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The WCS Group, of which Guardian is a proud member, has achieved Silver Level (Established) Investors in People (IIP) status; a fantastic achievement for the fast-growing business which has managed to successfully navigate the challenges of integrating multiple companies and their cultures within its expanding Group structure.
IIP accreditation demonstrates an organisations commitment to staff development and performance, focussing on how employees are managed, looked after and progressed within a company, aligned to values, objectives and well-being. This is the first time WCS has gone for IIP accreditation for the whole Group, going straight in at Silver Level, with recognition that it is already performing to Gold standard in many areas.
Since its inception, WCS Group has acquired and integrated 17 organisations, including Guardian Water Treatment, with five joining in the last 12 months. They are now a group of over 1,200 team members covering end to end water lifecycle requirements, from influent to effluent, asbestos and air and ductwork services. The acquisitions in the last 12 months completed the water lifecycle proposition and also added significant scale to the group.
What the IIP report says:
“(WCS has) …done a fantastic job, when looking at how you develop your people approaches and business operating practices to meet the needs of a rapidly growing business. This is no easy task, when you consider how the business has grown predominantly through acquisition, which inevitably leads to a vast array of approaches and systems to streamline the Group structure.”
Key areas of success include high levels of trust between employees and the leadership team, the emphasis on staff development – WCS’ specialist training academy in Redditch was talked about in high regard – and the efforts to enhance and encourage communication across the business, including the numerous acquisition companies.
In regards to the challenging time presented by the Covid 19 pandemic, the IIP’s report featured specific feedback about how well WCS has managed this unprecedented situation, with a strong focus on staff wellbeing.
Employee empowerment was another positive takeaway, with the majority of the WCS team feeling able to make decisions without fear of making mistakes, creating an agile, less hierarchical culture. Participants in the reports survey stated they felt they were able to take ownership of their work, with support when needed.
Jennifer Jackson, People Director for WCS said: “We are extremely proud to have achieved IIP Silver Level accreditation. As a business, we understand the immense value of our fantastic employees – both within WCS and the wider Group companies. Ensuring they are heard, valued and feel part of the team is extremely important, to promote a positive company culture, that ultimately leads to greater success as a business.
“The pace of change is fast at WCS, but it seems from the IIP’s report, that overall we are managing this well, integrating new businesses into the fold that have autonomy while feeling part of the WCS Group. Going forward, we plan to build on this success, further improving communication across our businesses, while encouraging and developing the open structure of trust and transparency. Next stop Gold!”
Testimonials from the IIP report
“I’ve never worked anywhere where the leadership seem to want to hear the views of the team and use this to shape how we improve.”
“There seems to be a good culture to take the best bits from companies we purchase and use these learnings to shape how we improve.”
“Moving over to WCS has been like a breath of fresh air!”
“There’s been a good level of support shown to us over the past year, especially when looking at health and wellbeing.”