For an organisation dedicated not only to the development of its own people, but the development of the skills of people in the general economy, Fasset’s achievement of Investors in People Bronze comes as no surprise.
Fasset (the Finance & Accounting Services Sector Education and Training Authority) credits its success as a high-performing organisation to the fact that people development lies at its very core, where valuing people has been a strategy for growth and improvement since the very beginning.
Having worked with Investors in People for over a decade, Fasset achieved accreditation on the first attempt in 2003, but, says Fasset CEO Cheryl James, “on the first or second attempt, it’s actually irrelevant if you get the Standard or not”; rather use the Standard as a ‘roadmap’ in reaching the destination.
Fasset’s Investors in People Journey began in 2002 as a Pilot Delivery Partner, working with 11 other organisations to assess how The Standard would add value to business improvement within the South African context. After achieving the Standard, Fasset committed itself to maintaining accreditation and constant growth.
“IiP has enabled us to have a tool against which we can measure ourselves and find areas for improvement,” says James. “I think it gives you guidelines and benchmarks against which you can firstly value what you’re doing, secondly measure what you’re doing, and thirdly put a plan in place to strive for something even better.”
Being an organisation that values people development to such a degree, the real test lies in whether those values are being experienced and ‘lived’ at various levels within the organisation.
“IiP has provided that structure and that guidance,” says Romaana McKinnon, Communications Manager at Fasset; “as we grow as managers, as we grow as staff members, we’re always looking for better ways to communicate with people.”
For high-performing organisations like Fasset, Investors in People is not just an accolade to display on the wall, but a strategic business tool to be used in creating high performance and achieving business objectives.
“Because of the nature of business in this country, we tend to see a Standard that we’re applying for as a tick-box,” says James, who believes Investors in People should rather be seen “as a tool to enable us to get better along the way.” Using the Investors in People Standard as a guideline, Fasset has introduced a number of policies to create a work environment conducive to greater high performance.
“Our leadership development framework, the review of our performance management system – those are all strategic tools that we are using for people practices, and we are definitely seeing a lot of benefit,” says Mckinnon.
The setting up of wellness committees, staff forums and an ‘ideas board’ are just a few of Fasset’s efforts towards constant improvement, not to mention an “open door policy” aimed at creating a greater sense of accessibility to information and support in the workplace.
“The CEO is accessible, and you can raise issues whenever you feel you should,” says Sello Malatsi, Professional Assistant to the COO at Fasset; “there is that openness in terms of management style.”
And while Investors in People Bronze is certainly a great achievement, Fasset does not consider its accreditation an “end point”; according to James, it’s a way to “move beyond the basic International Standard,” creating a culture of improvement that does not stop once a significant milestone has been achieved.
“It does give you a sense of pride, to say that this is the achievement that my organisation has achieved, and this is the investment that my organisation is making in me,” says McKinnon.
Investors in People South Africa would like to congratulate Fasset on their achievement of Investors in People Bronze, and their constant endeavours to “Make the Future Count”.