Holistic Week – Growing Talent…..

This is the ‘soft skills’ section of Growing Talent’s 12 week programme.  Usually carried out halfway through.  It’s a time for the Growing Talent Associates to meet up again and encourage each other face-to-face as well as learn some wellbeing techniques and ‘kick back’ a little from their usual work timetable!


We returned to Southwark Cathedral were we held the Orientation Week back in early February!  At least no more presentations before senior managers!

So what did we cover?:

Monday – parts 1 & s of Mental Health First Aid – a global course resulting in a qualification as a MHFAider.  This is an intense four part global programme so we lightened the learning a little with Lesley’s 3Rs!


Lesley, seen above, is part of the Health & Safety team at PwC.  Her 3Rs are Refuel, Recycle and  Refresh. It’s all about what to eat, how much sleep, exercise all the usual things we need to consider when making choices.  It’s especially difficult doing this on a strict budget!

‘I got a lot of information which I’ll put into practice!’ ‘Another important segment that allowed growth within the unknown.’

Tuesday – saw parts 3 and 4 of the MHFA programme be completed.  This time, Healthy Bites  Nutrition was sandwiched  between the two sections.  This invaluable workshop by Kate from HBN (www.hbnutrition.org) dispels myths around diets, the latest fads and new guidelines – such as only 7 tsp of sugar a day.  Kate shares the cost savings in making your own food, cost comparison and ingredients as well as how to eat quickly prepared nutritious meals on a budget!


Kate below preparing the Associates for making their own Pot Noodle!


A good workshop for sustaining health both in and out of work” ” I know what food groups are now!’


Sharing why recycling waste is so important was Dan from Suez, on the left below, on Wednesday.  This got everyone thinking.  A quick roundtable showed the difference between residential recycling across boroughs.  Indeed one of the Associates who has never recycled was inspired to go through her bins!



Thursday we talked finance.  Covering the basics we should know around debt, regular payments budgets, and so on. It’s surprising how well received this workshop is but on reflection maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising.  After all, where do you learn this stuff if you don’t have supportive, informed parents? Does the Education system have the time to do this?


‘The 3 x thirds will be really useful’, ‘I learnt about saving money and ISAs – really useful when we start earning’, ‘this was the most important topic covered for me’ ‘I learnt how to plan ahead’ ‘One million % worth it.  I understand now how to be financially stable.’

In the afternoon it was off to do an Art project!  Terrifying for some!  Their task was to visit Tate Gallery in Bankside and select an item that ‘spoke’ to them.  This could be in a good or bad way.


Left to right above inside the Tate are Mokhtar, Leon, Zainab, Ilamathy, Stefan, Ashley, Sebastien & John.


Friday morning we had a good discussion on their visit to the Tate, why they selected their piece of art and what they would ask the artist……… then they had to draw it!  You can see the results in the feature photo.  So much laughter in the room.  For some it ignited a childhood love of drawing for others it opened their eyes to a possible new creative way to feed their soul during lunchtime break and outside of work.


After some paperwork we finished up the week at lunchtime.They guys presented me with a lovely gift before going home for a well deserved break!


On Monday they returned to their employer sites:  Zainab, Ashley & Mokhtar – Harrow Green, Craig, John & Ashling – Iron Mountain – Ashling had to work this week, Leon – Pertemps, Ilamathy – Red Personnel, Stefan – Mitie Connect and Sebastien at Invest In Buy To Let.


Employers…Recruit a better way…

We all know that growing our own fruit and veg is something special.  Nurturing it through all the stages from seed, seedling, shoot to full grown crop.  There’s something special about the effort to create something ourselves.  Of course, the taste is always far superior to shop brought.


I’m a firm believer people are the same as crops.  When they are invested in,  nurtured to their full potential and taught business skills from scratch, they learn quicker, better and deliver commitment for the opportunity received.


Growing Talent enables both the employer and unemployed potential new talent to grow and learn together.  Over a maximum 12 week period, invaluable lifelong skills are taught on the Orientation and Holistic weeks. A maximum of 10 weeks learning the vacant role in situ ensures a confident match.


Why pay recruitment fees?  Why recruit from a cv rather then actual knowledge on potential and attitude?


Growing Talent is free.  Why not give us a try?  The next programme commences in April.  Contact me for more details of your London based recruitment.



What do the employers say who currently use Growing Talent……


“The Growing Talent Programme has offered Baxter Storey the opportunity to recruit some wonderfully talented people into our business. With all three parties working closely together, the candidate feels supported on their journey through the programme and back in to work. The opportunities of the programme along with having an open mind about where the journey will take them, the recruits have the chance to take control of their career with BaxterStorey.” Ed Walker, Operations Manager, Baxter Storey



‘Growing Talent has been a fantastic and valuable experience for us at the hotel; we are so pleased to be part of this programme and supporting such an enterprising initiative to get people who truly wish to work in to the work place and not necessarily in business that they are skilled for.  We have learnt to recruit in a different way and changed our mind set and it is interesting to meet people without seeing a CV first! ‘ Emma Brierley, HR Director, ME London Hotel


‘Growing Talent has opened our eyes to a different way of finding driven individuals who genuinely want an opportunity to show employers what they can do – and we have not been disappointed!  We look forward to working with Growing Talent again next year.’ Frances Lees, HR Manager
 Meliá White House



‘I was sold on trying Growing Talent because it is an innovative way to attract new talent.  There are no cvs or job descriptions involved. It’s based purely on personality.  The model ensures the match is right for us as the employer and the new talent joining our business.  It’s been amazing and I look forward to next year.’ Ebb Kanga, Holiday Inn


For more employer thoughts – check out  the employers page on http://www.growing-talent.co.uk.


If you are looking to hire new talent in your business, why not do it a different way.   Proven results…….


Getting noticed!

Received an amazing email yesterday from Marianne at Consultancy.UK……
FYI: today on Consultancy.uk an article on the Personnel Today Awards, for which Jane James Consultancy has been shortlisted. Congratulations!
See: http://www.consultancy.uk/news/2795/personnel-today-shortlists-12-advisories-for-awards.
Could you please share the article internally with your HR team? Many thanks!

Kind regards,

Marianne Rijke | Consultancy.uk
Internet: http://www.consultancy.ukhttp://www.consultancy.uk/news/2795/personnel-today-shortlists-12-advisories-for-awardsGetting noticed

JJC award

It’s amazing to see my small consultancy alongside the big names of Arup, CBRE and Capita.  It’s almost a David & Goliath situation!  Seriously, just shows how great things can be achieved when you focus on giving your clients a great service tailored to their needs.

Whatever the outcome, it’s hugely flattering to be a finalist.  To all fellow small consultancies out there, don’t worry about not being the biggest, just focus on being the best you possibly can!

Fingers crossed for the 30 November!

Across the pond…………….

Looking forward to a transatlantic Skype in January with Mental Health professionals in Washington looking to enhance their offering to the corporate market.

It’s so important to remember in mental health and well being training that ‘one size does not fit all’.  Each organisation will have different needs to ensure their workforce are happy, healthy and able to support each other.

What fits the public sector won’t fit the private sector.  Then of course there are all the SMEs, charities, non-profit etc.

As we see people as individuals and respect their individual resilience in coping with life/work events, we should see businesses the same way.  Their cultures and resources will all be different as well.

A great instructor will always listen to the core needs of the organisation and deliver a course to meet these areas, An essential consideration is to remove the stigma/embarrassment by making each element of the course interactive with case studies, quizs, discussions and a little bit of artwork!

Breaking perceptions.  Getting Managers to be people first.  Discussing and agreeing potential easy changes the workplace can introduce such as making mental health the subject of team talks, ensuring staff understand confidentiality will be observed in those initial conversations rather than escalation to a full blown HR investigation is key to making the workplace healthier and happier for all at all levels.

For business minds out there – a healthy workplace is a productive one.  Remember there is no health without positive mental health.