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Finding gold in a people-oriented approach to business improvement

With a “family environment”, strong culture of teamwork, and its engagement and empowerment of employees, Argus Group has been chosen as a global case study by the international Investors in People organisation after achieving Gold Level Accreditation.

As Argus CEO Alison Hill noted, the company now sits within the top one percent of organisations recognised by Investors in People.

Asked how Argus achieved its Gold status, Ms Hill told

The Royal Gazette the following: “The organisation has a very clear purpose and vision with a strong ethos of social responsibility. It is supported by group and individual business plans. All activities link to key priorities and the business plan and are supported by key performance indicators. Everyone knows where they fit and how their role is helping Argus to achieve its vision.

“Our assessor felt it was worthy of note that Argus has managed to “lift the silos”. Everyone is aware of what is going on across the whole company and how their role contributes. Employees are working well with each other and I think that the many social and sporting events that take place have contributed to this along with the focused development that has been carried out on corporate and business unit objectives and how they link together.

“There is lots of positive energy in this organisation. People are keen to come up with better ways of doing things and they share their ideas with other units. They believe and can see that their views are listened to and acted upon. Engagement and empowerment is a particular strength with many employees involved in committees and working groups. Management welcomes and encourages ideas and innovation and this concept has become firmly embedded in the culture. Knowledge and information is shared and people feel free to challenge how things are done.

“Employees are encouraged to develop and the organisation maximises talent. There was lots of evidence of people moving up within the organisation.

“Training and development is aimed at achieving organisational goals and vision. A strong commitment to developing employees is evident.”

To achieve Gold Accreditation, organisations must successfully meet at least 165 evidence points in their business strategy, learning and development, leadership and management, reward and recognition and performance management.

Argus met as many as 184 evidence points out of a possible 192, which is the highest score their assigned assessor has ever awarded any organisation internationally.

“The past four years have seen tremendous change within the Argus Group and we have much to be proud of,” Ms Hill said yesterday.

“We have worked hard to achieve a close, family environment at Argus, with a strong culture of teamwork, mutual support, engagement and empowerment. Our company has long been one that places a priority on our people and as a result our employees were found to have a genuine commitment to contribute to the delivery of service excellence and our customer-centric approach. I believe this has been demonstrated in our most recent financial results.”

Argus first achieved Investors in People Accreditation in 2003 after successfully meeting the Investors in People Standard. Since 2003 and particularly over the past five years, Argus has increased its focus and investment in the development of its team.

Don Mackenzie, partner of Management Solutions, which holds the license for Investors in People Bermuda, said: “This is a wonderful announcement to make given the long-standing efforts Argus has placed in developing its team and thereby strengthening the overall organisation.

“Led by Wanda Richardson, vice president of Organisational Development, the decision by Argus to measure itself against the Wider Framework of Investors in People over that time is reflected in the Company moving from Standard Accreditation to Gold Accreditation.”

Investors in People is a National Quality Standard that defines good practice for improving an organisation’s performance through its people. It is the only internationally recognised standard that uses a “people-oriented” approach to business improvement.

Ms Richardson added: “Given the intense focus we have placed on strengthening the organisation and supporting our people in their continuous professional development, and after reviewing the Wider Framework of Investors in People, we elected to be measured against the Gold level of Accreditation. This assessment, for us, was about measuring the success of the last three years of managing changes such as internal restructures, expansion of our marketing and customer service team and new processes and systems. Achieving Gold level Accreditation is a testament to the exemplary leadership of our senior management team and their enthusiasm for making each member of our staff feel valued and trusted, along with the authentic commitment and hard work of every individual within the Argus team.”

l The following Bermuda-based organisations are currently Investors in People accredited: ACE (Silver), Argus (Gold), Bacardi Limited (Gold), Bermuda Public Services Union, BF&M (Gold), Container Ship Management, KPMG in Bermuda, National Training Board (Gold), and The Rosedon Hotel.

Organisations interested in undertaking the Investors in People Journey can contact Investors in People Bermuda at 298.0170 or info@iipbermuda.bm.

Golden company: Alison Hill, Chief Executive Officer, the Argus Group; the Hon Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, JP, MP, Minister of Health; Wanda Richardson, Vice President of Organisational Development, the Argus Group; and Kerry Judd, Project Manager, Management Solutions Ltd (License holder for Investors in People in Bermuda.

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Published May 28, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 27, 2013 at 8:14 pm)

Finding gold in a people-oriented approach to business improvement

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