September 17, 2020 @ 9:01 by Alison Cowie
The North East’s biggest building society has been awarded the Platinum standard by Investors in People (IIP), the highest status that can be achieved.
Newcastle Building Society was the first-ever building society to be awarded an IIP accreditation in 1993 and was most recently awarded a Gold standard in 2017. Only the top 2 per cent of businesses IIP accredits are awarded Platinum.
Andrew Haigh, chief executive at Newcastle Building Society, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded with IIP Platinum accreditation.
“As the highest level of award, it demonstrates that our policies and practices around supporting our colleagues are embedded in every part of our organisation. More importantly, it reflects our ongoing commitment to our colleagues and making Newcastle Building Society a great place to work.
“Our colleagues have a genuine connection with our purpose and are part of the difference we make to the communities we serve. Being Platinum-accredited proves that right across the organisation, people believe they have a vital role to play in the success of the business. I’m so proud of the journey we’ve been on and the efforts of everyone who works so hard every day for our customers.”
The accreditation involves independent assessments by external observers and gathering information from across the workforce. The result is even more significant considering the challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak and that the assessment took place when many colleagues at the society were working remotely.
During the height of the pandemic, Newcastle Building Society invested in remote working capacity for more than 800 colleagues and as a designated essential service, kept its branch network open whilst implementing new social distancing and comprehensive COVID safety measures.
The Society now employs 1200 people across the North East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria and earlier this year opened new community branches in the rural locations of Hawes and Wooler.