October 2013 Newsletter

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries


Halloween already? Time flies when you’re having fun! And my, did we have fun recently celebrating our second birthday (Or so I’m told!) Can’t believe two years have passed so quickly, huge thanks go to all of you who have played a part in our journey. I wonder what we will have achieved in another two years –we’re very excited!

Yet another cause for celebration, we’ve been busy working closely with a few clients undertaking employee engagement surveys. Whilst doing so I am absolutely thrilled to share that one particular company had 100% trust in senior leaders (you know who you are!)

We have never seen this before and hats off to this company, the amazing culture they have nurtured certainly has had a massive impact on this refreshing and amazing result. It just goes to show that investing the time in your people really does pay dividends, so keep up the good work all and who knows, it could be your company next!

Employee Engagement

York Business Week – 18-22 Nov 2013

We’re really proud to have been asked to support York Business Week Accelerate Day again. Accelerate Day is aimed at SME’s that are looking for help, tips, advice and support to grow their businesses. The event is free and you can attend all day or there are a number of different sessions throughout the day but do register.

If you’d like to come and see us, we are supporting a “Question Time” event at 11.00am on Resourcing focusing “Improving performance through people”. There will be a number of other experts there to help with Strategic HR planning, Interns and apprentices.

Some ideas to help develop and grow your leaders/managers?

    Identify the qualities that are critical to leadership within your company and align your procesess and leadership development to them. Assess your current leaders/managers against these qualities; consider the use of 360 feedback to provide a more rounded view. This includes you too! Think about the qualities of your up and coming people? Do you have any successors coming through? Set out clear expectations, have honest 1:1 conversations about what you would like to see in your leaders/managers and where you see their areas of strengths and development. Commit to development, and be creative in how this need can be met. Consider using mentors; provide people with opportunities to stretch themselves; job shadowing, and don’t forget…we are launching our management development programme which is designed to fit around the requirements of SMEs.

Leadership through Horses

Michelle & Opus nuzzling

Here’s a creative approach I tried for myself recently and if you ever get the opportunity to try this experience I would really encourage you to go for it, it was AMAZING!

I was reminded about how important trust and respect is when leading others, and that respect comes from within yourself first. Horses are a great mirror and they don’t hesitate to give us the feedback we sometimes need! Thank you to Daphne Taylor at Leaders by Nature for a truly amazing experience.

James and the Giant Sunflower

James and his sunflower

Our congratulations go to James Harris from one of our favourite companies, Utility Warehouse, who lead all the way to become the winner of the Tallest Sunflower Competition 2013. An esteemed title and one he will treasure forever I’m sure.

We asked James what was the secret of his success…?

“Just put it in the ground … with a little potting compost. It did the rest”

Wise words I’d think you’d agree from the 2013 champion. If you think you think you have what it takes and are up for the challenge in 2014, get in touch

Employee Engagement Workshop

In September we delivered an Employee Engagement workshop. Our thanks must go to York Science Park whose facilities and hospitality are just fantastic. If you’re looking for somewhere to run an event we would absolutely recommend you give them a try. Contact the team on 01904 435100 or email conferencing@yorksciencepark.co.uk

The event went really well and there was some great debate amongst those who attended.

Line manager’s leadership ability was a particular hot topic of conversation. Many people shared some of their own personal stories which has inspired us to focus on this issue on leadership and management development.

Recent research conducted by the CIPD found that more than a third of line managers haven’t been trained in how to lead people, creating culture problems.

Take a moment to think about you own company. Ask yourself…you’re your leaders/managers in their role now because of their technical competence alone? Do they have the skills required to lead and manage a team to maximum performance?

FACT: 62% of people leave their jobs as a result of their manager

FACT: Ineffective management is estimated to be costing UK businesses over 19 Billion per year in lost working hours. – Dept. for bus innovation and skills (July 2012)

Leadership Story

Over the coming months we will be sharing the story of Jack, a fictitious character, but one many of you will be familiar with. Jack is an ineffective manager who is causing problems within the business. Jack will be attending our programme of Management Development and we will be sharing his journey of development from different perspective, including his managers, colleagues and his own. I wonder, do you know a Jack?

Management Development Programme

Would you like support in developing leaders/managers? Why not consider our Management Development Programme which is launching in February 2014.

We know from our conversations with you that time is a precious commodity so in response we have designed this programme to run over a six months period, supported by 1:1 coaching. Delegates will experience 7 x 1 day workshops with a group of other managers/leaders, with 1:1 coaching in-between to support personal development.

So if you’re looking for confident and authentic managers who:

  • Inspire people to be their best, increasing your overall productivity
  • Enhance your customers experience by by putting them at the heart of your business
  • Motivate the workforce to become advocates of your products/services
  • Build an environment of honesty and trust, supporting your business to adapt to change
  • Encourage creativity and help innovate your business?
  • Contribute to reduced absence levels by creating a positive working environment
  • Reduce staff turnover and nurture talent by engaging and developing your people
  • Attract great people though a reputation of being a good employer
  • Communicate and lead your people toward achieving business goals
. . . then contact us to find out more or click here to download more details and/or book a place.