” The goal is not to do business with everyone who needs what you have; it’s to do business with those who believe what you believe. “
– Simon Sinek
Building employee engagement in an incredible national charity
I have been fortunate to work on employee engagement initiatives for a number of years; designing employee engagement surveys and others methods within the Royal Air Force, and embedding the Times Top 100 Best Companies Accreditation process (among other interventions) within both start-up and large organisations. Tools aside, I have seen no better intervention than the facilitation of simple conversations across a business.
I took great pride in leading a team at a large national Charity where we introduced an employee engagement campaign of conversations regarding our new employee Values and behavioural framework, and established a network of fabulous Engagement Champions. This very special organisation is Sue Ryder; offering incredible care to people at the end of their lives or with neurological conditions. We achieved One to Watch status with Best Companies in our first year, which was just fabulous during a period of high change. My Learning & Engagement Manager, went on to embed our employee engagement approach across the Charity, bringing together events around the UK where people came forward to share, celebrate and discuss engagement stories and to plan next steps. This story continues to inspire me, as do the many stories from these events of the sheer incredible impact of Sue Ryder’s work.
Building a career development framework for a Professional Services Start-up – Edenbrook, bought by Hitachi Consulting
I worked with the Board and all employees of a small technology consultancy, Edenbrook, to develop their career development pathways, organisational values, behavioural framework and skills workshops. This start-up had grown from a few members to 300 people, including an office in India, and it was important that the career development framework was designed and launched in collaboration with the people across the organisation. I designed each element through collaborating with others, spending time to understand what was important to the leaders and employees in the business, and the customers they served. The organisation was later bought by a major US/Japanese consultancy, Hitachi, and I received feedback that the professional approach and strength of our career framework was noted by our large, new owners. This project was a learning curve for me too; it taught me a great deal about working across cultures and reinforced the importance of treating people like individuals to me. The leaders were a truly inspirational bunch, and it was refreshing to see how they created a family feel at work.
Designing a new behavioural framework for a Public Corporation, the National Physical Laboratory
I established a new Talent & Development function at this organisation, and within my role I was also fortunate to take the lead on designing a new behavioural framework, following the introduction of some fab new organisational values. I’ve designed many a behavioural framework in the past, and love doing so. I use psychological tools and methods, draw on endless research to inform my approach, and speak to as many members of the organisation as I can. I do this behind the scenes, respecting the need of leaders to focus on their own work. The behavioural framework is now being embedded within the people processes of the organisation; ensuring it can be truly used on a daily basis and become part of the fabric of the organisation. The framework is intended to put the values of the organisation into action, supporting NPL to achieve its ambitious vision and strategy for the future. Importantly, it has been consistently championed by the organisation’s CEO, and how people behave is viewed as just as important as what they achieve. A great piece of work to be involved in!
Coaching the Director of a Recruitment Consultancy firm
I was fortunate to coach the Director of a small Recruitment Consultancy firm, who had recently established the business following her maternity leave. The Director’s challenges involved aligning her business vision with her aspirations for other areas of her life; including her longer-term career vision, and work life balance. I spent six coaching sessions with her, utilising a Strengthscope tool to support her in considering the strengths she brought to bear in tackling her work challenges, and designing a set of inspiring but actionable goals that she could continue to take forward following our coaching sessions.
My coaching style is non-directive; I don’t shower you with advice and guidance, but offer a sounding board and listening ear. I use questioning and tools to hold a mirror up to your challenge or situation, and support you to tackle it with confidence. Though I will offer my viewpoint if invited to do so, I work on the basis that if you wanted to know what someone else would do, you’d ask a friend or a more learned expert in your own field for their advice.