Why working with the Investors in People Standard provides the people management tools to help organisations strive to be industry leaders.


IIP brochures on Desk'I do hope he doesn't actually punch him', I thought distractedly.

The first time I heard about Investors in People (IIP) I was sat in my recently acquired glass walled office watching a presentation from an enthusiastic IIP Account Manager. Managing an account handling team in an advertising agency had piqued my curiosity as to how to get the best from people in order to outperform the competition.

“So,” I summarised to my bright-eyed visitor, “what you're saying is that if I agree clear objectives with my team; empower them to make mistakes and support them to make sure their mistakes aren't too big, then they will perform better and make me look like I know what I am doing?”

“Exactly”, was the IIP representative's response?  Over her left shoulder, I could see the Creative Director still had one of my unfortunate colleagues pinned against the glass wall of his huge office, his free arm raised in the classic, 'I'm going to knock your block off' cartoon pose.

Hence my distraction at the start.  IIP seemed a perfect framework to raise our game, the quality of our work, efficiency and morale of our team, but there were certainly challenges ahead. I sighed; knowing that the leadership team at my agency was not quite ready to give up the old motivation techniques of fear and intimidation.

“You know we are recruiting for more account handlers for IIP,” suggested the IIP rep, who, by this time, had caught sight of the casual workplace abuse behind her.

“People rightly expect that their career development will be a key element of the regular one to ones that take place with their line manager, and organisations expect employees to reflect their values as well as help deliver objectives.”

IIP AwardsThat was how I became an IIP Assessor, Practitioner and Specialist over the past 20 plus years. In that time, people and organisations have indeed raised their games.  Whether or not they have used the IIP framework the expectations of employees have risen as employees expect more from work than just a payslip.

People rightly expect that their career development will be a key element of the regular one to ones that take place with their line manager, and organisations expect employees to reflect their values as well as help deliver objectives.

“Working with the IIP Standard provides the people management tools to help organisations strive to be industry leaders.”

Andre De WaalThe drive for High Performance comes from all directions and I am excited that IIP has evolved to reflect the High Performing principles. In 2015 we launched our Sixth Generation Standard. We worked closely with thought leaders like André de Waal, an Associate Professor of Strategic Management. Through this relationship, the IIP Standard grew to reflect the fact that for organisations to become truly high-performing, the human factor in people management must take precedence. Working with the IIP Standard provides the people management tools to help organisations strive to be industry leaders.

The nine indicators of IIP are all interlinked but the themes that often emerge as most important are:
  • Leadership, transparency & two-way trust
  • Values that genuine influence decision making and how people are expected to behave
  • Reward and Recognition & Performance management being equal partners
  • People development aligning personal ambition to those of the organisation

IIP Wheel

These principles and the enhanced engagement that they generate, deliver impressive benefits to the performance of IIP recognised organisations.

Estimating the efficiency gain from adopting 3 or more approaches:
 Small FirmsMedium FirmsLarge FirmsUK Economy
Average efficiency rate of firms adopting approaches73%72%74%73%
Average efficiency rate of firms not adopting approaches63%60%64%62%
Weighted average efficiency rate for all firms67%65%69%67%
Potential efficiency gain %5109%111%107%108%
Potential efficiency (output) gain ££33bn£18bn£32bn£84bn

Source: TBR analysis of IIP surveys and ONS GVA (output) data (TBR Ref: S5)

The evolution of IIP brings with it an online assessment element that ensures all employees are given an opportunity to express their views and enables organisations to benchmark themselves with organisations from their sector.   This also enables comparisons in how engaged people across a variety of metrics including:-

  • Age
  • Management level
  • Gender
  • Employment type
“At IIP we understand that to be a truly High Performing Organisation, you need systems in place to motivate and engage your staff to be high performing employees.”

In today's HR space, there are myriad competing trends and theories claiming to know exactly how to optimise your workplace for maximum success. However, it is IIP that is constantly improving the framework upon which it is built in order to meet the ever-changing needs of those looking for assistance in their people management strategies. At IIP we understand that to be a truly High Performing Organisation, you need systems in place to motivate and engage your staff to be high performing employees.

IIP works with thousands of organisations across the world from Sainsbury's to Vauxhall, in sectors from recruitment to retail. Please visit the IIP website to find out more.