Posts Tagged ‘Team’

Thank you for the…team event!

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

team Kanyu pic 2018 This month the team at Pro-Development achieved a wonderful thing and we’re so grateful and proud and all we want is to say it out loud. Yes, we went to the Kanyu Escape rooms near Wetherby and made it out (eventually, with a lot of clues). Now, team events are a bit of a busman’s holiday for us, but how interesting when the tables are turned! So how did we get on?

Well, very well…surprisingly! Although we needed an extra 12 minutes to achieve the task, we got there in the end.

What did we get from the event?

• We worked well as a team, all bringing different strengths and applying them effectively

• It was so good to spend time together without thinking about workloads and deadlines

• Everyone had a voice and was listened to

• When you don’t know what to do, ask for help (we had a lot of help!)

• We are fairly good at sharing information and communicating

• We need to do it more often

If it’s been a while since you have had a team event, we can highly recommend it. If you would like some help, get in touch with us. We design and deliver bespoke events especially for your team so you can get the most our of it too, just like we did.

Reward and Recognition

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

reward and recognition Having undertaken numerous employee engagement surveys in businesses of different shapes and sizes, we are beginning to build up a picture of how local companies are finding different and innovative ways to recognise and reward their employees.

We have known for many years that money is a short-term motivator, plus many of the businesses we work with are not in a position to hand out large bonuses and pay rises. However, they are exploring new and different ways to help people feel valued.

Here are a few ways some of our clients are rewarding their teams:

• Having your birthday off

• Buying pizza once a week

• Buying sandwiches on a Friday or (food has featured quite heavily)

• Working from home

• More flexible working

• A move away from set hours

• Able to bring your dog to work

• Provided a seating area to work outside

• Setting up a fun committee with an agreed budget

• An indoor recreational area for relaxing or having lunch

• Having study time

• Gift voucher

The key is to note that not one size fits all. Businesses who are investing the time getting to know their people have a clearer understanding of what will make individuals feel more valued. Here’s an example:

Someone on slimming world or weight watchers would not necessarily feel recognised by being gifted free Pizza, but they may well appreciate being able to leave earlier on a Tuesday to get to a slimming class.

It seems simple but its effective! Each business is different, and you will have you own limitations as to what is feasible, but why not spend some time thinking creatively to see if there is anything you may be able to do that would make a difference to your people.

Questions

• Do you know how valued your employees feel?

• Do you understand what would help them to feel more valued and recognised at work?

• How effective are your current reward and recognition strategies?

Our Employee Engagement survey can provide a measure of how valued and recognised your people are, alongside insights into what’s working for them, and what’s not as effective. If you would like to find out more, click here or contact us on 01904 628838

Managing the Transition

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

leadershipOver the last few months we have come across numerous managers who have struggled with their transition to manager. This isn’t the first time we have written about this; however the issue of transition doesn’t ever seem to go away.

For some reason, when we get promoted up the leadership ladder we have a tendency to focus on the technical aspects of the role and we step up to provide support and guidance on getting the job done. However, we don’t afford ourselves the same luxury to allow time for ourselves to lead the team and have conversations with team members on a 1:1 basis to help them develop and grow.

So why is this? We asked some managers why they didn’t afford the time and here is what they told us:

“I still have my own work to do as well as managing the team, I need to complete my tasks.”

“I never seem to have the time.”

“It’s never really been explained to me what is expected of me.”

“I didn’t realise there was so much to it”.

“The team are alright, they just get on with it. They know what they are doing”

However, let us not forget that 62% of people leave their job because of their manager, so it is important to give this important role the time and focus it deserves.

Challenge Yourself

Have you / your managers received any management development?

Are you / your managers finding the time to lead?

Are you delegating tasks to have more time?

What can you do that will make a difference to you and your team?

We have a number of solutions that can help your transition through management and leadership which include leadership programmes and coaching. If you would like to discuss your requirements and how we can support you / your businesses then why not get in touch.

What if you were the one who pressed the button!

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Press the buton We were reflecting last week on the official alert sent in Hawaii warning people a ballistic missile was about to hit – only for it to turn out to be a false alarm!

It’s your worst nightmare, just like when you send an email to the wrong person or even, send to all!

You know, we all make mistakes…granted, some are bigger than others, but we have two choices in our opinion:

Choice 1 – Make everybody involved feel bad and spend copious amounts of time and effort finding out who exactly was to blame.

Choice 2 – Find out where it went wrong to ensure we learn from our mistakes and stop it from happening again.

Let’s look at choice 1 for a moment. Making people feel bad is a waste of energy and no doubt the person involved will be doing a good job of that themselves. We know from our own experience how we love to beat ourselves up when we make an error or even dare to produce a piece of work anything less than perfection! Secondly, finding out who is to blame reflects an unhealthy company culture, one which encourages people to hide errors, lie, avoid accountability, and stifles risk taking and innovation.

Now lets look at Choice 2. Ask yourself who do you know who comes to work and intentionally does a bad job? We bet you’re struggling to think of anyone, and that’s because people generally want to do a good job. So when mistakes are made, rather than spend the time blaming someone for something they didn’t intend to do, find out what and where in the system or process led the individual to the error and change it, learn from it, improve it! Operating in this manner will foster a culture of openness, honesty and learning, where people will step out of their comfort zones and try something new!

If an action was taken with good intent, next time maybe think about the choice you take in response.

If you would like to know more about how you can create a great company culture, come along to one of our Employee Engagement workshops. This workshop will provide you with a framework to understand the key drivers for employee engagement and give you the opportunity to consider what you can do to bring out the best in your teams and increase your productivity and sales. Click here to book your place and we look forward to seeing you soon.

I’ve seen the light!

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Clock The shortest day is behind us, but many of us are still going to work in the dark, driving home in the dark and spending the days indoors, not even breaking for lunch. If you’re lucky enough, you may have a lovely view of the daylight out of your window!

Interestingly scientists at the Lighting Research Center have reported that daylit environments increase occupant productivity and comfort, and provide the mental and visual stimulation necessary to regulate human circadian rhythms (sleep/wake cycle)!

In a 1999 study “Daylighting in Schools: An Investigation into the Relationship between Daylighting and Human Performance,” found a high correlation between schools that reported improvements in student test scores upwards of 10 percent and those that reported increased daylight in the classroom.

So why, if natural daylight is so good for us, do we not get more of it? This year we want to challenge you to do at least one of the following:

• Look at your working environment and make the most of your well-lit areas, make plans to share the space with other team members.

• Make sure files and other bulky items are away from the windows letting the light flood in.

• To enhance the benefits of daylight further, find time in your working day to get outside, hear the birds tweet and feel the wind in your hair!

• Design an outdoor space for you and your team to enjoy. Maybe buy a picnic table or some garden furniture. What about developing an edible garden in plant pots for people to pick lettuce leaves in the summer?

Overall, research suggests that daylight and daylit areas are likely to improve worker satisfaction, mood, and productivity, so come on, let’s SPRING into action!

If you want to know more about creating an environment that can positively impact on profit and productivity, why not join us on one of our employee engagement workshops where you can find out some handy hints and tips to put into action.

Leadership…Bah Humbug!

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Ebenezer Scrooge, was a cold-hearted miser who despised Christmas. So, what was he like as a leader we wonder? The words difficult and challenging spring to mind and that’s being kind! His behaviours towards poor old Bob were dire, to say the least! He showed Bob very little respect, not even providing the basic resources needed to enhance performance such as heating or good light (having said that, it’s been a bit nippy in Pro-Development Towers recently!) He was totally inconsiderate, work life balance was pitiful, 1:1’s and honest conversations were non-existent as were any performance and development conversations. And forget creativity and innovation, the negative culture would have stifled that!

However, throughout all this, Bob continued to work hard and provide for his family, but we would suggest he wasn’t engaged in his work!

We have invited Mr Scrooge onto our next Employee Engagement workshop on 23rd January however he is yet to accept the invitation! However we feel that once he sees into the future of how an engaged workforce can increase profit and productivity, he might change his mind!

We have also suggested he might want to join one of our next Leadership Development Programmes commencing in January or March 2018. He said he’d sleep on it. We do hope he has a good night’s sleep.

If you know of anyone who has Scrooge like characteristics, why not point them in our direction. We can help them move from the past, reflect on the present and feel hopeful about what’s yet to come!

scrooge

Is Employee Engagement in your sights?

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

ee pic blog sept 17 The link between employee engagement and productivity means that it’s a hot topic. As a result, it’s been in the news recently with an article in the Guardian discussing a recent study from the University of Warwick. This revealed that happy and engaged staff are 12 percent more productive and that low employee engagement is costing the UK £340 billion a year in lost productivity.

So how do we measure Employee Engagement? The CIPD believe that a single metric is too simplistic and rather than a single score, a range of relevant metrics are more enlightening and actionable. We agree which is why we measure against 10 themes and recommend employee interviews as well as an online questionnaire to ensure we have a balance of qualitative and quantitative research. This enables us to develop as full a picture as possible in order to identify specific areas for improvement. Increasing your employee engagement scores will help to increase productivity and ultimately profit. Come along to our employee engagement workshop on the 22nd November and you’ll leave with an action plan to start improving employee engagement in your workplace. Click here to book your place.

Look out for more from the study next week when we’ll tell you about the benefits of working outdoors.

ARE YOUR EMPLOYEES ENGAGED?

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

engaged faces pic We are currently undertaking many employee engagement surveys around Yorkshire identifying what’s working for companies and what might be getting in their way. It is by understanding this kind of information that you can truly make a difference as your efforts and actions are focused on doing the right thing, not doing what you ‘think’ is right.

Companies take the time to understand engagement levels as this is so important to continued success and can springboard companies to the next level. Research shows that organisation’s with high levels of employee engagement are more efficient and effective, and that highly engaged employees:

• are more productive, find they are more creative and innovative at work, and take less time off sick;

• are more customer focussed, care about the future of their organisation and put in greater effort to help it meet its objectives and keep customers satisfied;

• feel proud of the organisation they work for and are inspired to do their best and will be huge advocates of the business and it’s products and services.

• are more likely to stay and with the cost of losing a good person now being equated to 12-18 months of their salary, that in itself is a great reason to focus on employee engagement.

There’s plenty of evidence out there to support the facts above and we have certainly seen this ourselves through the work that we do around the region. As part of our role in the Engage for Success movement looking at how to raise engagement levels across Yorkshire, Pro-Development run interactive 2-hour workshops “How important is Employee Engagement to your business success?” They are aimed at business owners, HR professionals, leaders and managers to help understand what they can do to help increase morale, motivation, engagement, growth and productivity of their teams.

If you would like to join us at our next workshop to find out what you can do to bring the best out in your teams, increase productivity and sales which links directly to your bottom line then choose a date below and book a place. We have had such great feedback about our workshops that we know that it will be a great few hours invested!

The next available workshop dates are 13th September and 11th October 2017 from 10am-12 noon followed by a light lunch with the chance to network and it be held at our offices at Forest Farm Business Park, Fulford, YORK, YO19 4RH. All just for £25 + VAT to cover room hire and lunch. See you there!

Fun in the sun!

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Just a little update on our team trip to Murcia in Spain.

We had a fantastic time recharging our batteries and celebrating over 4 years of business! We managed one fairly lengthy team meeting but once that was done, we pretty much had a ban on “work talk” and concentrated on sunning ourselves with the odd Gin and Tonic thrown in for good measure, as expected Gordon came with us ;-)

We pampered ourselves, laughed a lot, danced, shopped, sunbathed, read and talked! We even all managed to go for a sunny run around the lovely La Torre Golf Resort. What more could we ask for!?

Our apologies go to the tree that we pole danced, the people with whom we tried to hold conversations whilst under the influence of Gordon ;-) and to LA Torre resort for disrupting the peace and generally lowering the tone of the neighbourhood! Beware….we’ll be back!

As you can see by the photo the sun was shining for the latest corporate Pro-Development photo shoot!

Pro-Development at La Torre

Leadership through horses

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Bringing out the best in your team

“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man”. – Winston Churchill

We’ve just had an amazing day working with some brilliant team members. Let us introduce them……

horses from leadership

         

Why horses?

Because your ability to lead others is put to the test! A horse can weigh more than 500 kilos and speaks in a foreign tongue, and unless you can attract and hold his interest, he may not be very interested in interacting with you. Believe us, they will also provide you with immediate, honest feedback on how you are doing!

The Directors on our Management Development Programme were certainly put to the test. They found it frustrating, rewarding, surprising and thought provoking! And it paid off, as by the end of the day they all influenced and motivated a horse (team member) to follow them by choice. What an achievement!

leading a horse

 

 

 

 

 

So what did our Directors learn from the team?

  • Take the time to build trust and build relationships
    • How often do you take the time to connect with people?
  • Be focused and set a clear direction
    • Do you know where you are heading?
  • Be purposeful
    • Does lack of confidence, hesitancy or indecision get in your way?
  • Keep things interesting
    • How are you engaging the team?
    • If something is not working, do you try something different?
  • Different situations require different levels of energy
    • Is using too much energy startling the team or draining you?
    • Is too little energy slowing the pace?
  • Be present and observe what’s happening
    • When did you last observe the team?
  • Step back
    • When things aren’t going as planned, do you come out of the detail?
  • Give people space
    • Are you overpowering, over focusing or micro-managing them
  • Strike the right balance between task and relationships
    • Are you so focused on the task that you forget about the people?
  • Communicate
    • It’s not just what you say, its often about non-verbal communication

Partnering with horses is an effective and impacting method to develop communication skills, increase self-awareness, inspire teamwork, collaboration and trust through genuine leadership. All attributes which are readily transferable to the workplace.