Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Tried and trusted approaches such as the Investors in PeopleStandard have plenty to offer some of the new industries, says the managingdirector of specialist manufacturer Pocklington Coach WorksPocklington Coach Works employs around 90 people and has a turnover of justunder £6m, with approximately 50 per cent of its business exported to Europeanand US markets. Back in the nineties, during the initial internet boom, Pocklington hadaround 19 employees and was beginning to expand rapidly. But it wasexperiencing a skills shortage. The sensible option was to train and developits own in-house team. It contacted its local Business Link who introduced the concept of Investorsin People. It needed to manage rapid growth while ensuring the culture of thebusiness remained intact. The Investor in People Standard helped everyone inthe company concentrate on strategic goals, and provided it with a framework todevelop its people. The Standard provides guidelines to help initiate and consolidate change – aprocess that the few successful, surviving internet companies must haveexperienced in order to sustain their growth. Those that did not allow time totake stock at this stage, ultimately failed. For Pocklington, the Investors in People Standard provided a flexibleframework of support. New media companies were successful at innovating, but,perhaps, they lacked the experience to follow through. Maybe older heads would have advised these organisations to look around forreal life stories of business success. Many business tools, ISO or theInvestors in People Standard, for example, have been largely left unexploitedby new media companies who have overlooked the basic tools for theirdevelopment. The Standard helped address Pocklington’s skills shortage. Like many neweconomy start-ups, its skills base was niche. It found the best way to recruitpeople was to identify the correct attitude and train them to gain the requiredskills. It used a combination of external and in-house training, and anapprenticeship scheme implemented under its Investors in People programme. Through improved communications and regular appraisals, Pocklington has beenable to identify leadership skills in people it would never have recognisedotherwise, simply by finding out more about its employees. It found that peoplefrom the shop floor who blend into the background by day, were actually runningsports centres or were senior members in the Territorial Army during theirspare time: roles with transferable skills applicable to its workingenvironment. In some ways it was like the dotcoms. In a traditionally hierarchicalindustry, even Pocklington’s management structure was different – reverting toa circular structure where information was passed around, not cascadeddownwards – keeping staff involved with decision-making. Regardless of the industry, the key to success is the ability to step backand take stock. Those who can do this, reap great success. Since going throughthe Investors in People recognition process, Pocklington’s profits haveincreased, productivity improved, and morale and commitment have been second tonone. For those new companies which add these traditional business and changemanagement tools to their ability to innovate, success will surely follow. The results are plain to see. Its skills shortage is no longer a problem.Some of its best employees come from its apprenticeship scheme providing itwith the expertise to run a successful business. Through appraisals and communication it has unearthed a wealth of skills –leadership among them – which it didn’t realise existed. And as internetcompanies enter new, increasingly niche markets, the Investors in PeopleStandard will help identify, develop and train people with the skills andexpertise required. What do you think? Has the IIP standard helped develop your employees or can you manage withoutit? Write to the editor Stephanie Sparrow at [email protected] or atReed Business Information, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey SM25AS. If you are happy for your letter to be published on our letters page,please mark it ‘for publication’. New economy needs to learn old tricksOn 3 Oct 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.