As the economy continues to grow, and new business opportunities arise, more and more organisations are looking at their people as a key source of competitive advantage. Human Resource Managers know that having an engaged, motivated workforce increases the opportunity of having a productive workforce, which in turn increases the likelihood of organisation delivering on its strategy.

Despite that, almost two-thirds of employees feel that they don't get enough praise for the work that they do, while a quarter of employees leave work feeling drained, exhausted, and sluggish, according to a major worldwide survey on employee engagement conducted by Officevibe late last year. 

Successfully developing and managing talent requires organisations to create new internal policies and procedures, often at huge expense. That’s why more Irish organisations are turning to existing, successful employee engagement frameworks, such as the National Standard Authority of Ireland’s Excellence Through People (ETP) programme.

Excellence Through People is a certification scheme designed to help improve organisations from the inside out by better engaging with their employees. According to the Head of ETP, Michelle Browne, the beauty of the programme is that many businesses are probably doing it all already without bringing it together.

“As a former HR director, I know exactly the trials and tribulations of implementing a HR strategy and how policies and procedures can sometimes develop in an almost ad hoc fashion over the years and do not necessarily complement each other,” said Browne, “Excellence through People gives businesses a structured framework and a quality management approach to ensuring that each element complements the other.”

Dulux Paints Ireland has been certified to ETP since 1997. The country’s largest paint manufacturer, it employs 135 people at its two sites in Cork and Dublin. According to the company’s Learning and Development Manager, Eileen Forde, ETP enables Dulux to benchmark the Human Resources/Training functions so it can be confident it is following best practice and focusing on the right areas.

“We view the ETP standard as a great business tool which encourages us to review, revise and communicate our processes continuously and together with the feedback from assessments, helps us identify gaps, areas for improvement and opportunities to build on our existing strengths, which drives continuous improvement across our people processes  year on year,” said Forde.

Tina Enright, the Human Resources Administrator at CH Chemists in Tralee, agrees. The family run business has been certified to ETP for 13 years. She believes that ETP has been a vital improvement tool for CH Chemists in developing its staff, from induction stage right through to training and employee wellbeing.

“ETP constantly challenges us to improve on aspects like Business planning, training and staff morale,” said Enright, “without the ETP standard in place, and in a busy and fast paced environment of retail aspects can be forgotten about, but ETP helps us keep the highest possible standard for our staff and business at all times.”

“It’s a real team effort here and listening to staff and taking on their opinions is what makes us stand out from the competition, we do this through the ETP process and it works effectively.” 

For more information about Excellence Through People, please visit NSAI ExcellenceThroughPeople or phone the NSAI Business Excellence team on (01) 807 3800.