Southeastern has been awarded with 'Investors in People' (IiP) Gold status- one of the highest honours to be given to a company following continued improvement in performance and the development of staff.
'Investors in People' is the UK's leading people management standard and specialises in transforming business performance through people. 27,000 UK businesses are part of the initiative reaching 6.3 million employees.
The independent accreditation means Southeastern is now one of only two train companies with Gold status, and part of an elite group of organisations to have reached this level.
Charles Horton, managing director for Southeastern, said: "We're proud to be among the 3 percent of organisations in the UK to have reached the Gold IiP standard. We can see very clearly the direct link between empowering our workforce with the skills and knowledge to do their jobs well and how this translates into an improved service for our passengers. To support the development of our staff we've spent £13 million in training since the start of our franchise."
Andy Bindon, Southeastern's human resources director, explained that Investors in People puts employees at the heart of achieving the company's objectives, goals and targets: "It's not a coincidence that achieving Gold has happened at the same time our performance and customer satisfaction is at the best ever. Like all businesses, our employees play a vital role in the service we offer our customers and that's why we are committed to investing in our people. The support we offer our staff covers the broad spectrum of training, from the practical 'on the job' training, to leadership and management study programs."
To achieve the Gold award a company has to demonstrate outstanding performance across a wide range of employee-related practices including:
- inspirational leadership and management
- a high level of employee engagement
- innovative opportunities for learning and development
- concern for staff welfare and the wider community; and
- a commitment to continuous improvement all of which make Southeastern a company that people feel proud to work for.
Janet Duncan, Southeastern's Investors in People external managing assessor, said: "Having worked closely with Southeastern over the past five years on their journey towards achieving first of all the Investors in People recognition and subsequently the Bronze and Silver Awards, I can't speak highly enough of the commitment that has been shown at every level to making Southeastern a great place to work."
Charles Horton added: "This is not the end of the story. We have already achieved the best ever customer satisfaction and punctuality, but we have more room for improvement. Investors in People will help us to find continued improvement and we'll not be resting on our laurels - next year we're going to reach 'champion' status."