Buckinghamshire Business First

Collingwood Search & SelectionEverything Office

Buckinghamshire Business First (BBF) is the growth hub for Buckinghamshire and exists to support businesses to grow and thrive in the county. BFF is a not-for-profit using Thomas assessments to gauge staff engagement.

Buckinghamshire Business First (BBF) is focused on bringing a cogent, coherent, evidence based business voice, to all matters relating to job creation and employment stability.

As an organisation that recognises the importance of people for business success, BBF have an ongoing commitment to looking after their people. Sarah Randall, Head of Operations, explained that “as part of this commitment, we were due to undergo an Investors In People (IIP) assessment to acquire the prestigious IIP accreditation for best practice in people management. To help the senior management team prepare and to gauge staff engagement in advance of the assessment, BBF felt it was a fortuitous time to run an engagement survey. We had run our own home-grown survey following a merger three years prior but we felt a professional solution would provide more value to the senior management team.”

The survey and results

Although BBF is an organisation that encourages openness and debate, the survey provided an additional forum for staff to feedback their thoughts with the added benefit of anonymity.

Sarah Randall, Buckinghamshire Business First

The question set was able to capture all elements of staff opinion on their role, reward and recognition, along with qualitative feedback through the open text questions. All employees were invited to participate in the survey and with 95% completing it, the results were easily representative of the organisation as a whole.

The senior management team had no pre-determined expectations of the results and were pleasantly reassured by the findings. Sarah explained: “it can be easy for us to be self-critical in our views; sometimes forgetting to reflect on what we are doing well. The results of the survey therefore helped to give us a boost and reminded us of our strengths as an organisation. It was also useful to have a benchmark to compare ourselves with other organisations in the UK.”

Following the completion of the survey, it was useful to receive the results in a format we could digest easily.

Sarah Randall, Buckinghamshire Business First

"The report feedback session enabled us to understand the various findings and the insight from the Thomas facilitator provided additional depth to the discussion thanks to their experience with other organisations. The report itself was excellent, with a simple layout and useful infographics, with the additional value of the insight from the open text questions. From the results, we were then able to share the outcomes with all staff at our quarterly company meeting.”

The outcome

The survey helped to keep up a dialogue with staff to support their engagement. One of the areas identified as a focus for the senior management team in the results, was health and wellbeing of staff. “This reinforced our thinking and resulted in us introducing additional employee benefits.” explains Sarah, “It was also an opportunity to refresh our values before the IIP assessment and acknowledge our development areas. This acknowledgement allowed us to embrace and consciously work on them rather than feel embarrassed or limited by them. All in all, the well presented data and level of detail provided, helped to establish our strengths and weaknesses and gave us the confidence we needed ahead of the IIP assessment.”

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