Investors in People Gold Award retained following Strategic Review

Our Director of People, Sophie Willis, recently met with representatives from Investors in People for the Eville & Jones strategic review.  Many of you will have heard the name ‘Investors in People’ but perhaps fewer will know what this organisation actually does.

The Investors in People Standard is a business improvement tool designed to advance an organisation’s performance through its employees. It helps organisations to improve performance and realise objectives through the management and development of their people.   An external assessor will look for evidence that these principles and indicators have been implemented throughout the organisation and formal accreditation is then awarded accordingly.  Eville & Jones is immensely proud of their Gold Award which they first achieved back in April 2018.  

We have just received the results of our recent review and thought you may be interested to read their thoughts:

Since the last review in April 2018, EVILLE & JONES has seen significant leadership changes including Charles’ appointment as CEO and a new leadership structure which includes Chief Operating Officer, Regional Managers and a Director of People.   EVILLE & JONES is currently finalising its strategy and ambition for the next 5 years and the outcome of the Brexit deal remains a fundamental consideration of how they will do business. Initial feedback from staff is that communication, performance review (feedback, praise and development) and leadership consistency are amongst the first areas that EVILLE & JONES should be addressing.

The assessor used part of the strategic review to catch up with some employees on their views and opinions.  We were delighted to hear that they believed we have coped well with the impact of COVID-19 and that they are increasingly positive about the changes that are being made with Eville & Jones:

“I feel like they (the managers etc) have done everything they can to keep us safe – we have got the PPE we need, and arrangements have been in place in the plants.”

“Since [the new CEO], we have had Royal Vets fees paid, there is more focus on our health, safety and wellbeing, and better communication.”

Naturally though, there are things we could be doing even better…. 

“We are talking about having more opportunities for training – that will be good if it comes off.” 

“How the employee forum communicates to the wider staff teams needs to be better – to raise its profile, celebrate its successes and achievements and get more people to engage with asking for issues to be raised.”

Our strategic ambition and action plan was found to be far reaching, comprehensive and represents our enthusiasm, drive and commitment as a team.  There were though a number of recommendations made by Investors in People:

  • We should carry out a review of where decisions making lies; what decisions the RMs, AVMs and ARMs should be making and the policies they should use to guide these decisions
  • Examine whether the current set up enables line managers to be as effective as they need to be. Do line managers have the time available to be effective, the advanced skills needed to manage remote teams, do they have the people management skills?  How do they stop being reactive and become more proactive? 

Investors in People also recognised that progressing our investment in people over the years has been hampered by our struggle to resource our operations sufficiently which gives little breathing room for carrying out plans for releasing people for training and development and meeting requests for flexible working for examples.   They were assured, however, of our 100% commitment to overcome these constraints and unlock our people’s potential.

We are delighted that the independent assessor recognised the effort we put in to positively managing and developing our employees and that their report concluded we should maintain our highly valued gold accreditation for another year.

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