Property and energy firm the Banks Group has become one of just a handful of North East businesses to gain silver level accreditation from Investors In People for its performance in people management.
The County Durham-headquartered, family-owned firm has held the bronze level IIP accreditation for almost two decades, and has now moved into the top five per cent of IIP-accredited firms anywhere in the UK.
As part of the accreditation process, IIP assessors visited Banks’ Meadowfield headquarters and Shotton surface mine near Cramlington to interview 42 randomly-chosen members of staff who represented a cross-section of ages, length of service, roles and seniority.
In addition, an anonymous online survey covering every aspect of the business’s performance across the nine IIP assessment areas was completed by dozens of employees, with more than three quarters of the scores recorded being above the industry average.
Feedback from the IIP assessors noted that Banks “has demonstrated a long-term investment in the training and development of employees” which was “acknowledged by employees across the Group as a key strength of the organisation”
Employees’ close alignment with the company’s long-standing Development With Care strategy was also picked up in the assessors’ research.
Keith Tarn, group human resources manager at the Banks Group, says: “Attracting, developing and retaining high calibre staff, and equipping them with the right range and breadth of skills is essential to our sustained success, so getting this external recognition of the effectiveness of our people management, training and development programmes is extremely pleasing.
“Development With Care is central to everything we do, and it’s especially pleasing to get confirmation of the value that we know our staff place on ensuring their work reflects this.”
Elsewhere in the IIP report, the “belief expressed by most employees that the Banks Group is a good employer” and the “high levels of trust between individuals and managers” were highlighted by the assessors, along with the view that staff were “encouraged and supported to take responsibility and make decisions.”
The Banks Group has made significant additional investments in staff training and development over recent years, including the appointment of a full-time trainer and the creation of a modular training programme which provides a framework for skills and career development opportunities.
Keith Tarn continues: “Having an extensive, bespoke training programme in place means our employees can develop specific skills which will serve them well both immediately and through their working lives, and that we know our workforce is equipped with the expertise required to do their jobs as safely and efficiently as possible.
“Our aim now is to build on the improvements that we’ve progressively made between our last few IIP assessments to ensure our training and development processes remain as effective as possible and continue to contribute to our long-term sustainable success.”