APR Finalists at Investors in People Awards
Earlier this year, we were delighted to hear that we had been shortlisted for an Investors in People (IIP) Award in the category ‘Employer of the Year: Accredited’.
We began working with IIP in the summer of 2020 when they carried out their initial assessment of APR and awarded us their Standard Accreditation. The feedback and recommendations that came from the process have been just as valuable to us as the accreditation itself and we have been working hard to implement IIP’s suggested changes since then, partly with an eye on seeking higher level accreditation in the near future. It was therefore really satisfying to hear that our good work had been noticed and that APR could be in line for an Award.
An opportunity to look back
As part of our award submission we were asked to answer a few questions about what we’ve been up to as a business recently. This gave us a chance to reflect on how much has gone on at APR in the last 18 months. Looking back, we’ve definitely been busy, and our staff have gone to a fantastic effort in order to make it all happen. The toughest part of the submission was undoubtedly fitting everything within the word limit!
A few of the developments that we were able to highlight to the judges were:
- Our expansion into Ireland. Our first Dublin-based staff joined us in September 2020, shortly after our initial IIP accreditation. We now have five staff in the Ireland team, including Ciarán, our Head of Irish Operations, who joined us in October. The team have all made a great start to their APR careers, getting stuck in on a variety of projects.
- The success of our new Technology Team who have been supporting client projects and internal processes since their inception in the summer of 2020. Via their weekly code clinic, the team have set each other challenges to keep our staff skillset finely honed. In the meantime they’ve been finding solutions to real-life problems we’ve encountered and producing a selection of interesting articles to share with you all to boot!
- A number of wellbeing initiatives that we put into place, particularly in response to the extended lockdown measures, including coffee mornings, mental health training and team challenges such as our virtual race around the UK when our participants ‘visited’ all of our APR offices.
- Perhaps less exciting to the casual reader, but behind the scenes we’ve also been doing a lot of work to define our structure and make clear everyone’s roles and responsibilities. This gives us much more resilience and flexibility which will allow us to continue our expansion, as well as offering leadership opportunities for staff.
What the judges had to say
We were really pleased with the feedback we had from the judges on our submission. They highlighted positives such as our 25% year-on-year growth. Our diversification and future expansion plans got a shout out, as well as how crucial our people are to delivering these. They also mentioned our open culture and our approach of prioritising the long-term capability of our staff over short-term profit.
Looking forward, the judges also offered us some guidance for the future, suggesting that we clarify our three-year plan and set out success criteria so we know when we’ve achieved it. This will support our work in the early part of next year, and hopefully improve our submission for next year’s awards!
And so onto the event itself
The culmination of all of this was, of course, the ceremony itself on 23rd November. The event had to be held remotely this year but nonetheless we were determined to make a celebration of it. While some staff gathered in our London office for a few drinks, other colleagues joined remotely. We were treated to an evening of comedy, magic and light shows while we waited, tension steadily increasing, for the big reveal. Finally, the nominees for our category were announced, our name up in lights, and we held our collective breath.
And the winner was…
Unfortunately, not APR. However we really enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate our nomination and the successes we’ve had in getting this far. The celebrations on the day were continued into the evening with a trip to the local pub where we had yet more triumph with our team winning the pub quiz, so it was a great occasion all round and we certainly hope we’ll be in contention again next year.
Congratulations to David Jameson Roofing Services Ltd as well as all the other winners and nominees on the night, and many thanks to Investors in People for hosting the event.