Just three short years ago we were awarded Investors in People Standard accreditation, and immediately busied ourselves with smashing it and getting Gold. It’s taken lots of hard work, change and growth but we’re delighted that it all paid off – our Gold plaque is now firmly mounted on the walls of our office.

Investors in People is a standard for people management within a business, taking into account a number of factors from leading and inspiring to rewarding achievements. Whether or not you’re going for an IiP award, there’s a lot to be gained from investing (time and money) in your employees. Here’s a bit of insight into how we did it;

Communicate clearly

During the intensive assessment period, employee surveys and subsequent interviews it was acknowledged that 100% of ExtraMile staff say leaders clearly communicate the company vision and values. When there’s transparency in the work place, for example sharing your company finances or plans for growth, it creates an enormous sense of trust and empowerment, not to mention making each and every employee feel like their input and ideas are valued. Besides, how can your employees deliver your objectives if they don’t know exactly what they are?

Nurture staff potential

Something that cropped up in the report we received along with our award was ExtraMile’s philosophy of enabling staff to reach their fullest potential and fulfil their career aspirations. Don’t be scared that if you train up your staff they’ll leave you for “bigger and better” things. When a company invests in the future of its staff, it promotes job satisfaction and creates a great sense of pride working for that business. And if and when staff members do move on, you can take a sense of pride in that too!

Have a clear structure

Another brilliant statistic from our report was that 100% of ExtraMile staff positively agree that their role is structured clearly to identify levels of responsibility and accountability. When you structure roles to allow for responsibility and accountability across the team, it encourages high levels of interaction between members and also inspires staff to push for new opportunities or look for better ways of working. It essentially feeds our drive and makes us hungry for more!

Learn from mistakes

When we received the Standard accreditation we learned that to get to Gold there were a number of things we could be doing differently. Rather than ignoring valuable advice (which is easier to do than it sounds!) we embraced the changes and used it as a learning opportunity. Everyone in business makes mistakes from time to time – adopts an approach that isn’t right for the company or amends a process that impacts in other areas of the business – but the key is to regularly review how you do things and look for areas you can improve. If in doubt, ask your clients and staff – they’re at the forefront of everything you do!