We are very proud of our Investors in People plaque. It has pride of place in our office reception so that it can be seen by our visitors and by us every time we walk through the hallway. It reminds us what a great team we are and how hard we all worked towards achieving it.
I chose to do Investors in People because I wanted a reason to focus on building good foundations for our growing business. I wanted to work towards a tangible goal and I wanted to understand what I needed to do to develop and manage a good team of people. There were only six of us when we achieved Investors in People in February and we didn't need to do anything to enhance our team as we worked well as a team already but as we continue to grow there needs to be a plan and a structure in place to manage a larger team.
When I suggested at our team meeting that we work towards this award they were all in agreement and we would not have achieved it without input from every one of the team.
Surprisingly, when we reviewed the criteria we did already have most of the processes in place. As your business grows and you take on new clients and new staff you have to put in place processes to ensure client requirements are understood, deadlines are not missed and staff have the opportunity to ask for help when they need it. In a small business you don't always have formal procedures and one of the criteria for Investors in People is whether staff have regular one to one meetings with their manager. My immediate answer was no because they are not regular or planned. They happen all the time! I have an open door policy when I am in the office so anyone can come and see me whenever they want. However we do now have more formal planned quarterly reviews in addition to our informal chats.
One of the other good things which came out of working towards Investors in People was that I developed a training plan for my team. We already had a company structure so that every one could see opportunities for development and everyone received training and development but none of it was formalised. Now we have a formal training plan in place it shows me what training has been done and what remains to be done. It helps with planning our monthly training sessions but also enables me to plan shadowing and on the job training.
Working towards Investors in People was time consuming but so valuable. Achieving it enables me to meet with other businesses who have it and share their experience and knowledge.
And with our team expanding to seven this week and a new position currently being recruited it has definitely been worthwhile to aid our expansion.