Posts Tagged ‘York’

The Diana Award

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Diana award Here at Pro-Development we’re proud to be working with the Diana Award, mentoring a group of young people to help instil citizenship, improve workplace readiness and develop resilience and determination. The Diana Award was founded in 1999 as a legacy to Diana, Princess of Wales, and her belief that young people have the power to change the world and inspire those around them. Through the Mentoring Campaign, young people are encouraged and empowered to take positive actions in their school, local and even global communities by undertaking a social action project and skills training.

The young people we work with are full of energy, enthusiasm, and a belief that they can make a difference. Although we became involved with the Diana Award to give something back, we come away after each session with a renewed sense of positivity and a belief that if young people are empowered and given the skills they need, they do have the power to make changes in the world and to be inspiring role models.

If this sounds like something you would be keen to get involved in, The Diana Award are currently signing up individuals and teams of mentors across York, Leeds, Sheffield and Birmingham to start in mid-November, or at the end of March 2018. As a Mentor you would work in a team with other volunteers, giving a group of students an insight into your role and world of work and supporting them to develop a social action project around a topic of their choice. If you are interested in finding out more please email:

Our Management Development has got off to a great start!

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries, Uncategorized

2014-04-30 15.31.58

The 30th April is a day that will remain etched in our memory forever. We were so excited to be launching our first cohort of the Management Development Programme and what an amazing day it was!

Set in the beautiful Hazelwood castle, we had a day of getting to know each other, bonding as a team and really exploring what we mean by inspirational and authentic leadership! Or ‘Sunflower Leadership’ as like to call it.

The event really got people thinking about their goals over the next 6 months and what better way to focus that a spot of archery. I’m glad to report that all our delegates survived without injury and are looking forward to the next exciting workshop.

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Have a look on our testimonials page to see what one of our managers, Kim Hodgson, had to say about the day.

And don’t worry if you missed this programme as we’re running another one again in September. If you’d like to know more, have a look on our Management Development page.

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!