What a fantastic month February has been for our business. A trip to Westminster to talk to MPs about auto enrolment, a new employee, a promotion for one of our team and now we are celebrating achieving the Standard for Investors in People, And there is still a week to go!
After a day of interviews of all members of the team and gaining an insight into the business practices relating to the development and management of its employees the Investors in People Assessor revealed that the company had met all 37 criteria. It was even more rewarding achieving all the criteria at the first assessment.
When I was looking for something to aim for Investors in People provided a focus for me to review and develop our business objectives, our staff management and training procedures and put in place a company structure to show the team that there was an opportunity to progress within the business. When I talked it through with the team they thought it was a great idea. Not only would it be good for their development but it would show others that we are a good business to work for.
Investors in People sets a standard for management of the people within the business and achievement of this standard is a sign of a good employer and an outperforming place to work. This fits with Sandra Silk’s company ethos which is to not only provide its customers with a service which exceeds their expectations but to recruit, develop and support bookkeepers and payroll staff providing them with an opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge amongst a supportive team.
It took several months to prepare for the assessment and the support I received from Spire Business Solutions was invaluable in helping us achieve the standard. Ian's understanding of the criteria enabled me to focus on the requirements in relation to my business.
The assessor has provided us with a report several pages long setting out what we do well and where we can make improvements, as well as encouraging us to work towards to the next level. A small part of the summary really sums up for me what we are about:
"If the essence of “family togetherness” in a work environment could be bottled, then this is exactly the aroma that you would sense as you talk to and get to know the people who work at Sandra Silk Bookkeeping and Business Services Ltd. There is a strong sense of being professional and delivering high quality service whilst at the same time caring for customers as well as one another. There is a genuine commitment by the MD to invest in her staff both in terms of time and development. There is a strong culture of learning and development, where continuous learning is seen as part of normal weekly activities and where knowledge is shared amongst peers. There is also strong evidence that people feel valued and respected for their contributions."
My team have always been important to me as you can't provide excellent customer service if you don't have a good team. As a business grows you, as the owner, can no longer work with every customer who comes along, but if you develop your team to feel valued they will know what to do to make your customers feel as important as you, the owner, would.
Thank you Karen, Anne, Ruth, Jan and Sarah for achieving this with me.