In March 2021, Changeworks achieved Investors in People Platinum, an accreditation that only a handful of third sector organisations have ever achieved. But that isn’t the end of the story. In this blog, Changeworks HR Manager Gillian Gardner talks about the journey to Platinum status, and how the Investors in People structure helped shape  Changeworks’ culture.

Changeworks has held Investors in People (IIP) accreditation since 2005, so it’s been a part of our structure supporting our policy making process for a long time. In 2017 we achieved Silver, and this year we were going for Gold – we had no expectation of achieving Platinum!

Getting the top level of award is a testament to the hard work of everyone throughout the organisation in delivering a culture of managing change, nurturing talent, and promoting innovation.

With these types of accreditations, it’s very easy to see them as a tick box exercise – something you complete, put the award on the website and move on. That was never our approach with Investors in People. We embedded the IIP framework into our working practices and worked to meet the criteria in a meaningful way. The recommendations and best practice highlighted by our Investors in People accreditor followiing our annual reviews drove improvements in policies and structures but in our own way and in line with Changeworks strategy and our culture.

Every organisation’s journey will be different, but there were some key difference makers for us that helped push us over into the top echelon.

At Changeworks we have a continually evolving learning and development strategy to help people grow and meet their own personal goals. That includes everything from regular one-to-one meetings with their manager, opportunities to take on new responsibilities and tasks, and consistent offerings of business wide training to enhance skills. This gives Changeworks an incredibly talented and diverse workforce, where we can support and advise on any low carbon challenge you can think of.

Internal communications are also key to establishing a good organisational culture. We’ve done a lot of work to improve communication from the leadership team and senior managers, building trust through visable leadership during very difficult times. This gives all colleagues a very clear understanding of the work we are doing as a business, and their role in achieving our goals.

During COVID-19, we were forced to innovate and adapt like never before and everyone stood up to the challenge and embraced our new ways of working. Because of that, we had some great examples which came out of the accreditation interviews. Innovation is a core value for Changeworks, and ideas can come from any member of our teams and be supported through to delivery. When you work with as many different partners as we do, on as many different projects, creativity and innovation are absolutely crucial.

The story doesn’t end here for us. We will continue to improve and grow our culture, policies and structures – not because of an accreditation, but because it makes us more able to meet our ambitious goals for a low carbon Scotland.

If you have a low carbon project that you think needs an innovative, holistic approach, we have the talent and resources to drive it. Get in touch via email, or phone 0131 555 4010 and let’s get started.