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High growth SME targets people management to drive efficency and performance improvement 

“We supply quality management systems to our customers and understand the need to be as efficient as possible, it’s at the very core of what we do. We are a small business and everyone is busy! We cannot afford to carry people, and need systems and processes in place to enable us to operate as efficiently as we can. Becoming more efficient allows us to avoid falling into the over-recruitment trap.”

ISO Quality Services Limited is an independent, family-run business based in Worcestershire, employing 14 staff. Established in May 2000, the business provides ISO implementation, certification, on-going auditing, consultancy and training.

They specialise in four core management standards (ISO 9001 Quality, ISO 14001 Environmental, BSOHSAS Health and Safety and ISO 27001 Information Security) and offer a hands-on, personal service. Their driving aim is to satisfy the needs of their customers and provide a high quality service. The business recently completed the Growth Accelerator programme which enabled the management team to put in place a high growth strategy for the business.

The business challenge

ISO Quality Services had multiple, unlinked, paper-based forms for their performance management processes including annual appraisals, quarterly and monthly reviews, and 1 to 1s. They wanted to improve these processes, to make them more efficient and reduce the level of dissatisfaction from managers and staff with the process. They also found that non-client, strategic-change work was difficult to track leading to a potential lack of buy in from staff. Jennifer Appleton, Operations Director, comments: “We needed a way of simplifying our performance review processes that would also enable us to track our strategic plan. Clearview provided us with a means of achieving both in a highly efficient manner.”

The solution and outcomes

ISO Quality Services decided to implement a number of Clearview software modules: namely strategy, project and people management.

This solution has enabled the business to:

  • formalise and help automate the performance review process;
  • align change activity to their Growth Accelerator plan;
  • allow staff to link activities they undertake to the strategic plan, achieving a ‘golden thread’;
  • future-proof their business planning, ensuring its delivery;
  • promote management by exception at all levels of the business; and
  • to provide structure and transparency for their people management.

Jennifer comments further on what the solution has meant to her business,

“Clearview has enabled us to change our reviews to be more meaningful. We can discuss appropriate objectives at reviews, making them more focussed and relevant. Staff are encouraged to record all of their project work on the system and link it to company goals. This has raised the level of engagement within the business around our strategic plan and made it more transparent. The system has improved employee communication and knowledge which in turn is making us more efficient”.

The Clearview solution has enabled the business to tackle wider people management processes than first envisaged and made them more efficient too. Catherine Eversham, Client Relationship and Office Manager, says:

“The software has allowed us to introduce a level of structure and automation around our training request and induction processes. The result is that we now have a greatly simplified process that allows us to track our commitment to employees of four hours training per month and ensure it is taking place”.

In addition to the software, the Clearview team provided training, support and advice throughout the implementation. Catherine continues:

“The Clearview team have been brilliant. The support team are very helpful in sorting out our queries, and come back to us when they say they will. Additionally, we often got more than we bargained for with the team providing detailed instructions on how to do things better in the future, it has been a first class experience!”

Summary

Jennifer, summarising what the Clearview solution has enabled the business to do, says

“We supply quality management systems to our customers and understand the need to be as efficient as possible, it’s at the very core of what we do. We are a small business and everyone is busy! We cannot afford to carry people and need systems and processes in place to enable us to operate as efficiently as we can. Becoming more efficient allows us to avoid falling into the over-recruitment trap. We use the system for our appraisals, 1:1s and quarterly reviews. Staff actually look forward to doing them now! We track progress against our Growth Accelerator plan at management meetings and have simplified our induction and training request processes. All our staff have their action plans on the system and I’ve even got a facilities management project, which has meant that I finally got around to fixing the damp in the toilet!”

Mark Hobart, Managing Director, Clearview says,

“ISO Quality Services Limited are a great example of an organisation that puts their customers, people, quality and performance at the very heart of their growth strategy. They have embedded a strong performance improvement culture and used Clearview to enhance their people and change management processes. I’m delighted to be working with such an exciting business and help support their g