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Jamie Lawrence

Wagestream

Insights Director

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“We keep goals fresh and relevant via monthly clarity meetings.”

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People Insight developed and ran a category in the Employee Engagement Awards called the Employee Choice Award, which put judging in the hands of employees. This was conducted via a survey which measured how well employers support, develop, involve and recognise their people.

In the case of Prospectus, they demonstrated commitment to employee development and encouraged individuals to flourish by recognising them as individuals. This is an interview with Peter Beeby, Deputy CEO at Prospectus, who won the People Insight Employee Choice award.

Jamie Lawrence, Editor, HRZone: If you had to pick one reason why you think you won the award, what do you think it was?

Peter Beeby, Deputy CEO, Prospectus: Collaboration. It’s astonishing how everyone genuinely enjoys working together within and across teams, recruiting to this great sector.

Everyone connects over their passion for recruiting into the ‘beyond profit’ sector. Our non-commission structure supports collaboration and team work.

It is no surprise then that ‘Collaboration’ is one of our three core values, chosen by our team and upheld by each and every one.

Employees are encouraged to put their hand up and contribute, working together to achieve the best result for their candidates and clients.

Jamie Lawrence, Editor, HRZone: Can you talk around the importance of development and recognition in the company?

Peter Beeby, Deputy CEO, Prospectus: In a company of our size it is important to ensure that employees have the opportunity to grow and develop and contribute beyond their job roles.

Whilst we have clear paths for progression which recognise development, the company has always encouraged and facilitated development through other vehicles such as training (both participation as well as delivery), project work and volunteering.

Our employees like to be challenged and contribute not only to the work of the company but to the beyond profit sector as a whole.

Whilst goals for development are set in yearly appraisals, we keep them fresh and relevant via monthly clarity meetings to check in on progress, support development needs and acknowledge success.

Our non-commission structure supports collaboration and team work.

We recognise and celebrate success in a number of ways from peer-led nominations for company awards to mentions in our monthly newsletter.

We aim to strike the right balance between recognising success using targets whilst measuring contribution to the success of the business in other ways such as working on projects, training colleagues and customer service, amongst others.

Employee development drives the company forward and ensures continuous improvement.

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Profile: Peter Beeby

"With over 15 years’ experience in charity recruitment, Peter Beeby is the Deputy Chief Executive at Prospectus. Peter oversees the delivery of all Prospectus back office functions, ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of day-to-day operations.

Peter also works with external partners on projects.

He has a degree in International Relations and is Prince 2 qualified. His experience is drawn both from the private and 'beyond profit' sectors, having previously worked for Halifax plc and the British Council.

Peter's passion for Prospectus is driven by his belief in the value of professional recruitment services that enable the charity sector to find the best people and facilitate the right choices."

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Jamie Lawrence, Editor, HRZone: Can you describe how you have embedded a culture of engagement within the company?

Peter Beeby, Deputy CEO, Prospectus: Having an open supportive culture has always been very important to us, but we also want an environment that is fun.

We have really embedded a culture of engagement – from lunches with the Chief Executive in which all employees attend at which they can ask any question (the more controversial the better!) through to quarterly PALs – Prospectus Active Learning – at which information is shared on our performance and employees are able to contribute their thoughts and opinions on company strategy.

Fun and excitement is important and we have achieved excellent engagement from all by dropping little surprises to reward employees – leaving fun filled stockings on desks on the morning of our Christmas party, or providing breakfast for all!

Who doesn’t love a surprise!

Jamie Lawrence, Editor, HRZone: How do you train staff and facilitate development as part of your engagement programme?

Peter Beeby, Deputy CEO, Prospectus: To support our thorough induction of new employees, each new starter is allocated a buddy – an existing member of staff in another team who informally ‘mentors’ their new colleague to offer ad hoc advice and guidance whenever they need and help them with basic things such as introducing them to the local area.

We utilise the formal training programmes that are available to staff – many have undertaken formal Recruitment qualifications financially backed by Prospectus. However we are most proud of our programme of workshops that we have introduced over the last couple of years.

We have a rolling programme of workshops covering many topics delivered by staff to their colleagues – an opportunity to share knowledge and develop skills.

Topics covered include pitching and presentation skills, implicit bias and social media – how to get the best out of your #hashtag, amongst others.

Volunteering is also a valuable way to facilitate development – a great opportunity to get involved in the beyond profit sector, contribute to the community, learn new skills and engage with people outside of Prospectus.

To support our thorough induction of new employees, each new starter is allocated a buddy

Every team member can take six paid days volunteering a year and are actively encouraged to do so.

Jamie Lawrence, Editor, HRZone: How do you measure employee engagement within the organisation?

Peter Beeby, Deputy CEO, Prospectus: Employee retention is a key indicator of employee engagement – we have a healthy turnover ratio and have a good blend of employees who are new and have been here for five years plus. The fact that we have several employees who returned to us following stints in the wider recruitment world speaks volumes.

Employee retention is a key indicator of employee engagement.

We also measure employee engagement via the usual methods of surveys and meetings, and lunch with the CEO consistently provides valuable feedback on the thoughts and feelings of staff.

All of this was reflected in the comments and scores our employees gave us in the recent engagement survey, for which we won People Insight's Employee Choice Award.

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Jamie Lawrence

Insights Director

Read more from Jamie Lawrence
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