“What are your business values? Sounds fundamental, but if you asked your management team and employees to write them down, would you get the same answers? If you have defined your values, great. But do you live by them? Or are they something to go on the website, listed out for clients? How do your day to day business activities align to them? As a manager, are you impartial enough to even answer these questions?
CBG Consultants first got Investors in People (IIP) accreditation back in 2007, on the old IIP scheme. Ten years on, we started the accreditation process for the brand new IIP scheme. This raised the bar considerably, taking for granted many of the business processes the old scheme recognised. The new scheme is built around the values of your organisation, and avoids a prescriptive, tick-box approach.
Over coffee and croissants at our first IIP management workshop in October 2017 with our IIP facilitator, we realised no two of us had the same defined set of values for the business. Sure, we had many similar ideas, but if just a few of us couldn’t name a common set of values, what hope was there of conveying our sense of purpose to wider staff and our clients? Simply spending the time as a group agreeing what these were made us approach things in a new light.
We formed an IIP task group, and rotated the membership to keep ideas fresh and engage as many staff as we can. Detailed employee questionnaires were sent to everyone on all aspects of working in the company. IIP then produced a gap analysis, identifying areas needing development.
Once an action plan was agreed, implementation began. New appraisal forms were very popular with employees, particularly getting them to share their thoughts ahead of the appraisal, for discussion. Another popular initiative was introducing Bonusly. Staff and managers can award bonus points to each other every month, tagged to the company values to recognise their peers’ contributions. Feedback and points are public, and are exchanged for rewards. The success of Bonusly took me by surprise because the monetary values of the points is low, but people have responded really well to it, and IIP says that recognition and reward is an area where most businesses struggle.
We gained the silver level in April 2018, together with a detailed critique of our business practices and how staff perceive working here. The IIP task group meets quarterly, reviewing feedback and suggesting improvements. It’s really useful to have external business insights, and we’ve found that acting on them has brought immediate benefits!”
Chris Dicks, Associate Director at CBG Consultants