Much has changed at Gemserv in the past three years with significant growth across the business, staff numbers almost doubling and acquisitions taking the company into new sectors.
Against that backdrop it was particularly pleasing that we have achieved re-accreditation under the Investors in People Gold standard.
Being involved in the Investors in People process is challenging for any organisation and the assessments provide a valuable independent view of performance and progress.
Employees are also given the opportunity to voice their opinions on issues ranging from the culture to the quality of management.
For an HR professional, there is inevitably always some nervousness ahead of opening the assessment report. However confident you are that an organisation is performing well, an outside perspective can see things differently and shine a spotlight on areas where there’s room for improvement.
Indeed, our assessor suggested a number of ways where there is an opportunity to drive greater performance and that feedback will be valuable as we look to improve further towards the Platinum standard which only 1% of organisations achieve.
But overall, the assessment report was very positive and there were a number of key observations I was particularly pleased to see.
Despite the significant growth and changes at Gemserv since her last visit, our assessor said the culture and the enthusiasm with which people speak about their role remains impressive and a highly supportive and collaborative culture makes staff look forward to work.
Almost 90% of staff described Gemserv a great place to work and a similar percentage believe that the business has a positive impact on society.
The assessment also found that Gemserv is very much committed to developing people and helping them progress and that staff are buying into change, based on a clear direction of travel.
Communication was also another key positive with staff describing it as both effective and valuable. In the current unusual circumstances we have also stepped up our regular communication with staff from fortnightly to weekly.
Organisation that lives by its values
A high level of transparency also means staff clearly see the link between their job, their contribution and Gemserv’s performance, and the assessor said we were are an organisation that clearly “lives by its values”.
From an HR perspective, some of the comments staff gave during their interviews were particularly heartening:
- “I am very lucky to have found Gemserv. They are very supportive of people who want to progress.”
- “What I like most about Gemserv is that my work is very interesting. I look forward to every day.”
- “We are values driven – the only organisation I’ve ever worked for where that is so strong.”
In terms of the way people are managed, line managers are seen as being both interested in and supportive of those who report to them.
Our commitment to flexible working also makes people feel valued and engaged and our “generous training and development offer” makes sure staff acquire the capabilities that help them perform effectively and progress where possible.
Achievement just part of the journey
The Investors in People process challenges organisations to strive to improve and we are committed to building on the strong people foundations for the future.
The report highlighted a number of areas where we could achieve more and we are already implementing actions to address some of these.
For example, the report found that through better execution of our Recognition and Reward strategy we could see further gains in performance from staff.
Although the induction process for new recruits is described as being well-planned and managed, the assessment felt we would benefit from greater consistency across the organisation.
Taking a targeted approach to developing managers as the business continues to grow will also be important. Gemserv has significantly improved the way it develops its leaders in recent years as it looks to build both capability and consistency and we’ll be looking to invest more in this area.
As an organisation it’s great to be able to use our Investors in People Gold accreditation to show how far we’ve come, but it is just part of a journey towards higher performance.