Investors in People® aims to ‘Make Work Better’. For Jack Gallagher of Western Letting, this wasn’t just an aim, it was a priority.
Investors in People® Glasgow
Investors in People® – an organisation who have been making work better on a worldwide platform for 30 years. Their mission, to encourage employers to engage and connect with their workforce, look out for their wellbeing and promote a positive work environment. In doing so, their belief is that employers will see an impact on staff retention, recruitment and overall organisational ‘stability, security and success’.
To Jack Gallagher of Western Letting, this guidance is integral to the day to day running of his business. So invested in his employees wellbeing, Jack and the team at Western Letting have just been awarded Platinum Status by Investors in People®. Of the over 50,000 companies who have been assessed by the organisation, only 6% have achieved this level.
Jack says ‘We are all delighted. It has been an incredible learning experience.’
With such a small percentage of businesses achieving this elite status, how has Western Letting done it?
Jack says, ‘The IIP framework talks about leading, supporting and improving. We try to make people feel part of a supportive team. If people feel that they’re been supported when they join, I think they’re quite likely to do the same for those who come after them. Some of the ways we support them are: regular confidential catch-ups with me to make sure there are no issues going unresolved; regular catch-ups on training, generous compensation packages including private health-care and subsidised gym membership, plenty of holidays and opportunities for volunteering. We do all we can to reduce causes of stress at work, including ditching clients who behave unreasonably towards the team. There is an entrenched culture of continuous improvement, not only with customer service and processes, but with each persons personal development.’
Impact on Business
In investing so heavily to improving staff wellbeing, supporting them in the workplace, has the knock-on effect of positive staff retention and recruitment been visible?
Jack admits recruitment has been volatile but things are looking up. ‘Six months ago, we couldn’t find people and now we are getting inundated with applicants when we advertise’, says Jack. ‘I think the pandemic has caused a shockwave of re-appraisal with the way people feel about work, which will take time to settle down. A year or two ago I calculated our staff turnover rate at 11%, in a sector which is often talked about as running between 30-50%.’
With such a huge commitment to his staff’s happiness, Western Letting is a positive workplace to be in. Happy staff, happy employer! But clearly that investment in his workforce needs to be carried over to a return in his business?
‘This is so true,’ Jack agrees, ‘and it’s something which is never very far from my mind. The average profit margin in the sector is 12%, but we are running at around 30%. Some of the difference is due to efficient systems, but I attribute much of it to having an engaged team. The dream is to have an engaged team who provide a fantastic service to appreciative clients while the business runs profitably. We have managed to achieve that and I think that the three parts of it are not at all independent.’
And a Word for Other Employers?
Jack and his team’s time and effort have resulted in not only the Platinum Award, but they’re the first specialist letting agency in the UK to achieve it. It’s a fantastic success story. So what would Jack say to encourage other employers out there to follow the Investment In People® framework?
‘This virtuous cycle…is a great thing to be involved in,’ he says. ‘We have built a profitable business which has happy customers and an engaged workforce. It makes work enjoyable and fulfilling.’
Congratulations Jack! Watch Jack and Office Manager Lily the Jack Russell’s reaction to their award on Westender’s instagram reel.
Investors In People® Glasgow
Tel – 0141 846 0117
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