Careers Insight: Investing in people


Working with Investors in People enables you to harness the talent of your staff and it is a vital external benchmarking tool

Recently, I read an article that talked about the challenges employers face in keeping their staff. The general idea was that, as the economy improves, employers risk losing valuable, skilled employees. People have more choices, so they can afford to be choosy and inevitably will search for better opportunities.

Many believe staff retention is achieved simply by paying people more money, but that is not strictly true. Recent research from PwC, for example, found the number-one employee benefit sought by millennials was training and development. People want and expect opportunities to progress.

And just as candidates looking for a new job will check out the training and development strategy an organisation has in place, high-quality staff within your own firm could well be looking elsewhere if there are few opportunities to gain new skills, attend training sessions and pursue further qualifications.

So what should a people development strategy look like? We recently engaged with Investors in People to see how ours measured up to its framework. What were we doing well? More importantly, what areas did we need to improve on to keep our people and grow?

Investors in People has set the standard for better people management since it was established in 1991. It has an internationally recognised accreditation held by 15,000 organisations across 75 countries. Successful accreditation to its standard is the sign of a great employer, an outperforming place to work and a clear commitment to sustainability.

However, the assessment and assessor both have to be funded by your organisation and time and resources must be committed to preparing evidence, programmes and interviewees, as well as the assessment day itself. Is it worth the time and money? I truly believe it is worth the investment by any business, large or small.

Understanding your organisation’s performance against its objectives will create clarity around how and where you can improve. A clearer vision enables you to channel resources more effectively and harness the talent of your people.

The Investors in People standard is underpinned by a rigorous assessment methodology and a framework that reflects the latest workplace trends, essential skills and structures required to outperform in any industry. It is a tough process but an enjoyable one and will provide your organisation with a crucial external benchmarking tool.

Our experience has been amazing. It gave us the opportunity to confirm and celebrate what we were already good at, and provided us with pointers on what to do next. Indeed, the most valuable part of the process was identifying the working practices, behaviours and ethos we should aspire to in order to be an outstanding organisation.

Working the Investors in People way leads to both the recruitment and retention of high-quality employees and contributes greatly to staff happiness. This contentment is achieved by focusing on the following key areas: effective management and leadership, high levels of staff engagement, reward and recognition, training and development, and providing your staff with opportunities to progress, lead and shine. It is an investment worth making.

Clare Jupp is director of people development at Brightstar