How to achieve and sustain outstanding levels of performance: Succeeding through the talent of people


On behalf of the British Quality Foundation (BQF), Jamie Burton, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Manchester Business School, has conducted an extensive research project into contemporary business practices to explore what excellence looks and feels like, and how it benefits business.

The fourth volume of the series explores how four organisations recruit, manage, develop, engage and inspire their staff to achieve great things.

The companies and their people

  • Circle Housing Wherry sees flexible working conditions as key to staff retention. Managing Director, Sue Stavers explains: “Across the business there is a high degree of flexibility for staff, so that childcare or appointments can be easily managed. Provided the work is achieved and staff are accounted for, they are not micro-managed”.
  • At Interserve Construction, the UK construction arm of Interserve Plc, staff are developed and stretched throughout their careers. Managing Director, Ian Renhard says: “It is important to recognise individual talent and create opportunities to stretch employees to avoid losing people through limited opportunities. This seems to be much more important than salary alone in staff retention”.
  • Tarmac waterproofing specialists, JPCS, engage their employees and ensure they fully understand how they contribute to the delivery of business strategy. The company uses player profiles for each employee as part of its appraisal process. These clearly define the employee’s role and the part they play in helping to achieve the overall goals of the organisation. Player profiles provide both a clear line of sight for objectives, and a common direction for all staff.
  • Personal growth, development, and a focus on work-life balance are major concerns for water utility provider Northumbrian Water. They encourage staff involvement in charitable and community projects and according to Graham Neave, Operations Director, the benefits are two fold; team building and providing something for the community.

A Northern launch event will take place on 13 October 2015 at Manchester Business School. Look out for more details coming soon or to reserve a place contact


About Author

Manchester Business School has a global reputation for innovative and influential teaching and research, which impacts business on a local, national and international level. We call this Original Thinking Applied.

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