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Workforce department reaches Gold standard

Bermuda's Department of Workforce Development has been recognised for its outstanding commitment to “good people management”.

Less than 7 per cent of accredited organisations have reached the Investors in People standard. And among that group is the Workforce department, which has now received the prestigious Gold award.

Investors in People is the international standard for people management, defining what it takes to lead, support and manage people effectively to achieve sustainable results,” explained a government statement.

“It enables organisations to benchmark against the best in the business on an international scale.”

Commenting on the award, Senator Michael Fahy, Minister of Home Affairs, said: “With a community of 14,000 organisations across 75 countries, successful accreditation against the standard is the sign of a great employer, an outperforming place to work and a clear commitment to sustained success. I would like to commend the Department of Workforce Development for their achievement.

“The process began with an ‘auditing' of the department's business strategy to ensure that clear objectives were set and supported by strong core values and a purposeful vision to govern the way it operates.

“Additionally, employees of the department had to demonstrate that learning and development opportunities were available to promote the advancement of skills and knowledge at every level.

“Leadership and management strategies were examined and measured by feedback from employees during a one-on-one intensive interview with the Investors in People assessor, who attended the department from the international office in the UK. The impact on performance as a result of linking rewards and recognition to employee contribution was also assessed.

“The department was able to attain this prestigious award in less than one year, which is unprecedented. Every employee worked hard to achieve this award — they participated in Lunch and Learn activities twice weekly in order to gain more knowledge about business operations and how their activities influence outcomes; they attended a four-day Mirrors programme to enhance team spirit; and every employee was assessed using the DiSC profiling tool, which is based on the popular bestselling book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

“Other committees such as health and safety, wellness, joint consultative council and project management were formed internally to ensure that all requirements to attain this award was satisfied.”

David Dale, the operations director of Investors in People International, said: “Achieving the Investors in People standard at Gold level is a fantastic accolade and reflects the level of excellent people management practices within the department.

“The positive energy and enthusiasm exhibited by staff during the accreditation process, together with high levels of engagement and empowerment, show that the department is truly worthy of this internationally recognised award. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

Eric Jenkinson, the principal at Management Solutions and quality manager of IIP Bermuda, added: “Attaining Gold level Investors in People Accreditation, and on their first assessment, has been a significant achievement by the Department of Workforce Development. Less than 7 per cent of accredited organisations around the world have achieved a Gold level award, so this shows how significant this is both for the department, and for Bermuda as a jurisdiction. This shows that government departments in Bermuda can be benchmarked against a global standard and prove that they use the Investors in People framework effectively to enable them to become high-performing organisations.”

During the assessment by the IIP UK assessor, there was found to be many key strengths and areas of excellent practice within the department:

• The department has a very clear mission supported by a vision and core values to which everyone subscribes. The mission, vision and values are supported by strategic and business plans. All activities link to business priorities and are supported by key performance indicators. Everyone knows what's going on in the department, where they fit and how their role is helping the department to achieve its mission.

• There is strategic alignment between all key activities such as learning and development, recruitment and selection, consultation and communication, social responsibility and employee wellness.

• There is a very close, friendly, family environment within the department, with a strong, culture of teamwork and mutual support.

• There is a positive energy in this organisation. People are keen to come up with better ways of doing things and they share their ideas with other teams. They believe that their views are listened to and acted upon. Management welcomes and encourages ideas and innovation and this concept has become firmly embedded in the culture.

• The department has happy, confident, loyal, motivated and enthusiastic employees. They are well trained and share a passion for the department's mission and values. They feel valued and trusted and are very proud to work for the department. In particular, they are proud of the department's reputation and achievements. Employee morale is high.

• Engagement and collaboration is a particular strength in the department.

• Effective training and development is a concept firmly embedded in the culture of this organisation. The department has thorough and relevant training programmes making full use of internal resources. Experienced and “expert” employees and managers are generous in sharing their knowledge and experience. Training and development are relevant and focused on achieving organisational goals and the overall mission.

For more information about Investors in People please, visit www.investorsinpeople.com

Minister of Home Affairs Senator Michael Fahy, left, with staff members from the Department of Workforce Development, including the Director of the Department George Outerbridge

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Published May 09, 2016 at 3:59 pm (Updated May 10, 2016 at 12:14 pm)

Workforce department reaches Gold standard

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