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Do values matter? Saffron’s report card from Investors in People


Written by Karim Ladak

At the heart of any great organisation is its people. It’s by far the greatest asset any business can have and those businesses that choose to ignore their people’s development can only be doomed.

That’s the kind of hyperbolic statement business managers tend to make in an effort to rally the troops by proving that they’re caring and sharing and really do value the contribution of the employee.

Messrs Shepherd and Taylor appeared to debate the oft-used, albeit over-used, statements back in 2007. But I did rather like Don’s conclusion:

‘We value our people. Our value comes from them’

Values are hard to measure, but there are external organisations that can help businesses to do this. Since 2004, Saffron’s accrediation by Investors in People has sought to evaluate, cross reference, and check that Hanif before, and now Noorie, really do value their people.

During our accreditation renewal process this year I likened the review to one of the team as my report card. Was I still upholding the principles on which Saffron was founded? Was I delivering the vision of the CEO? Is the Saffron Academy still alive and kicking?

Through a series of interviews with randomly selected members of the team, myself, Annar our CTO, and Noorie our CEO; our assessor felt that yes, Saffron had continued to earn its core Investors in People standard and is in fact performing to the Bronze standard.

The review looked at three areas of the business to check that we plan, that we do, and importantly that we review. As we know, it’s only through review that we learn and as a learning company if we didn’t do as we say you should, there’d be somewhat of a problem.

This wheel shows the stages of planning and implementing a people development strategy.

Of course, there is room for improvement – what report card would suggest otherwise? But what was interesting for me was that our assessor saw these potential improvements as opportunities we’d already highlighted internally.

I’ve always said that given our award-winning history, the awards that stand out for me are those related to people; whether they’re Young Professional of the Year 2005 or Instructional Designer of the Year 2010 and 2013, these awards are recognition of the people development framework that Saffron has successfully embedded within our organisation. Investors in People through its accreditation process validates that this framework is indeed being applied.

Historically these frameworks were geared towards graduates, but today this includes placements for masters and bachelors students from partner universities in Europe; and those from traineeship and apprenticeship programmes. Our programmes are open to all and we welcome applications from candidates from all walks of life as long as you can demonstrate the passion, enthusiasm, drive and determination to deliver outstanding learning solutions for our clients.

Happy tenth Investors in People anniversary Saffron!

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