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How we achieved Investors In People (IIP) Platinum accreditation

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Outsourcing administrative support for the legal industry

It’s clear that for many law firms improving employee engagement is becoming a necessity. Not only does it increase productivity by 20-25%, it leads to higher revenue growth for firms overall (Source: Dynamic Signal, 2017). Organisations with high levels of employee engagement will have the edge over their competitors.

Intelligent Office recognises the importance of employee engagement to help deliver increased productivity and reflects this understanding in our day-to-day practices. In May 2018, we were awarded the highest standard of the Investors In People accreditation (IIP)—a standard held by just 70 companies or 0.8% of the 8,300 UK firms with some form of the IIP accreditation.

The IIP standards are internationally recognised accreditations held by over 10,000 organisations across the world. Using rigorous assessment methodology and frameworks, the IIP sets a benchmark for better people management. The IIP defines what it takes to lead, support and manage people in a way that produces sustainable results.

To achieve the highest Platinum standard, firms must demonstrate ‘high performance’ in at least seven of the nine assessment indicators. By doing so, companies show that their culture and processes are based on the needs of the organisation and that both facets are understood, respected, adopted, and internalised by every member of their business from board to junior levels.

You can read our full release here: Intelligent Office goes Platinum

What the Platinum standard means for us and our clients

When clients transfer their employees to us, they know their people are in good hands. Our values aren’t just words, they are a reflection of our culture and practices. They filter down into everything we do and are ingrained at every level—it’s what sets us apart.

Results from our nine indicators

The nine IIP indicators are graded against four levels from ‘developed’ and ‘established’ to ‘advanced’ and, finally ‘high performing’.

This is how we measured up against the nine indicators:

1. Leading and inspiring people

Description: “Leaders make the organisation's objectives clear. They inspire and motivate people to deliver against these objectives and are trusted by people in the organisation.”

Our result: We were marked as high performing for the clarity provided by Intelligent Office leaders at all levels, specifically around the organisation's purpose, vision and objectives.

What the assessor said: “Leaders are active role models, leading by example, and trusted by people in the organisation, the day to day leadership comes from managers and team leaders. The Corporate team deliver wider strategic leadership. Your Managers and Corporate are active role models through interacting by:

  • Walking the floors
  • Doing the job – knowing the job from the bottom up
  • Developing and communicating with staff
  • Demonstrating that they are part of the team”

2. Living the organisation’s values and behaviours

Description: “People and leaders act in line with the organisation's values at all times. They have the courage and support to challenge inconsistent behaviours.”

Our result: Our people clearly demonstrate our four core values of teamwork, integrity, passion and success.

What the assessor said: “You have ensured that there is a culture of openness and trust allied to a strong work ethic that is led by the vision and values of Intelligent Office. People feel a pride and connection to working for Intelligent Office and very much act as ambassadors for the organisation across the UK.”

What our people said: “Coming here was a surprise as I didn’t realise you can enjoy your job and be supported simultaneously.”

3. Empowering and involving people

Description: “There is a culture of trust and ownership in the organisation where people feel empowered to make decisions and act on them.”

Our result: We strike a successful balance between supporting employees and giving them the tools needed to problem solve and develop themselves.

What the assessor said: “People feel empowered to identify ways to improve how they do their job through open lines of communication to share ideas, for example your Centres of Excellence. It is apparent that your people are encouraged to take the lead and have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills. Initiative to lead and take ownership over delivering the organisation's objectives is actively encouraged.

It is clear that participation, collaboration and teamwork are at the heart of the organisation's approach to decision-making. You are constantly looking for staff to come up with new ideas and ways of working.”

What our people said: “IO gives you an opportunity to express yourself, you have a voice.”

4. Managing performance

Description: “Objectives within the organisation are fully aligned, performance is measured and feedback is used.”

Our result: We are proud to say that all Intelligent Office employees are clear about what is expected of them and how they contribute to Intelligent Office objectives. Our managers are embedded in their teams interacting with them throughout the day which helps them give valuable feedback during monthly one to one sessions.

What the assessor said: “[Intelligent Office’s] line managers are highly effective and consistent at supporting high performance and addressing underperformance through effective, constructive and open dialogue.”

5. Recognising and rewarding high performance

Description: “Recognition and reward is clear and appropriate, creating a culture of appreciation where people are motivated to perform at their best.”

Our result: We take the time needed to understand what it is that matters to our people and take measures to ensure we incentivise them properly, in a way that benefits the business and the individual.

All of our incentives and rewards are tailored to the needs of our employees. This means the service we are able to deliver them is both bespoke and considered. Alongside this, employees are recognised internally for their teamwork and customer satisfaction.

What the assessor said: “It is clear there is a culture of appreciation, where people feel valued and are recognised for both their individual and team efforts and performance… the culture of recognition and appreciation runs through all levels of the business.”

What our people said: “Intelligent Office was the answer to my dreams, the work, the people, everything is fantastic.”

6. Structuring work

Description: “The organisation is structured to deliver the organisation's ambition. Roles are designed to deliver organisational objectives and create interesting work for people, whilst encouraging collaborative ways of working.”

Our result: The people management and recognition toolkits we have created over many years of operation support and deliver higher levels of engagement for staff across all levels.

What the assessor said: “You have excellent policies and procedures which support people to make decisions and work together as a cohesive team, utilising their talents and skills to benefit the organisation as a whole. People understand the reason behind the processes and are fully engaged to deliver a consistent approach across all projects.”

What our people said: “Values are demonstrated daily at game plan meetings and installed into everything you do.”

7. Building capability

Description: “People's capabilities are actively managed and developed. This allows people to realise their full potential and ensures that the organisation has the right people at the right time for the right roles.”

Our result: Employee’s satisfaction and high engagement across the business is evidence of our capability and dedication to investing necessary resources and time into improving individuals’ skillsets. Supplying resources to ensure organisational targets are met links employee learning and development to the success of the company.

What the assessor said: “You are clear that you wish to develop people in-line with service needs and that you are keen to give people the opportunity to grow and develop within Intelligent Office.”

What our people said: “You get genuine feedback on your capabilities.”

8. Delivering continuous improvement

Description: “There is a focus on continuous improvement. People use internal and external sources to come up with new ideas and approaches, supported by a culture that encourages innovation.”

Our result: It’s not just the opinions of the employees we consider. A large part of ensuring our people have the right tools to develop and up-skill is making sure we know what clients want both now and in the future, and how we are able to successfully deliver on those expectations.

What the assessor said: “You have embraced a culture of continuous improvement and strive to enhance this in the way that you manage and develop people. People are encouraged to bring forward ideas or suggest changes to processes.”

What our people said: “There isn’t anything I would change as IO is always changing.”

9. Creating sustainable success

Description: “The organisation has a focus on the future and is responsive to change. Leaders have a clear understanding of the external environment and the impact this has on the organisation.”

Our result: Our leaders are aware of future challenges, particularly for the legal sector clients we primarily support, and consciously develop their own capabilities through working closely with clients and other stakeholders. All senior members work tirelessly to ensure they are aligned to the company’s priorities and changes to legislation (e.g. GDPR), environmental issues and workplace equality.

What the assessor said: “You have a clear focus on the future and are very responsive to change. You engage people in short term and long term through constant interaction and feedback. When change happens, it is communicated in a timely and transparent way across the organisation by sharing the results of surveys and feedback from clients.”

What our people said: “You get a sense of belonging working for IO.”

(You can find more information on the nine indicators on the Investors In People website).

What this means for you

We have been continually recognised for our people management, receiving the IIP Gold standard in 2015 and 2012.  Being one of the few companies in the UK to achieve the Platinum accolade further confirms that our culture and the quality of service this helps us deliver are special.

Our fourth contract win in six months confirms that law firms are investing in administrative support more than ever before.

Highly effective people management that supports excellent service delivery requires commitment, continuous monitoring, and adaptability and it can sometimes be difficult to make the proper time for this when management resource is already stretched in many law firms.

We offer law firms of all sizes a proven, high quality way of improving their administrative support functions. For more information please don't hesitate to get in touch: +44 (0) 345 658 9443 or email Sam (sam.nicholls@intelligentofficeuk.com).

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