Posts Tagged ‘Yorkshire’

Best Year to date for Staff Development Company – York Press

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Uncategorized

Michelle - wall colour

We’re so proud of our achievements this year and York Press wrote a lovely article about us which we wanted to share with you here:-

A YORK company specialising in staff development has enjoyed its most successful year to date with a three-fold increase in turnover off the back of a major project with the Government.

Launched three years ago, Wilberfoss-based Pro-Development was a finalist this year in the Training Journal Awards with founder Michelle Mook shortlisted as Learning & Development Professional of the Year 2014 following the successful completion of a project wit the Cabinet Office.

Mrs Mook said after enjoy the busiest year since its launch in 2011, Pro-Development is set for further growth into 2015 as more companies start to make the connection between employee engagement and tangible results.

She said: “Companies with a factory full of expensive equipment that is fundamental to their business have a maintenance plan and budget in place. Regular service checks ensure that equipment remains at optimum productivity levels and downtime is kept to a minimum.

“Yet so many companies that rely on people as their most valued and important asset have no such ‘maintenance programme’ in place to make sure their teams are working at their best and ensuring the business remains productive and profitable. By engaging and developing their people, businesses can benefit from a real productivity boost.”

It was this thinking that led Mrs Mook and her colleague Suzanne Courtney to realise a career-long ambition to create a programme that would help managers become more effective in leading and engaging their teams.

The six-month management development programme they created has seen delegates abseiling, caving, orienteering, raft building and fire walking, among other things, all in the name of learning.

Mrs Mook said: “We know from two decades in learning and development roles that people learn best when they experience something, and so we set out to create a course that would enable our delegates to experiences some incredible things that would help them develop themselves as well as their skills and knowledge.

“The results have been fantastic, and we’ve had rave reviews from everyone who took part.”

On the back of the programme’s success, and demand from other local businesses, Pro-Development is currently recruiting for three more programmes that will run in 2015.

Engage for Success Event – July 2014

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

engage for success

From the future of engagement, to engagement in the future

7th July, Aston University, Birmingham

As many of you know, Michelle Mook is part of the Engage for Success Group, a movement committed to the idea that there is a better way to work; a better way to enable personal growth, organisational growth and ultimately growth for the UK by releasing more of the capability and potential of people at work.

Over the last few years the Engage for Success Movement has brought together the experience of leading practitioners, the ideas and research of leading academics, and the findings of think tanks, to share learning and practical guidance on “the what, the why and the how” of employee engagement.

Michelle participated in their July event which took a look at how employee engagement has developed. Having been around for ten years now, it has developed beyond a fad to become embedded in many organisations. The day looked at where we have got to with employee engagement and more importantly, where we will take it in the future, both as a concept and area of practice.

This special event focussed on the recently published thought leadership pieces written by a selection of leading academics and business leaders, all experts in their field, which offer different perspectives based on their area of activity: practice, consultancy and research. Their varied contributions reflect a number of current discussions that take place in relation to employee engagement, including some of the more challenging perspectives that can easily be overlooked, and give strong pointers on what needs to happen next for the area to maintain relevance.

One of the speakers that really struck a chord for Pro-Development, was Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of CIPD who talked to us about how employee engagement is changing and what drives it. He highlighted that one of the critical enables of engagement is the ability to build trust and factors that help to drive trust are integrity, benevolence and competence. As we’ve highlighted to you before, trust is a real issue in many organisations with research suggesting that only 36% of employees trust senior leaders.

Peter pointed out that we have known for a long time what really motivates or demotivates people and that the main drivers are:-

Purpose – providing employees with direction and focus

Autonomy – giving employees the space to act (letting go and empowering your teams)

Mastery – everyone wants to improve and our job as managers or organisations is to help our employees improve.

He shared the work of Engage for Success in identifying the Four Enablers for engagement and how it can be useful to assess effectiveness through these lenses:-

1. Visible, empowering leadership providing a strong strategic narrative about the organisation, where it’s come from and where it’s going.

2. Engaging managers who focus their people and give them scope, treat their people as individuals and coach and stretch their people.

3. There is employee voice throughout the organisation, for reinforcing and challenging views, between functions and externally, employees are seen as central to the solution.

4. There is organisational integrity – the values on the wall are reflected in day to day behaviours. There is no ‘say –do’ gap.

He also reminded us that what gets measured, gets done! It is important to ensure you are measuring the right things at the right time and tracking your success.

In summary, his key points were:- • Engagement is a strategic issue • Start from the top • You need measures • Develop and train managers • Provide channels for employee voice and feedback.

Thank you again to Engage for Success and Aston University for another successful event and an opportunity for us to share what the challenges are for SMEs in our area in helping raise employee engagement. For more information relating to this story and Engage for Success, click here

Yet again, we came away from the event with a spring in our step ready to help get our SMEs in Yorkshire thinking about what they are doing to “get engaged” – and if you don’t know where to start or how to measure it, just give us a call and we will work with you to design an approach that will work for you and your business.