Place Category: Business Services
- Website & Social
- Social Impact Declaration
- Social Impact Statements
Investors in People is a community interest company and an agent of change, calling for a movement that puts people first – for the benefit of every person in every workplace, for increased productivity across organisations, and for a stronger, healthier and happier society.
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Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.
In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders are asked to respond to a set of social impact questions, which are designed to help them think about the social impact they create, and to articulate this clearly and succinctly.
Updated May 2018
1) What social differences and changes have you aimed to create (or supported)?
Since its transition to a community interest company, we at Investors in People (IIP) have built on our foundation as an accreditation service for organisations wanting support and recognition for their people management practices, to an organisation driven by community. This applies to both our existing IIP community of over 9000 dedicated businesses, and to the community of each of the individual organisations who seek our support.
In essence, our mission is to help organisations succeed by realising the potential of their people. We believe that each and every employee deserves a fair workplace, underpinned by quality management. When these elements are in place, employees will deliver their very best for the business as they feel supported by a business that really cares for them as people as well as their performance. In turn, this will benefit the UK economy as a whole as we strive to catch up with the productivity of our G7 counterparts and improve national prosperity.
In terms of social benefit, the improvement that IIP has sought to offer has been threefold; happy employees, competent managers and productive businesses. We want to deliver as much change in the way that employees interact with their managers to ensure honest, open and proactive conversations about how they hope to be motivated and supported at work. Indeed, our annual Job Exodus survey 2018 revealed that 49% of workers were considering a new job as a result of poor management in their current position. It is our intention at IIP to bring this issue to the attention of UK businesses, and support them in implementing a strategy that works for them and their team.
The health and wellbeing of employees has been the area we have been most keen to address in recent months. The research presented in the ‘Thriving at Work’ report evidenced the massive issue of workplace mental health and the detrimental impact it can have on employees and their workplaces. It is mutually beneficial for employers to support their people through any- and- all mental health worries, with the report suggesting that a failure to do so costs UK businesses between £33 and £42 billion per annum. Our Health & Wellbeing Framework encompasses psychological, physical and social wellness, encouraging and supporting employers take greater care of their employees in these areas. We have been promoting the business benefits of this additional accreditation at a number of events in the last six months and this is something we look to build on in the coming year.
2) What actions have you taken to address the above social aims?
To meet our intention of prioritising employee wellbeing in the workplace, we have run a series of events focussed on raising the profile of our Health and Wellbeing award. Once such event held in Northern Ireland saw insights provided by some of the most exemplary IIP clients who have revolutionised the way they address employee mental and physical health in the office. Graham Construction Ltd used IIP’s Health and Wellbeing framework to better cater to the needs of their workers. They overcame operational obstacles, such as the geographical dispersity of workers based on construction sites, to deliver tailored support systems, based on the relationship between employee and line manager.
We have launched two proactive PR campaigns in the last three months, intending to raise a broader awareness of workplace issues and in particular, how business leaders can make changes to their work cultures to bring out the best in all their employees. Our Job Exodus campaign results evidence that UK workers want flexibility, good management and quality work and raising awareness of these imperatives is a vital step in giving employers the insight they need to improve the way they support their staff and develop people management practices in the long-term.
The above pro-active PR campaigns were important in spreading our social goals beyond our Standard and Framework. However, we also recently hosted the first event in our ‘Aspire’ event series which intends to inspire IIP accredited clients to up their game and aim for the next level; in particular Gold-accredited clients looking to reach Platinum at their next assessment. We heard from Sainsbury’s, Sevenoaks District Council and Barclays Partner Finance, all of whom spoke of how their journey with IIP had led to happier employees and more prosperous business success. These events will form an important part of our strategy going forward.
3) What has changed and what benefits have been realised as a result of your actions?
Across our community of 9,000, the work that we’ve done with organisations from ten employees to more than 500 has had a tangible impact on the working lives of employees and workplaces. The very fact that an organisation takes the first step of engaging with IIP means that they care about improving the workplace culture for their teams. This receptiveness to support and suggestions means that real and lasting change can be delivered across all organisations, regardless of size or industry. Individuals benefit from our work by having the opportunity to feed into discussions on how to make their workplace work better for them.
In recent months we have placed a greater focus on how research and proactive PR campaigns can be used to create social good beyond the parameters of traditional engagement with our framework and method. Indeed, in the last three months we have launched two surveys; one intending to pinpoint reasons for job dissatisfaction across the UK, and the second to understand perceptions around gender-based discrimination in the workplace in conjunction with International Women’s Day. In this way, we were able to highlight the areas where UK workers felt most let down at work, giving employers the opportunity to address these concerns and retain valuable staff.
Our Job Exodus report was featured in national, regional and sectoral press, reaching a potential audience of nearly 17 million. This means that we were responsible for raising awareness of workplace pain-points way beyond the IIP community of 9,000. It is hoped that this project helped HR directors, line managers and employers of all sizes think differently about how they cater for the things their staff want and need to be truly happy at work.
We have a tangible impact on the organisations that we work with. One of the most unique aspects of our product offer is that each organisation engaged in the IIP accreditation process has a Practitioner who works with them from beginning to end. This means that the report produced upon completion of the process contains unrivalled insights into how that business is performing against the IIP Standard, with detailed feedback against each of our key performance indications; Leading, Supporting and Improving.
4) How do you and other people know your aims are being achieved? Or how will you know?
Within our Community, the review process is inbuilt, which means that clients are able to measure the achievements of the aims they set out at the beginning of their IIP journey. Because accreditation only lasts for three years there is a continuous inducement for organisations to keep up standards and perhaps even aim for a higher level of accreditation at their next review. The IIP process is one that continually invites the clients we work with to evolve their social mission and practices. Recognition of this evolution is an integral part of how we deliver our framework and methodology.
Within our organisation and across our practitioner and licensee network, we keep our franchisees and interested parties up to date with internal newsletters and a newly-developed intranet. The internal newsletter requires heads of each department to feed in their achievements, goals and aims on a fortnightly basis. This ensures that all arms of the business feel connected, even if they don’t interact on a day-to-day basis. It allows teams to celebrate their successes with the whole business, rather than just on a team-by -team basis. An example of this is the Marketing team feeding in the positive reviews of the Aspire event, or indeed the Finance team successfully overcoming the challenges of integrating a new finance system. It’s important that everyone at IIP knows that their hard work is lauded by their colleagues.
In terms of how we keep check of and share the successful completion of our aims outside of IIP, we have a multifaceted approach to communications, rooted in digital delivery. In the last seven months we have grown our Twitter following by over 600, just recently tipping the 16,000 mark. This, coupled with our other social media platforms puts our social media presence at well over 25,000 across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. In addition, we are in the process of re-designing our external website. At the moment it contains all of our ideas, inspiration, resources and publications, as well as press releases and this information is vital in communication with both the IIP Community and beyond. We hope that a facelift for this asset will guarantee it is an engaging and innovative platform for users to connect with IIP’s mission.
The below questions are not mandatory, but Mark holders are encouraged to answer them where possible, to provide a fuller account of their social outcomes and the social value they create.
5) How many people have benefitted from your actions?
At the moment, the current number of employees employed by IIP accredited organisations sits at around 2.7 million. This is a significant proportion of the UK workforce which is benefitting from working with our Standard to improve people management practices, allowing them to reach their true potential and boost business success.
Beyond the number of actual employees who have come into contact with the Investors in People ethos via their workplaces, we also have a presence in 58 countries, working with organisations in sectors from education to construction. The fact that the IIP product is so adaptable is due to the tailored insights given by each organisation’s allocated practitioner as they progress through the process.
It is difficult to measure the ripple-effect of the good that our work does. This is because most people spend the majority of their working week in the office, meaning that when the IIP Framework is used to improve people management in the office, employers are looking to make their employees happier. This motivation to improve the way staff are cared for should have a ripple effect out into the personal lives of employees. This is an important but immeasurable element of IIP’s work.
6) What examples can you provide of a typical service user experience, that helps illustrate the benefits they have experienced as a result of your actions?
Brother UK Ltd is the UK sales subsidiary of Brother Industries Ltd (BIL) and has been based in Tameside, Manchester since 1968. Since working with Investors in People, Brother UK has been able to align their change journey with a practical framework that supports their people focused strategic direction.
As Phil Jones MBE, Managing Director at Brother UK Ltd explains: “IIP has helped us to explore, understand and ensure that our strategies are delivering the desired outcomes both financially and for our customers. It has really helped us to inspire and enable meaningful change with our people at the centre."
The practicality of the Standard and the nature of assessment have also been particularly beneficial to Brother UK, helping the organisation to review and identify where improvements can be achieved.
Although Brother UK already had good attendance and length of service across their workforce before Investors in People, their IIP journey has seen a renewed interest in self-development. This has led to learning and development increasing exponentially and benefits such as better retention of talent and more opportunities to retrain and internally promote. This in turn has led to increased employee morale as well as efficiencies that have helped increase turnover and achieve above budget profits.
Investors in People have been working with Sainsbury’s for nearly two decades, initially gaining accreditation on a store by store basis, before seeking accreditation on a corporate level. Sainsbury’s were the first retailer of their size to achieve Gold level recognition and this achievement is something that the company has rightfully been very proud of.
For an organisation of this size to embrace the IIP process, from surveys, to practitioners to assessment reports, required logistical commitment. According to HR Director Angie Risley, the process involved 1600 interviews, 11,000 surveys, as well as visits to 38 Stores, all Store Support Centres and a depot.
However, Sainsbury’s would be the first to say that the familiarity borne of this comprehensive process is the core of the value that we can offer, in terms of shedding a spotlight on the people management practices that should be lauded and those which warrant a re-think. The opportunity to benchmark is, for Sainsbury’s a key driver of their commitment to ensuring their employees are healthy and happy.
As Risley herself said at our Aspire event recently, the opportunity to benchmark internally and externally keeps Sainsbury’s moving forward toward ever better people management techniques.
7) What additional social benefits have you been able to deliver within your core services that distinguish you from other “for shareholder profit” providers?
We provide a wide variety of articles and e-publications via investorsinpeople.com that offer advice to organisations on how to invest in their people.
8) What other social benefits have you contributed that go beyond your core delivery activities (ones that are completely unrelated to your main services)?
At our last IIP Staff away day we did a team building exercise around learning to construct bikes and donated 5 bikes to Barnados London.
We are about to introduce an annual volunteering day for each member of staff.
9) What social and environmental benefits have you created from internal operational policies and actions?
At Investors in People we have a clear commitment to support our staff in their daily challenges as consistently as possible. For us this means a dedication to flexible working where an employee can speak openly with line management to agree working hours and working remotely/ from home when an employee feels it would be beneficial for them to do so. This also reduces our carbon footprint as an organisation by reducing the regular number of commuters into London on a daily basis.
Beyond this, we also provide employees with access to AXA Healthcare and a range of other perks, via digital platform ‘Perkbox’, which has a whole host of offers that employees can benefit from, including phone insurance, discounted dining and cinema tickets. We feel that the investment in platforms such as these is important in the message it sends to our team that we care about the quality of their experience both inside and outside of the office. The take-up of this platform by IIP has been fantastic and all employees have made use of some ‘perks’
We offer a 5% employer pension contribution, free fruit for all staff once a week and extensive learning and development opportunities.