On the business networking circuit and online, I have become known as The Investors in People guy. Investors in People is not all I do – see my What I Offer page – but I believe in the principles of the framework and its power to make life easier for my clients. As it is a ‘business to business superbrand’ it deserves an explanation.
What Investors in People Is
It is a structured method of measuring the extent to which four key ingredients of success apply. These are:
- Clear goals
- Learning is part of the job
- Good leadership
- Involved people
If you think these apply to you at all levels – individual, department/team and organisation – you are most likely already an Investors in People in most respects. You should bear in mind, though, that most of the evidence is gathered by talking to your people. It is therefore perception-based. There is often a gap between the reality which managers see and that which the rest of their team perceives.
Many of my clients use me as their adviser as they follow the best practice disciplines. They do this to gain insight, with no intention of seeking accreditation, and that is fine.
How Does It Work?
Moving Up a Level
An Investors in People organisation meets all the requirements of what we specialist experts call the Core Standard. To provide extra stretch and challenge against world class best practice, there are additional elements to the framework. The number of these additional elements dictates whether an organisation is Silver, Gold or Platinum.
The Reasons for ‘doing’ Investors in People
In ascending order, these are:
- to get the badge. The accreditation is a sign of quality which gives many organisations a marketing edge. Many suppliers to public sector bodies or large corporates need to show evidence of a quality system in their framework documents.
- to become a great place to work. The science of happiness tells us that all of us should be mindful of the need for personal fulfilment and motivation in our lives. Looking forward to coming to work, and enjoying the company and mutual creativity of our colleagues, ought to be a natural state.
- to achieve better results. Investors in People is hard-nosed in relating the way you lead, manage and develop your people to your business objectives. For example, if a training course is not helping you achieve what you need to, why are you doing it ? It is all about unlocking the potential of your team, increasing its focus and improving communication and teamwork. As a result, your capacity to achieve excellent performance is greatly enhanced.
What Investors in People is not
- •prescriptive – it doesn’t tell you what to do, it asks searching questions so you gain insight about your management practice, facilitating a process of finding solutions
- bureaucratic – Investors in Paper! – only two documents are required: a business plan and a training plan
- an open cheque book for training – direct spend on training often decreases because you get better at in-house coaching etc
- an easy option – it is a serious strategic approach to achieving better performance
- about pay, terms and conditions, disciplinary/grievance procedures, health and safety, hiring and firing
- a touchy-feely bolt-on HR initiative