By Stephen Johnson, CEO and Founder at Quality Engineering consultancy Roq.
There’s an old saying in business that goes along the lines of “What if we invest in developing staff, and they leave? But what if we don’t and they stay?”
At a time when the UK’s digital skills gap is wider than ever and great candidates are like gold dust, there is a massive challenge for companies to recruit new staff in the technology sector. The same goes for many other UK business sectors, so it makes sense to focus on investing in staff to develop them and promoting from within.
Recently at Roq, we have been awarded the prestigious Platinum accreditation by Investors in People. This three-year accreditation comes after significant investment in the development and well-being of our employees over many years. It recognises how our company has improved performance through the management and development of our people.
The accreditation independently validates how much we invest in the team and that we have a clear vision for the future, including the continuation of investment in all our people. We are now keen to share with other businesses what we have learned about the value of becoming Investors in People Platinum accredited.
Independent benchmarking of standards
The Investors in People Platinum accreditation is the highest accolade that can be achieved against the Investors in People standard. It sets an international benchmark for leadership, employees, and companies to work together to create an effective environment. It recognises organisations that seek to improve performance through the long-term management and development of their people.
As a business, we are passionate about providing independent validation to our clients. So, when we further engaged with Investors in People (having already received Gold accreditation in 2018), we knew they would pull back the covers on the business over the last seven years.
This meant the process would independently validate how much we invest in our team and how our plans support even greater engagement with everyone that works for Roq. This is the kind of indisputable validation in standards that our clients love – it proves we ‘walk the walk’ and ‘talk the talk’.
External validation reinforces good leadership.
This achievement sets us apart across thousands of businesses across the UK, as so few achieve the Platinum standard. As a business owner, I take immense pride in accomplishing something so prestigious, which is hard-earned and not quickly gained. achieve this Platinum accreditation, which is only given to only 6% of applicants, Roq was assessed on key areas:
- Leading – leading and inspiring people, values and behaviours, and empowering and involving people
- Supporting – managing performance, recognising and rewarding high performance, and structuring work
- Improving – building capability, delivering continuous improvement, and creating sustainable success
The accreditation is well earned, with our business achieving high-performing grading across all areas. As well as external validation of our standards by using the opportunity to measure and benchmark performance against others, it also reinforces the focus our board has placed on driving standards and developing people. Thus, invaluable feedback tells us we are on the right track.
Positioning a company as an employer of choice
In the technology industry, the skills gap means companies must now position themselves as an employer of choice and a well-performing company. Employers can no longer pick from a vast pool of applicants, as candidates are now more selective about where they apply. Businesses looking to recruit new staff must now consider the candidate’s criteria.
So, making potential candidates aware that the business covers the non-financial bases like Investors in People, as much as the financial ones, will make candidates significantly more receptive to working there.
Roq’s Investors in People Platinum accreditation, combined with our world-class net promoter score, truly highlights us as a Quality Engineering consultancy employer of choice, which helps us stand out in a crowded job market.
Candidates often look to external sources to validate that what they are told about the company during the recruitment process is true – Glassdoor reviews, social media and employee LinkedIn profiles often help to shed light on this.
An external accreditation as impressive as Investors in People Platinum accreditation demonstrates unequivocally that we invest in our people and work hard to ensure Roq is, and continues to be, a great workplace.
Clear commercial benefits
Our Investors in People accreditation shows clients our commitment to excellence in business and people management. It is a quality mark of assurance for our clients – they can be assured that because we value Investors in People so highly, it demonstrates our commitment to investing in our people.
Their skills, expertise and experience are what our clients value highly, and the accreditation is an outward guarantee for this, combined with stability and continuity of service. Guaranteed continuity is vital for our clients, who rely on us to provide valuable services that are integral to the success of their businesses. It’s part of the reason clients come to us instead of other quality engineering consultancies.
Because Investors in People has been established since 1991 and is used by organisations across many business sectors around the world, it holds real universal credibility. While clients may not always be looking for this type of accreditation, it is important for us to hold because it is an accreditation that many will know about and respect.
Ultimately, becoming an accredited Investor in People will help your company stand out to potential clients and employees while providing senior management and directors with crucial, independent feedback on performance.