How we achieved Investors in People’s highest accolade
23 Aug 2019
Kay England, CEO of Imago Venues, discusses what it takes to achieve Investors in People’s (IIP) highest accreditation – Platinum - the challenges they faced and why IIP is so important in today’s climate.
What it took for us to achieve Platinum
It took a lot of hard work and rigorous assessments to achieve our ambition of being accredited at Platinum level. Less than 2% of all organisations world-wide - who are assessed by IIP - are recognised at this level. But how did we do it and where did we receive particular praise?
- Ensure staff know the vision and objectives of the company
- Create a strong and united senior leadership team
- Empower and support employee’s potential
We communicate Imago’s purpose, vision and objectives to every member of staff. This ensures that our culture is clear and easy to understand and that our people are on side and invested in our success. From day one our staff are aware of the ‘Imago Way’, which translates into exceptional customer service.
We have built a strong united Senior Leadership Team who promote and embed our values in everything they do. Our staff regularly comment on being part of the ‘Imago Family’ and feel they belong to a supportive team.
We encourage staff to make their own decisions and to use their initiative to make things right. We have developed a coaching culture and all managers receive training to identify their individual coaching style and use different approaches to coaching depending on the personality of their team members. We consistently receive positive feedback from staff that our managers and supervisors are supportive, approachable, friendly and have a proactive attitude.
Offer continuous job development opportunities
Continuous job development opportunities are a key component of Imago’s culture. We encourage proactive training experiences such as buddying and job shadowing. We also give immediate feedback to colleagues about Imago’s standards of service, the best ways of doing things and how to exceed customer expectations.
Encourage staff to share innovative ideas
We have created an environment where our staff are willing to listen to each other, adapt, change and improve. Inclusivity is important and everyone at Imago has a voice. We analyse our staff survey results to make sure we are addressing the points our staff have raised. We encourage staff suggestions and those implemented are communicated through ‘You Said, We Did’ posters.
How long did it take us to achieve?
The Investors in People accreditation is very much a process of continual improvement which is embedded into our company values and business planning processes. The audit takes place every three years. In order to achieve IIP Platinum, we had to evidence continual improvement over a three-year period.
What challenges did we face?
In addition to the ‘day to day’ job, last year we successfully opened our new specialist sports venue, the Elite Athlete Centre and Hotel (EAC). In order to incorporate this new venue into our operation, our staff have needed to be extremely flexible and adaptable. We hit the ground running and it has been a learning experience to ensure we get every detail right in order to meet the exacting demands of our elite athletes. We have been open and transparent with our staff about the changes taking place and have proactively engaged them in this process and in planning for the future. Staff are encouraged to champion change and share ideas as to how we can work better. This has provided opportunities for staff to step up, work across venues and take the lead in embedding the values and the Imago way into the EAC.
Is IIP important in today’s climate?
IIP started 28 years ago and we feel plays a more important role than ever in today’s climate. It is an uncertain time, not just for the country but for businesses too. Being IIP Platinum accredited shows that despite what is happening in the macro environment, we are still committed to heavily investing in our staff and constantly improving as an employer. This will ensure our business is successful and sustainable for the future.
With a mixture of permanent and casual staff, we want to make sure that everyone feels part of the Imago family. We know from our staff survey that casual staff are looking for a clear understanding of their role, expect the training they need to do their job well and want to work for a caring, flexible organisation. We are working hard to ensure that we provide this and view all of our staff – both permanent and casual – as an integral part of our team.
We continually strive to be the best that we can be and with our strong, loyal and committed team to support us, we are incredibly proud of our IIP Platinum accreditation.
Notes for editors
- Imago Venues are Leicestershire's premier venue brand, combining year-round conference venues and hotels with Loughborough University’s campus facilities.
- They provide high-quality meeting spaces, venues and accommodation, along with world-leading sports and leisure facilities.
- Its portfolio includes Burleigh Court Conference Centre and Hotel, Holywell Park Conference Centre, The Link Hotel, the Elite Athlete Centre and Hotel, and Loughborough University campus.
- Multi-award winning venues including M&IT Gold for Best Academic Venue, Best UK Conference Centre, Best F&B Supplier, and Best Training Venue at the Academic Venue Awards.
- Imago Venues are a wholly owned subsidiary of Loughborough University and Gift Aid their profits back to the University, contributing over £1m per year towards research and academic excellence on campus.
- Imago Venues is part of The 5% Club which is a movement of more than 800 employers providing 'earn and learn' opportunities to develop the skills and talents people need to become more employable and create meaningful careers.