Jo Rabbett, HR director of i2i Group on the importance of retaining and attaining employees through positive engagement and developments.
The success of any organisation depends on having the best possible talent in place. People are important in every industry but in my view none more so than ours, where each year we sell the promise of a better and bigger experience at our events than the year before.
Attracting and retaining talent involves engaging employees for the long term. For me a strong employer brand is essential in attracting top talent and is key in communicating our company culture and values to the job market. It is well known that having a highly engaged workforce leads to higher profit, greater revenue growth, higher productivity and lower staff turnover, all of key importance in a highly competitive talent market.
At i2i, I am very clear that culture is just as important as strategy as it is people that create value in our business. Our employees are our brand ambassadors and the best advert for attracting further talent to us.
So what do I really mean? Over the past two years we have undergone significant re organisation at i2i to create a performance led culture. We have built a business where change is expected. Changing the culture of our company has been a huge challenge for HR both internally and with wider industry perception but it has been well worth the journey.
One of the key elements that I believe differentiates i2i is the amount of investment we put into our reward and recognition schemes. Our company ambition is to be known as a great place to work and I am passionate that we engage our most important resource, our people, and as a result we have a thriving and dynamic work environment.
Some of the key initiatives that we have introduced have been driven by our staff. We have worked hard to foster an environment of open communication and transparency and to live by our values with a real focus on a rewarding culture.
We invest in our people, creating the best environment for them to perform in. For me, each employee is key in the collaborative culture that we have created and we encourage everyone to make a real contribution to the success of the business.
The views, opinions and feedback of employees are vital to i2i and help shape how our business moves forward. Our employees need to know that their opinions and suggestions are valued by us, see recognition of their achievements within the business and know that the company supports their personal development and their professional ambitions.
I love the fact that we have created an environment where i2i employees play as hard as they work. We want to make working at i2i fun. In the last two years we have re-launched our social committee, introduced monthly socials, organised social events including summer and Christmas parties, X-Factor talent shows and held team building days.
We have introduced CEO breakfasts, where staff can give their feedback on company business and make suggestions and comments, and we hold monthly trading updates and bi-monthly ‘town halls’.
i2i offers a range of programmes designed to reward excellence. We have launched an Emerging Leaders Programme, an 18 month fast track programme for selected high achievers, aimed at nurturing and developing our mid management level emerging talent.
The Elite Club Programme rewards our high performers with exceptional incentives, including quarterly events at high end locations and annual 5*holidays around the world, and we hold regular company wide incentives and competitions with prizes including vouchers, dinners, cash and weekends away.
So where are we now? Our recent engagement survey demonstrates that our employees are highly engaged with 97 per cent saying that that they are proud to work at i2i. I for one am really proud of this result.
However, in order to continue attracting and retaining talent, engagement needs to be sustainable and we are committed to continuously improve and to make i2i an even better place to work.
We have made significant progress already but I know that we have lots more to do.