People’s feedback.

Second, we developed a unified reward and benefits package by being transparent with our people.

And thirdly, we developed new ways of working, focussing on building trust throughout our organisation.

New ways of working

We wanted to turn our workplaces into real-life working showrooms for customers, showcasing the changes we were trying to make.

So we transformed our physical space to maximise productivity. We gave people different kinds of spaces to contemplate, to concentrate on individual tasks and to communicate easily with each other. And we created more stimulating areas suited to brainstorming and collaboration.

Going for gold

And once we’d done that, we made a difficult decision: we wanted Investors in People to assess us again.

We thought we had changed rapidly, as the market place and the world of work changed just as fast. But were we ready for another assessment?

In 2014 we took the plunge, and held our breath as Investors in People did their job…

And this time the changes we had made were recognised – as we were awarded Gold by Investors in People.

Our relationship with Investors in People began in 2011. And it has been invaluable in widening our horizons and helping us to shine a spotlight into areas where relatively simple changes continue to produce significant results.

 “We have a lot in common with Investors in People’s philosophy and approach, putting people at the heart of everything we do.”

Helping brands to reach, inspire and drive action from their customers through localized marketing campaigns, Wordbank has a passion for words and people. Their commitment to excellence is matched by their ambition to deliver results for every client. Wordbank has built a sizeable reputation over three decades, and in 2018 they became part of the top 16% of UK companies, achieving Investors in People Gold accreditation.

The dynamic nature of city agencies can create a tendency to focus on the day-to-day servicing of client accounts, meeting key performance indicators and achieving sustainable growth. Sometimes, the people who make all of it possible can be overlooked. At Wordbank, it is clear that success is dependent on people – the full-time, part-time and freelance Wordbankers. Wordbank has always had a distinctive culture, which is probably why they have managed to buck London’s job-hopping trend and enjoy a significantly lower than-average staff turnover. Five years ago, however, they decided to turn their culture into an inseparable part of their brand. Their goal was to be renowned as good employers, colleagues and collaborators. Investors in People (IIP) offered them a framework in which to formalize these ambitions, shining a light on areas that needed improvement. A clearly defined culture, built on trust, creativity and engagement, soon became an essential part of Wordbank’s brand, reflected in IIP Silver accreditation in 2015. This journey had gained momentum, and the organization now had Gold in its sights.

Creative and collaborative

Wide-reaching change was already underway, yet Wordbank was determined to strengthen their approach for a truly people-focused working environment. The push for Gold was the perfect motivation for further improvements, initiatives that required courage, creativity and collaboration.

 These included:

  • Revamping the training programme to give new hires the best possible start as Wordbankers.
  • Scrapping the previous score-based performance review system, replacing it with light-touch reviews and building an in-depth career planning model for every individual.
  • Introducing cascade objectives, which filter from company to departmental and individual levels.
  • Setting up a Values Embassy to agree on how to live our company values – care, collaboration, ambition and excellence – on a daily basis.
  • Establishing a culture of transparency, and sharing information regularly so challenges can be faced and successes celebrated as a team.
  • Embedding flexible working as a normal part of working life, with employees able to work from home when needed, and a generous flexibility around working hours and time off in lieu.

To be our best and do our best

The response to the million-dollar question, ‘Is Wordbank a great place to work?’, is a resounding YES from 97% of staff who took part in the recent and confidential IIP survey. The participation rate for the survey was also 97%. In fact, 97 is the magic number, with that same percentage of people feeling encouraged to use their initiative in their role, and indicating their belief in the leadership of the company and the direction in which it is heading. Wordbank’s approach to leading, supporting and managing people is notably sophisticated, according to IIP Practitioner Sally Szwarc, something that is clearly reflected in their above average achievements across the breadth of the IIP framework. Feedback of this kind is evidence of Wordbank’s success in nurturing happier, more engaged people with a greater sense of purpose. Delighted with their IIP Gold accreditation, the journey continues as the company embeds the initiatives it has started, while launching new ideas such as the Wordbank volunteering programme.

We invest in people (Standard) -

For High Street TV, futureproofing their business starts with employees

High Street TV’s motto of “Life. Love it. Live it” captures their aim to improve the quality of their customer’s lives.

But they also understand that creating a positive working environment and fostering a people-oriented culture is essential.

They believe that their success to date is down to their ambitious and talented people, and they’ve already taken huge steps to create an environment that fosters creativity and productivity. This includes developing a dedicated area for team presentations and get-togethers, as well installing sleep pods where staff can re-energise.

Despite their global reach, HSTV are keen to keep the business hub in Harrogate

Established in 2008, High Street TV (HSTV) is a multi-channel retail business based in Harrogate. The company operates both in the UK and internationally, employing more than 120 people.

They develop, source and sell innovative products designed for everyday life, and are home to best-selling brands like Pressure KingPro, Drew & Cole and Sleep Origins. HSTV is also an exclusive distributor of some of the world’s most successful ‘as seen on TV’ products, including NutriBullet, MaxiClimber and Power Air Fryer.  

In 2017, HSTV were recognised as one of the fastest-growing companies in the UK by The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100. And this year, for the second time, they were named on the Sunday Times International Track 200 – making them one of the top 10 companies in the UK with the fastest-growing international sales.

A people-focused strategy to increase staff engagement and strengthen growth

Although staff already had a vibrant work environment, HSTV wanted to improve their staff engagement further with a people-focused strategy that would help them to strengthen their growth.

Speaking of their reason for working with us, Jane Whitehead, HR Development Consultant at HSTV said: “We knew our strengths as an organisation before we used the Investors in People framework, but we wanted to find ways to improve our local, regional and national profile whilst keeping our values intact.”

With our help, HSTV have seen increased levels of employee satisfaction. The introduction of a bespoke intranet has improved internal communications, and staff can access a wide range of resources at the click of a button.

They’ve developed several reward and recognition schemes to celebrate hard work and loyalty. Regular performance reviews and training opportunities also support staff with career progression, and new benefits have been introduced to help their wellbeing.

84% of staff now feel that HSTV is a great place to work

People now feel valued and are proud to work for the company. In fact, 84% of staff now feel that HSTV is a great place to work, which is an increase of 10% on the previous year.

Our support has helped HSTV to build a collaborative culture, with satisfaction measured via annual staff surveys, monthly reporting to senior management, exit interview feedback and absence management.

Moving forward

Long-term plans for HSTV include moving the business onto the London Stock Exchange. Staff retention is also a prime focus, as well as establishing a clear framework for leaders in terms of knowledge, skills and behaviours.

The company also plans to increase talent-mapping exercises to help internal recruiters understand the types of people they need to attract to achieve better results.

Job descriptions will also be reviewed regularly to support career progression, and people will be upskilled and retained where possible to help them unleash their potential.

Discussing her experience of working with us, Jane added: “The great thing about Investors in People is how they provide the right support and the right direction when you need it most. Support is always there when you want it, and we’ve tapped into their expertise wherever possible. They’re proactive in their approach, which we found really useful.”

For C2events, becoming the most admired events company starts with their team

C2 strive to be one of the most admired events companies in the country – and they plan to do this by delivering exceptional service, great results for their clients.

But it’s not just their clients who they care about – they also value their staff. The events industry is renowned for its long hours, but C2 want to make sure that all of their projects are properly resourced, and that their staff are healthy and well.

Supporting people has been key to the business’ success. This approach has been underpinned by the Investors in People framework for people management – which focuses on enhancing job roles, values, and reward and recognition.

Cheryl Clarke, Founder of C2events, said: “We had a vision and mission for the business, and we were clear as to the importance of our team. Investors in People gave us a framework and structure to be able to deliver this.”

Their people-focused approach has played a large role in the recruitment of an excellent team – something which has helped the company to grow.

Ranked 85th fastest-growing company, it’s safe to say that C2 are getting it right!

C2events is an international events management company, specialising in the healthcare industry. Their services range from venue sourcing and delegate management, to audience engagement and event consultancy. They run meetings and events in locations around the world, including Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.

In the 2018 Sunday Times Fast Track 100, the company was ranked as the 85th fastest-growing private business in the UK. It’s safe to say that C2 have achieved fantastic levels of growth since they began back in 2004.

They’ve worked with us over the last five years, and in that time, they’ve developed a vision which has trebled their turnover, secured regular repeat businesses and earned them a great reputation in the market.

Using the ideas and feedback from their people, everyone’s getting the right support

Using the feedback, ideas and opinions from their people, C2 introduced new HR approaches – including an onboarding and performance management system called “Good2Great” and a training programme to help their team develop and achieve their career goals.

“Good2Great”, now sees the C2 team meet weekly to discuss workloads and objectives. Everyone plays an important role in these open forum sessions – particularly to manage short-term peaks and troughs where team members can help one other.

Quarterly one-to-one sessions also focus on people’s training requirements and career development.

“We’re like a family here”

Speaking of their people-focused approach, Katie Bennett, Operations Manager at C2events, said:

“We’re like a family here, we look after one another. We’ve changed a lot as we’ve grown; but those levels of support have always remained a constant. Investors in People offered guidance in helping us find ways to expand whilst retaining – and even increasing – our focus on people.”

The Investors in People framework has made a huge difference to staff development and retention. The team now stands at 30, and just five people have left since 2012.

Moving forward

 By the end of 2018, C2’s turnover had risen to £7.4 million, staff numbers had increased to 30, and gross income had grown from £200,000 to nearly £1.4m. They also managed more than 150 events in 25 countries – and these figures are set to increase in the future.

Feedback from clients and colleagues is shared on a regular basis, with an incentive scheme in place to ensure C2 delivers on its ’Exceptional Service, Great Results’ company mission.

The Investors in People framework has provided a firm pillar on which C2events have built their

growth strategy. It’s also helped steer training activity and career progression opportunities for their people.

They’re keen to continue this going forward and are also looking to introduce more specialist roles to attract and develop their talent.

Cheryl added: “We’re going to continue growing the team, build on our success, and expand our client reach. As a women-owned business, we tick the diversity box, which is opening up some big corporate opportunities to develop our business offering. By continuing to draw on the Investors in People framework, there’s great scope for more impressive achievements in the future.”

Health And Wellbeing -

Troup Bywaters + Anders (TB+A) are working proof that an organisation committed to the health and wellbeing of its employees can produce a more positive and productive work force. High staff retention and internal promotion result from its inclusive and flexible approach to people management. TB+A looked to Investors in People to help create an environment which allows an employee to flourish by putting the physical, psychological and social wellbeing of staff at the forefront of everything they do.

Growing from a London and Leeds based operation, TB+A now has 8 UK offices and over 200 people. Having been accredited with Investors in People since 2008, TB+A already had an outstanding leadership, management and people practice in place.

With the health and wellbeing of their people an integral aspect of TB+A’s values and ethos, they sought to further embed a culture which encouraged a healthy, motivated workforce, increased productivity, improved employee engagement and a desire to present a positive business profile.

Guided by the health and wellbeing framework, they drafted a set of goals, consulted staff extensively, used the feedback to shape a health and wellbeing strategy and developed tools and policies. Several key principles were agreed:

  • To ensure there was a clear and consistent understanding of health and wellbeing across the business
  • That the health and wellbeing plan should be based on the organisation’s needs and is supported by appropriate and well communicated policies
  • That work-life balance policies must be fit-forpurpose

TB+A were successfully awarded the Investors in People Health and Wellbeing Good Practice Award in 2015, followed by the prestigious Investors in People Platinum accreditation in 2016.

Key to their success was the commitment by senior managers to having a clear purpose and vision supported by a strategy for improvement. They committed to health and wellbeing as an important aspect of the company ethos. The statement ‘Continue to develop, encourage and improve the general health and wellbeing of all our people’ was included in the company values.

To start the process, a diagnostic review of current health and wellbeing policies was undertaken, an action plan developed, followed by cross functional meetings to discuss and agree Key Performance Indicators. In addition:

  • The Employee Handbook and ‘What is a Manager’ guide was updated to include roles and responsibilities, flexible working procedures and Health & Wellbeing Policies
  • The company intranet and personal review forms were updated with health and wellbeing information
  • ‘Pitstop’ training was held

It was important to TB+A that the health and wellbeing of their staff was supported in an appropriate and fair way, to reflect their different needs.  Policies such as flexible working, support for a range of charities, part time work, day release and support for apprentices demonstrate the broad commitment across different needs of staff. New policies & benefits were adopted:

  • Home working policy
  • Staggered return after sickness
  • Day release to support personal development
  • Social and charity events
  • Healthy life benefits including gym membership, bike scheme and fruit baskets
  • Workload review program

Using the Investors in People Health and Wellbeing Good Practice Guide, management at TB+A developed leadership strategies to promote a sense of ownership and responsibility by encouraging people to be involved in decision making.

Business planning review staff groups were created, people were given roles and responsibilities and were professionally accountable for decisions. Staff retention was already high, but with this focus on health and wellbeing, ownership and inclusion, it improved from 75% to 83% with the average length of service increasing to 9.4 years

GRAHAM is an industry leading construction, facilities management and investment company with a national footprint. Ranked 16th in the prestigious annual Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250, and with an annual turnover of £735m for 2017/18, GRAHAM is renowned for delivering a premium service founded on a customer focussed approach.

Despite its prominent position in the construction market, GRAHAM, as a privately owned business, has retained its core values, which is reflected in the high levels of motivation and engagement of its 2400+ employees. GRAHAM sets the standard through its active promotion of innovation in technology (Building Information Modelling) and people processes (CONNECT).

The wellbeing journey

GRAHAM’s Executive Management Team understand the business benefits of Wellbeing and in 2013, committed to cascading the principles of a bespoke ‘Wellbeing’ strategy throughout the business by active personal participation and role modelling. GRAHAM incorporated Wellbeing into its CONNECT personal development process and formed a multidisciplinary Wellbeing team charged with developing, implementing and monitoring the annual SMART targeted plan. The plan focusses on the three elements of Whole Person Development – physical, psychological and social wellbeing. Investors in People were engaged to ensure an independent assessment of ‘Wellbeing’ processes, and provide identifiable audit parameters and challenging targets to aspire to.

The challenges

The construction industry faces considerable challenges in the implementation of a robust wellbeing strategy. The workforce is traditionally male dominated and often reluctant to seek advice. Employees are spread across sites and offices in the UK and Ireland, making it difficult to design and rollout programmes to reach those who most need help. To combat these challenges, GRAHAM developed a bespoke solution:

  • A tiered governance structure and the establishment of a functional team incorporating HR, Health and Safety and operational teams
  • Buy-in from Executive Team and promotion across the business
  • Employee design suggestions and “great ideas”
  • ‘Wellbeing’ data collated, analysed and actioned
  • Best practice identified and customised
  • An Annual Plan agreed and monitored
  • Supporting leaders to manage wellbeing through CONNECT
  • Expert support and audits
  •  Risk management: All aspects of wellbeing incorporated into site and business risk assessments.

The wellbeing plan

Fundamental to the success of the Wellbeing strategy was to ensure managers felt comfortable talking to and supporting individual employee wellbeing.

 GRAHAM engaged a leading UK team of wellbeing specialists to train managers and provide a well being diagnostic tool, a personal plan and coaching for all employees.

 A series of group wide, regional and team Health and Wellbeing activities and events were launched with staff enjoying activities such as Around the World in 80 Days Step Challenge, Marathon sponsorship and regional cycle teams.

Programmes were developed for physical health including weight management, BUPA checks to all employees over 40, annual checks for staff in critical roles, voluntary mini health checks for all staff, smoking cessation and subsidised gym membership. Whenever possible, GRAHAM piggy backs off national campaigns such as Prostrate and Breast Cancer, Healthy Heart, Suicide Prevention week and partners with National charities to provide employees with information and support.

Communication is the key

The Wellbeing communication strategy is aimed at simply and effectively educating and signposting employees to what they might need. GRAHAM has actioned this by:

  • A ‘Wellbeing’ anchor video delivered by Executive Chairman Michael Graham setting out the company vision and strategy for Wellbeing
  • National Campaigns, events and activities are weaved into a monthly wellbeing-focused calendar of information and events
  • Positive news stories emanating from wellbeing activities are communicated throughout the company via the intranet and email blasts
  • ‘Wellbeing’ office/site talks rolled out with supporting content and literature
  • ‘Wellbeing’ information boards erected in canteens and where colleagues congregate
  • A presence across all social media platforms including an innovative, internal @grahamwellbeing twitter feed.

The future

GRAHAM has made significant progress on its Wellbeing journey over the last five years. Solid foundations have been established to ensure the implementation of vibrant and measurable ‘Health and Wellbeing’ outcomes in line with GRAHAM’s 2021 – People Strategy. Key to the future success of Wellbeing at GRAHAM is the ‘personalisation’ of support for each individual through its ‘innovative whole person wellbeing programme’ CONNECT

We invest in people (one year) -

iRed is one of the first companies to achieve an Investors in People one-year accreditation. A few years ago, the infrared camera specialists had explored a number of people management approaches, but at that point the potential time and costs involved seemed prohibitive.

By 2018, we had 15 staff. We wanted to keep improving and start embedding some stronger management and HR policies. The new one-year accreditation from Investors In People seemed like the perfect fit for us for a number of reasons.

“We didn’t know where we were at in comparison with other companies of a similar size and nature, so this has helped us to benchmark ourselves. It’s like having a third-party audit, and it’s a good measure of how we are looking after our staff.

“It gave us confidence in the direction we were taking, and it was an eye-opener in terms of the range and scope of policies we could explore in order to help us achieve the things we wanted.

“The one-year accreditation was affordable for us as a small business, and flexible too. The telephone interviews with members of the team were friendly and relaxed. Even though as a small company we share HR responsibilities, we have never felt under any pressure and can keep things moving at a pace that suits us.

Joe Turner, CEO…

Bluestone was created nearly 2 years ago because I wanted to challenge both the private and the mainstream. I believe education should be available to everyone and am keen to promote face-to-face learning.

We’ve seen some impressive growth, which I’m very proud of. This has also meant a growing team. I’m a business leader and I know I can grow a business, but I needed some support and direction for the best ways to manage my people. Although I’d never worked with Investors in People, I heard about the One Year Accreditation and thought this could be a good route for us.

We’ve been able to use the feedback to make some big changes for real progression One of the biggest findings was around our vision and values. We realised that they were mine but not representative of the team. The process of assessment really allowed us to articulate our values.

This has led to us being able to recruit based on our purpose and vision and make sure that going forward everyone we hire ascribes to the same core beliefs about the value of education.

People were a little nervous going into the assessment but found the interviews really helpful and the report feels like something we all own and use, it even sits on my coffee table.

I was interested in the one year accreditation because I felt that it would be less time consuming and I liked using an e-platform to share our evidence. The team worked together to gather the best evidence to share so it really felt like something we did together.

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