investinpeople5E Ltd is a not-for-profit organisation providing vocational training and skills support. Every year they help more than 10,000 unemployed people, but in 2010, it came as a shock to find that they needed all their skills to ensure the survival of their organisation and keep their own people in employment.

The Government’s austerity programme meant that in December 2010 some of the large projects that 5E depended upon for its funding ended. The Government introduced the major new Welfare to Work programme in January 2011 with delivery required from June.

Human Resources manager Jennifer Vaz: “We had to re-engineer as soon as we knew of the change. We warned the staff there were difficult times ahead and kept everyone constantly informed. By February 2011, we knew there would have to be redundancies. We made ten people redundant. You may not think that’s many out of 190 staff, but we’re like a family. It was very painful.”

What did Investors in People contribute?
5E set about re-establishing the business and winning new work. Jennifer Vaz: “Investors in People helped us to manage the change. Staff worked incredibly hard. Our track record means that we are respected and can demonstrate that we can deliver, and Investors in People Gold definitely adds value in any formal bid.”

Investors in People also helped 5E to meet stringent new evaluation measures required under new system. Jennifer Vaz: “To meet with the performance standards of the new pro-gramme, we have implemented – for the first time – a target-based performance model. Performance monitoring has become very critical. We review on a daily basis – at the end of every day – to see how much has been achieved.

Investors in People has helped us manage our staff in a way that effectively addresses critical issues. It’s helped us to develop an incentive-based approach that recognises and rewards performance. It’s been very positive, and Investors in People has helped us boost staff morale in a difficult year.”

5E Managing Director Raj Doshi is determined to ensure that nothing compromises 5E’s values: “We are trying to implement performance-related pay without being divisive. Some people are quieter; some teams are “back office”. We need measures of success that include everyone. So we are exploring several models to ensure that we have a fair system and keep everybody motivated – like whole team rewards, for example. I don’t want a “them against us” culture. After all, the team has never let me down and we have achieved high standards – marked by Ofsted Grade 1 (Outstanding Provider), Beacon Status and Investors in People Gold. All this tells me that our people can work wonders.” “Continuous improvement is an integral part of our organisation. The Investors in People assessment has made us understand the things that we can do well and how we can improve. For example, staff now advise us on how we can better align our strategy with what clients need. That grass-roots feedback contributes to efficiency by suggesting how things can be done better.”

Impact on Success
5E’s staff made a huge effort to win new work. Just months after funding for some projects ended, 5E was successful in being a subcontractor for two Prime Contrac-tors for Work Programme.

5E’s success means that they are recruiting new people and have re-employed some of the people that were made redundant – although some of them never left.

Raj Doshi: “Some of the people who lost their jobs carried on volunteering with us – they feel they have a stake, and are valued. Some of these are re-employed by 5E as and when it is successful in new funding”.

Source: Investors in People