Bauder: building a more resilient business

Investing in people

In September last year, Ipswich-based Bauder joined a group of just under 90 organisations worldwide when it received the coveted Platinum Standard for Investors in People. 

Investors in People (IIP) is the international standard for people management, defining what it takes to lead, support and manage people effectively to achieve sustainable results. Underpinning the Standard is the IIP framework, reflecting the latest workplace trends, essential skills and effective structures required to outperform in any industry. IIP enables organisations to benchmark against the best in the business on an international scale.

The IIP Platinum accreditation is the highest accolade that can be achieved against the IIP Standard and is currently held by only one percent of IIP accredited organisations. 78 companies are in the UK and 23 of those are in the South of England.  Bauder, which is a leading manufacturer of building materials is the only organisation within the Construction of Buildings category.

Suffolk Director spoke to Head of HR at Bauder, Angeline Barnes, about why this coveted award supports best practice and substantiates the company’s commitment to staff welfare and good people management, as well as career and personal development.

Tell us a bit about Bauder’s journey to achieving IIP accreditation and why it adds value?

Our IIP journey started 10 years ago. Initially we achieved the Core Standard, then slowly we pushed forward to achieve Gold (twice) and thereafter Platinum. 

We feel that the IIP accreditation is a ‘Mark of Distinction’, the rubber stamp, the seal of approval; it endorses all we do as a company.  However, it is the component parts of all aspects of our people strategy which enables resilience, which is a by-product, and outcome.

IIP does not build resilience but it does provide a benchmark to ensure our people practices are of the highest standard.  The IIP Framework enables measurement of our people strategy, and the employee survey provides a temperature check across the business highlighting the less resilient areas. 

As quoted by IIP, research shows that organisations accredited against the IIP Standard outperform industry norms. For example, 60 percent of IIP accredited organisations predict business growth, compared to the UK business average of 47 percent*. This is a very convincing argument for demonstrating the difference that excellence in people management can make to performance. 

Why did Bauder want to achieve IIP?

There are numerous reasons why we thought as a business that it was a good idea, but fundamentally it’s because we understand that it’s our people that make the difference, and it recognises we are an employer who truly values their people.

As well as engendering trust in our workforce, the IIP accreditation attracts the best talent, as candidates want to work for a company that genuinely cares for its workforce and their development and wellbeing, and truly recognises and rewards their contribution.

It’s an accreditation that is recognised as setting us apart from others having achieved excellence in the way we lead, support and manage people. And it proves genuine commitment and focus by everyone across the business towards the ambitions of the company.

There are also three further key benefits.

Firstly, it allows us to ‘Benchmark’, showing how much we truly invest in and value our people, not just in skills training but also in wellbeing and support of home life challenges. As well as giving us levels to attain and aspire to, it also gives us the opportunity to measure performance against others.

Secondly, it gives us ‘Feedback’ which helps drive improvement and progress, identifies areas to focus on next for continual improvement and enables us to foster excellence in people.

Thirdly, it gives us ‘Recognition’ as it proves to industry that we are the go-to employer that looks after its people and attracts the best talent.

Why did Bauder look to attain the highest accolade, Platinum?

As a business we are driven and strive to succeed. We set high standards and we always aim high. Platinum sets us above our competitors and is a mark of our commitment to our people. It goes without saying that it verifies that our people strategy and practices are of the highest possible standards, considerably above the benchmark norms. This combined with our previous three achievements in the ‘Sunday Times Best 100 companies to work for’** ensures we are considered an employer of choice.

Achieving Platinum also shows that the company has a leadership team to trust and it also indicates to employees that we nurture a high performing culture and a commitment to their development and success.

To our clients and customers, it indicates business stability and a commitment to quality service through valued staff.  It shows we are a ‘people’ business with high levels of integrity and commitment.

What development does Bauder foster in its people? 

Our People Development Strategy embraces all aspects of our culture with a focus on personal development which is intrinsically linked to professional development.  Our programmes are designed to impact our workforce through all aspects of their daily life, not just at work. We don’t believe in a work-life balance, but a life balance, which is more akin to the challenges of modern-day living. 

Our toolkits help to build an armoury to facilitate workforce resilience to deal with life’s challenges. Subjects covered include: personal development, emotional intelligence, how to achieve peak performance, maximising personal impact, as well as wellness training and leadership development.

Why does Bauder focus on building a resilient workforce and how does resilience support the business?

Having a strong and flexible workforce helps us to run our business better. The resilience of staff is improved because they are happy in the workplace due to good people management and team leadership. Being resilient also ensures agile thinking and develops a workforce with the ability to bounce back. It builds self-confidence and self-belief giving empowerment and accountability. It also enables strong problem solving as well as tolerance and patience and the ability to rise and adapt to challenges.

As mentioned previously, we have an extensive training and development programme which is available to every employee and has areas that concentrate on wellbeing such as stress, sleep, mental health and mindfulness, as well as nutrition, drive, motivation and striking a balance. The training programme uplifts employees’ skills in the workplace, making the business more efficient and therefore more profitable.

Overall, the results speak for themselves. We have reduced absenteeism, increased presenteeism and improved engagement which has increased productivity. This in turn drives high performance – an engaged and motivated workforce drives bottom line, this is fact.             

The IIP Platinum Standard makes us an employer of choice, setting us above others offering similar packages, attracting higher calibre candidates. But best of all, we have a high staff retention and low labour turnover as employees are valued, engaged, rewarded and recognised. Our people build their careers at Bauder.

Angeline Barnes is Head of HR at Bauder. She has worked at the company since 2008 and is responsible for Bauder’s HR and people strategy. For more information visit

 * UKCES, Employer Perspectives Survey 2012


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