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Annie Hayes

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Advertorial: Take a fresh look at the people who matter most

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Why 37,000 businesses have taken the Investors in People plunge.



In a competitive world, it pays to make sure you have the edge over your competitors – because if it’s the other way round, you risk losing your customers.

No business can afford to miss the chance of making themselves more effective. Now there’s a new sustainable way to gain that vital edge. It’s called the Investors in People Profile, it’s a flexible framework that delivers continued business improvement through people.

Independent research shows that the Investors in People Standard and Profile consistently provides real benefits to businesses of all sizes and across all sectors – which is why more than 37,000 UK organisations have already made the decision to work with Investors in People. Phillip Williamson, Chief Executive of Nationwide, is emphatic about the benefits for his business. “Investors in People have helped us become one of the market leaders in our sector,” he says. “We believe it is at the heart of our sustained success.”

Extending the framework of the Investors in People Standard, Profile allows a business to challenge itself and continuously improve ahead of the competition. Whereas achieving the Standard means an organisation is displaying good practice, achieving Profile means a business can compare itself to world-class best practice, evaluate exactly how good it is, and identify avenues for future improvements and further productivity gains.

Going through the process of achieving Investors in People through Profile can benefit your business in a number of ways:

Improved earnings, productivity and profitability: Understanding what they need to do and what contribution they make to the organisation means employees feel valued and motivated. Employees will be more committed to the business and more productive – bringing increased financial benefits.

Inceased customer satisfaction: It will help you to develop your people to become more customer focused, so your business will find it easier to meet changing customers’ needs.

Increased competitive advantage: Your business can enjoy a greater competitive edge than ever before. In an era where many businesses differentiate on the talent of their people, you can put your people and your business ahead of your competitors.

Recruitment and retention: People are less likely to leave your organisation if they are committed and motivated. If they know what part they play and have the skills they need, then they are a vital element of your business. Reinforcing that knowledge and developing those people is crucial. The Standard and Profile gives you the framework to ensure you are retaining the right people, delivering added value to the organisation and saving recruitment costs.

Sustainable continuous improvement: Profile can provide your business with a framework that helps you to scrutinise your activities and keep on making improvements – helping you to maintain an advantage over your competitors.

Comparisons with competitors: You’ll have the opportunity to measure your performance online against your UK competitors – giving you a benchmark for your achievements against world-class practice and helping you to celebrate your successes as well as identify areas for potential future development.

Evidence for your shareholders: The levels that you achieve through Profile will allow you to provide evidence and paint a picture for your shareholders as to how your people are contributing to your business. They will clearly see the improvements made over time.

How long will it take? The length of time involved in achieving Investors in People Profile status depends on what kind of changes you need to make and how quickly you can put them into practice. Most organisations are able to achieve Profile status within 12 to 18 months. Plus, an Assessor can help you every step of the way, guiding you through the process.

You also won’t be required to provide any extra paperwork in order to achieve Investor in People Profile status. Profile takes a flexible, non-prescriptive approach and evidence for the assessment is gathered from a range of sources that are not paper-based. These include verbal and observed evidence, such as one-to-one interviews with employees. So long as you attain the requisite standards and benefits, it doesn’t matter how you develop your people. It’s your results that count – not your methodology.

To request more information or book a consultation with a local business adviser go to: www.hrzone.co.uk

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Annie Hayes

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