What’s been making us smile during March!

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Pro Development York

We’ve been inspired by some of the amazing stories through Sports Relief. David Beckham stepping out of his comfort zone and into the world of Del Boy and Rodney, Jo Whiley running on a treadmill for 26 hours, Davina McCall and her challenge “Beyond breaking Point” who along with a lot of other people, all raised more than £51million for Sports Relief.

Well, it’s made us smile and inspired us to get fit – I dusted down my bike at the weekend and took the boys off to Dalby Forest for a 12.8 km ride (only managed to come off once!). We have also dug out our running shoes, lycra, sweat bands and swimming caps!

Watch out everyone, here we come 😉

What’s making us smile RB Associates!

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Pro Development York

We designed and delivered a programme to RB Associates focusing on customer service and delivering a fantastic customer experience. The feedback from this programme has been fantastic and we’re loving working with a business who is so committed to developing their people! This is what they had to say…..

  • Excellent course – going home with lots of thoughts and ideas ☺
  • As ever, brilliant motivational day with the Pro-Development girls – thank you!
  • Really beneficial – it especially highlighted the importance of clear communication and checking to see if the recipient has understood.
  • Very informative. Definitely made me think about how to implement in everyday life as well as within the business.
  • Always fantastic – has really made me think of how I need to change my approach in some areas.
  • Really beneficial course and Michelle is a joy as always!
  • Great insight into customer service with helpful information and techniques that I will be able to use in my role.
  • As always, fantastic. Will do my best ☺
  • All informative – not just writing strongly agree for the sake of it – it was informative, well prepared and interactive – thank you.
  • Seriously …. thank you for this workshop ☺
Do you need support to take your team’s customer service to the next level? If so please contact us today. 

A Challenge for you – can you Answer the Following Questions?

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries


1.How engaged is your workforce?

2.Are you focusing on the right things that will make the biggest difference?

3.Are you at risk of losing some of your best talent?

More often than not the answer is “we’re not sure!” So don’t worry if that was your response, you’re not alone.

The impact, however, of not being sure, could mean you are wasting some of your time and resources focusing on the wrong things and opening yourself up to the risk of losing some of the talent within your company.

What’s been making us smile in February!

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Pro Development York  

The work we’ve been doing with the Cabinet Office has been really exciting and has also meant we’ve been out on the road a lot!

We’ve had some real laugh out loud moments along the way with some interesting stories and experiences. We’ve been faced with train delays, exploding lorries, missing manuals, dodgy hotels (including a particularly lovely stay in a Brothel in London!), missing delegates (including an arrest!), some interesting travel companions and on it goes.

We’ve kept smiling throughout and reminded ourselves that you can look at life in different ways – we chose to laugh and decided we should probably write a best selling novel “Trials and Tribulations of a Trainer”!

Choose your attitude but most importantly choose to smile 🙂

Exciting Project delivering change ….

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Pro-Development York Training Synergy Pro-Development York

We’ve been busy since October designing and delivering a three day bespoke programme with Training Synergy to support the Cabinet Office with a change project, here’s what they had to say…

“Michelle is a pure joy – so passionate, enthusiastic and brilliantly motivational. There is such preparation and skills required for good quality training and Michelle has it in abundance.”

“As a County Lead, Branch Chair and Director, I would like to thank Sue for what I would describe as probably the best course of this kind I’ve attended in many years!”

“One of the highest quality, engaging and enjoyable training events that I have ever attended. Thank you!”

“This has been a really good use of my time – each day has been challenging and engaging and given me lots to reflect on. I am looking forward to focusing my efforts on trying out the training techniques and activities. Fabulous – thank you Michelle.”

“Really enjoyed how Sue undertook the training – will use some of her training in the future.”

“Michelle’s knowledge, enthusiasm and delivery of training was very impressive and this is probably the first training course I haven’t struggled to stay engaged at any point – thanks.”

Did you know?

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

It can cost 12-18 months’ salary to replace an employee!*

If you think that seems an excessively high figure, think again. This time consider the following, often hidden costs: recruitment and training costs, time spent on the exit process, juggling workload and temp costs, loss of expertise and productivity, managing turnover and quality problems and customer dissatisfaction.

Your employees are engaged they’ll be happier, healthier, more fulfilled and less likely to leave their position. By having a happy and engaged workforce you could also see a 12% increase in profit and potentially a 5% increase in productivity.

Here are some tips drive up your employee engagement levels in 2014 and reduce your staff turnover:
  • Spend time during the recruitment process get to understand the candidates making sure they are the right person for the role and the company.
  • Create and share a vision for the future, one that is understood and resonates with the entire workforce.
  • Set clear expectations, and provide regular honest feedback to each individual.
  • Commit to development, for careers and individual current role.
  • Rewards and Recognition, it’s not always about money, remember to say thanks!
  • Be Trustworthy, honour your commitments and trust others.
  • Work/Life Balance, understand different needs of your people and be flexible.
  • Last but by no means least – Have fun, life’s too short not to!

Source: HayGroup, How to stop your talent taking flight, September 2013

New for 2014 – Management Development Programme

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

We are really excited about our Management Development programme which commence in March 2014.This Six month Programme will take you an inspiring journey with a difference and one that you will never forget. You will learn about yourself, discovering how you can remain authentic but still bring out the very best in your teams and colleagues. You will be supported throughout the journey by your Programme Leader, and a coach and will form long-lasting bonds with other people on the programme. Click here to find out more and how to book a place.

Why not drive up your employee engagement levels in 2014?

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

People really do make a difference, particularly when it comes to employee engagement.

Our last issue we mentioned the amazing results one of our client had in their Employee Engagement survey, the people there had a huge role to play in their success.

Since we wrote about our client, a number of you have approached us to find out more about employee engagement. We have talked much about the importance of employee engagement and the benefits of focusing on people and performance.

For a start, if your employees are engaged they’ll be happier, healthier and more fulfilled.  But equally great, you could also see a 12% increase in profit, alone not to mention the and increase in staff retention and 5% increase in productivity.  I could go on!

Another Great Year

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Jingles bells,  Jingle bells,  Jingle all the way!

It’s incredible to think about what we can all achieve in a year.   Pro-Development has gone from strength to strength, in what has been a fun and very diverse year!  We have supported companies with employee engagement, implemented some performance management frameworks, helped in the set-up of a  contact centre, coached people, trained in a range subjects,  delivered IT training and on the list goes…..! That said though, is really has been the people we have met, old and new that have made it a great year, it makes all the difference to us and we are very fortunate to be able to work with such lovely people .    So to all our friends, we wish you a very merry Christmas …. see you in 2014!