Council’s tailored business improvement programme

Back row (left to right), Tim Devine Head of Management Development Branch DEL; Adrian Moore of W & R Moore Construction Ltd; Eddie Salmon, IIP Specialist; Patricia Colhoun IIPNI Manager; and Front row (left to right), Julie McManus, W & R Moore Construction Ltd; Dr Stephen Farry, Minister DEL; Councillor Ken Robinson; Carol Shane Newtownabbey Borough Council; William Watt Whittaker & Watt Architects.
Back row (left to right), Tim Devine Head of Management Development Branch DEL; Adrian Moore of W & R Moore Construction Ltd; Eddie Salmon, IIP Specialist; Patricia Colhoun IIPNI Manager; and Front row (left to right), Julie McManus, W & R Moore Construction Ltd; Dr Stephen Farry, Minister DEL; Councillor Ken Robinson; Carol Shane Newtownabbey Borough Council; William Watt Whittaker & Watt Architects.

The current economic climate is presenting major challenges for companies of different sizes and sectors throughout Northern Ireland. Markets are becoming tighter, margins smaller, and manpower resources are being stretched to meet increasing demands and expectations.

Strong leadership and effective management are vitally important today, not only to survive current trading conditions but also to provide a platform for growth, capitalising on opportunities presented now and in the future.

The problem for many Owner/Managers however, is finding the time and tailored support to help manage their business through this uncertain period.

Newtownabbey Borough Council has formed a partnership with the Department for Employment and Learning’s (DEL) Investors in People (IIP) Unit to enable local firms to participate in a business improvement programme. The aim of the programme is to assist SME Owners and Managers to develop key internal management practices within their business. This will be the third such joint venture between the Council and DEL.

The programme will be delivered through a series of five workshops which challenge participants to benchmark their current people management and development practice and make improvements in relation to how they: strategically plan; effectively manage; communicate; train and manage overall performance. Support is provided through group style workshops, on-site tailored consultancy and an interactive web site containing an extensive resource library.

Central to the programme is the IIP Framework which provides a best practice framework designed to help organisations unlock business potential through developing the commitment, knowledge, skills and flexibility of their people. Across the UK some 27,000 organisations of all sizes, employing approximately 6.5 million people, are working with the Standard. Since 1994, 1,500 small, medium and large organisations from all sectors in Northern Ireland, have achieved IIP recognition. This is acknowledged as helping boost their competitive position and improve business performance.

Participating companies will be in the position to gain accreditation of a nationally recognised best practice standard. They will also benefit from networking with local companies, identifying practical solutions to real business and people issues and receive feedback through the assessment process to drive on-going continuous improvement. The programme will receive substantial funding from both Newtownabbey Borough Council and DEL.

Nadean Lowe, the council’s Economic Development Officer commented: “The council was very impressed by the success of the two previous Investors in People Programmes and we are delighted to be able to run the Programme again. The Programme will provide local businesses with the opportunity to focus on key areas for development and to receive a highly recognised award.”

If you are interested in participating or would like additional information, do contact Ciara Newell, IIP Unit on Tel: 028 9090 5351 or email:ciara.newell@delni.gov.uk