Burnley Council has retained a top national honour for the way it develops its employees.
The local authority was put under the microscope by an independent assessor and came out with flying colours, retaining its Investors in People (IIP) Gold award for the third time running.
The major accolade is the result of continuous improvement since the council first attained Gold status in 2012. The council has also retained its Health and Wellbeing IIP award which it’s also held for the past six years.
The Gold award represents achievement of world-class best practice. It highlights cutting-edge organisations operating at the very highest levels of people management practice, using Investors in People to drive the organisation forward. Only 15% of organisations assessed under the updated and more rigorous IiP Standard have attained gold status.
The council was put under close scrutiny by the independent assessor who interviewed senior managers and councillors and gathered the views of staff through an online survey and interviews.
After analysing all sources of evidence the assessment identified a number of areas of strengths which included:
• A clear purpose and vision which is effectively communicated to and understood by people
• A values-based culture that is embedded in the council
• An ongoing review of the council’s structure to ensure it remains fit for purpose, including making the required budget savings
• An ongoing commitment to developing people skills and making the most of people’s talents
• Effective working with external strategic partners which are delivering positive outcomes
Of the nine assessment areas, four were judged to be highly developed which means the council’s Gold status is at a high level. A handful of suggested areas for improvement were highlighted and the council will build these into future development plans, using the in-depth and extensive assessment report to help shape the organisation’s continued development over coming years.
Council leader Mark Townsend said: “This is a fantastic achievement for the council and a testimony to the continuing hard work of our employees. It follows the recent peer review of the council which was also extremely positive about the work the council does, and the way it goes about it.
“The assessor highlighted that the assessment outcome was to be particularly commended given the more rigorous nature of the updated Standard, and the significant amount of change the council continues to go through, including the requirement to continue to make significant financial savings and to deliver high quality services to our residents with a reducing workforce.”
Councillor Sue Graham, the council’s executive member for resources and performance management, said: “The council takes part in the IiP scheme so that our staff have all the training and support they need to improve services to the residents of our borough.
“The Gold award recognises the work we’ve done to develop our employees and unlock their potential.
“The fact that Burnley Council is recognised as being among the best in Britain for developing its employees is a reflection of their dedication and pride in their work serving local people.”
The council is assessed every three years. The assessment looks at a wide range of issues that cover the entirety of organisational development and ambition under the key categories of leading, improving and supporting.
The Health and Wellbeing Award recognises the success of the council in the way it meets the physical, psychological and social needs of its 220 staff.