The Iceland football team recently reached the Quarter Final of the Euro 2016 in France. Despite a small population, and having no previous experience of large football tournaments, they performed amazingly and exceeded everyone’s expectations. Similarly, Leicester City won the Premier League back in May without any superstars or big name players and frankly with no-one giving them a chance.
Both teams exemplified the power of teamwork and showed us all how teams with the right combination of people and skills, all working tirelessly to support one another, can win against the odds.
Our team success
Like every team, the Address Management Unit (AMU) team has its own challenges, ours is geography within our two main sites – Portsmouth and Doxford in Sunderland – located more than 300 miles apart. When the two sites first came together we could see we had real quality in the team but we didn’t have a unified way of playing……not something that could be fixed with a firm team talk at half time! But we were not deterred and have worked hard to find a winning formula and leverage to our strengths.
One year ago, we won our own big title when we achieved Gold Investors in People (IiP) accreditation, and in doing so, became the first team ever in Royal Mail to be awarded this prestigious recognition – something we’re incredibly proud of. Like Leicester City though, we’re not going to rest on our laurels, we want to retain our crown, and we’re working hard to do so.
Why exactly is our Investors in People award so important to us?
We worked hard to combine two, geographically dispersed sites into one team. We could see that our training, team work and collaborative approach was delivering results and we wanted to harness this further. To help us understand what we were doing well and where we could improve, we chose to benchmark ourselves against the Investors in People (IiP) standard.
Investors in People, is a well established and globally recognised external accreditation which identifies excellence in people management and engagement practices. We knew that to reach the top we would have work to do to be more than match fit, but we were confident that we had the talent and ambition to make it happen.
How did we become such a strong team?
Obtaining our Gold award was not a case of a quick five-a-side; it was more like advancing through various rounds of qualifiers before reaching the cup final. We progressed through the accreditation stages over a period of three years, carrying out internal reviews of the way we worked, numerous engagement sessions, employee opinion surveys, working parties, team events, development days and interim assessments. The results of our activities helped the team identify a strategy to play cohesively and win; more productive than individual strikers, wingers and defenders each doing their own thing.
We have experienced real benefit from participating in the IiP process. Our team has a set of values and acts as one team. We feel more engaged and empowered to make and challenge decisions. We’re also now actively nurturing young talent by passing on our know-how and advice for the new generation as we’re advising other organisations who are considering how to make IiP work for them too.
We may have finished top of the league but now we have higher expectations. Like Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City, we’ve qualified for the Champions League but now we want to push on. With the IiP’s new Platinum standard we have the opportunity to really test ourselves. We’re already preparing by putting greater emphasis on internal communications and cross functional working as we seek to build on our winning formula.
AMU’s IiP lead
To see what Steve Rooney, Head of Royal Mail’s address Management Unit said about the team achieving the IiP Gold Accreditation. Watch the video now!