‘Business Improvement’ is the key to future success

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Derry City Council has formed a partnership with the Department for Employment and Learning’s (DEL’s) Investors in People 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 style of programme is the first such initiative between Derry City Council and DEL.

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 stretched to meet increasing demands and expectations, basically delivering more with less. Strong leadership and effective management are vitally important today, more so than ever before, 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 is finding the time and tailored support to help manage their business through this uncertain period.

The programme will be delivered through a series of 5 workshops which challenge participants to benchmark their current people management and development practice and make improvements in relation to how they carry out the following: strategically plan; effectively manage; communicate; train and manage individual, team and company 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 Investors in People, which provides a best practice framework designed to help organisations unlock business potential through developing the commitment, knowledge, skills and flexibility of their people.

Mayor Alderman Maurice Devenney said he was supportive of any initiative that provided advice and assistance to small and medium enterprises particularly in the current economic climate. “I am delighted that Derry City Council is working in partnership with the Department to offer a range of support services that will help business with real issues and help them identify new opportunities and skills to assist manage their business in these difficult economic times.”

Tim Devine, Head of Management Development Branch within DEL said “We are delighted to operate in partnership with Derry City Council in supporting this group programme. Investors in People specialises in transforming business performance through people and our Specialists will always give organisations the best advice and help the companies involved tackle the difficult issues or take on the big opportunities”.

Investors in People has changed and is now more relevant than ever to organisational needs and the support of the group programme is now tailored to help each individual participating company achieve their chosen business goals. 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 Investors in People 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.

An information session will take place on Tuesday 1st May in the City Hotel from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. followed by light lunch.

If you are would like to attend or require additional information please contact Ciara Newell, Investors in People Unit, on 028 9090 5351 or email:ciara.newell@delni.gov.uk