Control what you can!

Unusually the office was pretty oppressive. The blinds and curtains had been drawn to reduce the pressure on the air con system in the current heatwave.

Mindful of the fact we can only control ourselves, we decided to hold our finance workshop outside in the shade!

Of course we followed this up with a wellbeing window of sketching a piece of the London skyline!

After a week of full-on learning and qualification in Managing Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing, Luiz, Manny and Haajarah have a free day today to relax and reflect before going to their respective employer sites for the in-role training section of Growing Talent.

Haarajah joins Pedro and the team at Pertemps in Holborn

Luiz joins Aiste and the team at Portico across their London sites

Manny joins Michael and his team at ISS Facilities Services in London

We wish them all a fabulous time of growth and connection ahead.

Growing Talent – Employers’ Speed Dating!

Friday 17 June was a balmy, sunny and sticky day in London. Temperatures were high so was the positive energy in this room as our Employer Speed Dating session got underway.

This is the first selection stage of Growing Talent which removes the potential for assumptions to be made by removing cvs and formal interviews. This enables the real person to be seen rather than any ‘labels’ they may have.

For employers, it enables a collaborative, unique way to tap into a hidden talent pool bringing diversity, inclusion, commitment and belonging into their business – which can only be good, right?

Passionate employers driven to uncover diverse talent for their roles that they can grow and nurture to be empowered employees defied the heat of the trains to get to our venue at London Bridge. Let’s face it, they could have given their roles to traditional agencies – wouldn’t that be easier? Probably, but easier isn’t always best!

Some had taken part previously and knew the fun ahead. For some, it was a completely new experience! No cv? No formal interview? No Job Description? What a leap of faith they took to step out of their comfort zone to join us!

Equally impressive was the integrity and commitment of the fabulously talented, but currently unemployed applicants who arrived enthusiastic, keen to meet employers without the shackles of traditional recruitment but unsure what was going to happen and of course a little glowing from their journeys! 

What gave me the biggest kick was seeing Ella and Kieran from previous Growing Talent programmes now employer side! How fabulous is that!

There’s always a little tweak to be done in the setting up of these events. As usual the amazing Julie from #Portico Welcome Team was on hand to help me! Of course, on the front desk welcoming everyone to the event was Alex – from a previous Growing Talent programme! #inspiring for the applicants.

Within minutes of entering the room to start the timed table changes – the chatter and laughter was rising as any nerves melted away.

Ricky & Sharon from #RestoreHarrowGreen seeking new talent for their diverse roles.

Lois #SwissPostSolutions & Lesley from the global financial services organisation that sponsors Growing Talent joining us to explore some potential NEBOSH H&S Executives. Both have been involved in Growing Talent from the start and of course gave tips and pointers to those they saw who didn’t quite know what to say at first.

Ella and Paul of Master-FixProperties looking for fabulous new talent to join their business. Ella of course could give some insight of the Growing Talent journey that lies ahead for those going forward.

Michael #ISS looking for new talent to join his team

Laura & Emma #OfficeConcierge joining us for the first time to look for those hidden gems of talent we have amongst our unemployed communities.

Soraya, Kieran and Rosie #SPS looking for a new team member. Like Ella, Kieran has been on the Growing Talent journey and knows what it’s like. Although when Kieran did it, Growing Talent was three months long not five weeks! 

Rosie is part of Lois’s team at SPS. Together they have given opportunities to around 38 people through Growing Talent since the first programme in early 2014. Many are still there and in supervisory positions.

Always time for one more photo! – Anna – longstanding cheerleader from JobCentre Plus, Ella and Paul #MasterFix and Sharon #RestoreHarrowGreen. Over the years, Sharon has taken over 30 people into her business and watched them grow and develop.

This week sees the second selection stage take place with 1-2-1s – mainly virtual thanks to the rail strike! Nothing detracts Growing Talent – there is always a way!

Looking forward to meeting these fabulous employers this week are: Abbas, Alex, Dimitrios, Edward, Frank, Martin, Rosanna, Shari and Sharon.

Check back to find out how they get on.

Growing Talent is a collaborative way for employers and their unemployed communities to come together on a level playing field journey to permanent jobs. Find out more on the Growing Talent tab on this website or check out http://www.growing-talent.co.uk.

Growing Talent – a unique collaboration

I’m so excited by the increase in numbers of interested applicants referred by #JobCentrePlus#London driven by Anna and her team.

Humans make assumptions based on labels without challenging these thoughts. This can be crippling especially when in the recruitment field. Employers can miss out on innovative, new diverse talent and individuals can miss out on job opportunities that literally have the capacity to change their lives. 

Some of the assumptions I’ve encountered over the years by unenlightened employers include:

‘single parent’ = unreliable
‘unemployed’ = lazy
‘homeless’ = too much trouble

Equally, unemployed people often make assumptions:

‘I can’t’
‘I don’t have the experience’
‘I’m not worthy’

Growing Talent was designed to remove these assumptions making a level playing field for employers to grow their own talent in situ before confidently hiring and for individuals to be seen for their talent and potential – not their label.

This process has worked for over eight years – including during the Covid years because of CCD. Communication. Collaboration and Drive.  

Listening to and supporting both the employers and unemployed participants, joining the support of work coaches at JobCentre Plus, mentoring 24/7 throughout the journey has seen over 178 people from diverse social economic and cultural backgrounds secure permanent jobs and change their lives – literally.  

Employers have secured diverse new talent and the positive impact this brings without the shackles of traditional recruitment methods.

The 29th programme of Growing Talent kicks off with 72 interested applicants joining the information session tomorrow.  

Diverse opportunities from our fabulous employers taking part Masterfix GB LimitedPertemps Network Group#SwissPostSolutions#OfficeConciergeISS Facility Services UKRestore plc#ZeroWasteTechnologies will be life changing for those they select.

The journey ahead is inspiring and energising!

Nooooo!!!

Catching up with Florence over the weekend, she shared with me Suaad had discovered these Gulp Jugs for sale and now the fabulous Growing Talent trio – Florence, Ella and Suaad are going to buy one to commemorate their time on Growing Talent.

Why is this a big deal? 

Whilst I’m proud these empowered, dynamic women loved the learning and confidence building of our week together #orientationand #holistic prior to going on their employer’s site & have used the knowledge consistently to the extent they want to remember it always …… I DISLIKE INTENTLY these jugs!

Why? 

My mum had one for years which I complained about every time I went round. It was, in my view ugly and an awful shade of green. She threatened to leave it to me – which she did! I was amazed to sell it at a boot sale for 50p (I couldn’t believe someone would pay any money for it!).

Fast forward 10 years to Growing Talent 28th Orientation and Holistic week at etc venues in Fenchurch Place. What do they use for water jugs? Oh yes! I was confronted by a sea of these gulp jugs which Ella, Florence and Suaad thought hysterical!

What’s the message of this tale? 

For me, anything that evokes memories of fun, collaboration, growth, empathy and kindness has got to be good….. even if it’s an awful gulp jug!!!

Control what you can – ignore what you can’t!

What a roller coaster the past couple of years have been.

It seemed we’d turned a corner with the Government lifting restrictions, more and more people leaving their hybrid workplace and returning to their offices – even booking holidays, events and Christmas family gatherings! Life getting ‘back to normal’?

Then, earlier this week came the news of yet another variant. Omnicron had arrived!  A vortex of fear, dread, overthinking fell on some intensified by the re-introduction of some restrictions by the UK Government.

Scientists in South Africa alerted the world to this new variant. We know by the time a new variant has been announced, it’s already out there in the world’s population. They couldn’t control the reaction of countries closing their borders. Had they known, would they have shared their discovery?

Borders are starting to close.  Restrictions are being re-introduced.  It can feel like news channels are on repeat cycles of doom without any context or balance.  There is no evidence of which way this new variant will go. The UK Government’s consistent guidance of ‘we have to live with this’, seems to have now been reversed.

It’s no wonder anxiety, fear and overthinking is rising in many of us.  So, what can we do? 

Control what we can – ignore what we can’t.

Accept some things we cannot control.  Governments and scientists will make their decisions. But, here’s the thing.  When we accept these things are out of our control, we can stop focussing on them and look at what we can control.  The fear, anxiety and negative thinking starts to dissipate.  We start to grow stronger and move forward.

Change your thoughts – start by questioning them.  What evidence do you have to think that way? Often, we think negatively because our minds are designed to keep us safe and so they over amplify negative thoughts. Merely by questioning our negative thoughts, their power starts to dwindle.

Control – what areas of your life can you focus on, control and inject positivity into? Building in some self-care windows to everyday routines, learning new skills these are some of the building blocks to growing self-esteem, empowerment and resilience. Doing something for somewhere else makes us feel better and them. Start with a simple smile. Watch – it’s infectious!

For employers, what additional things can be considered? 

Emotional Intelligence behavioural assessments – our emotions impact our thoughts.  Our thoughts impact our behaviours.  Our behaviours impact our actions which impact everything and everyone around us.  Thing is how we see our behaviours can be very different to how those around us experience them.

i-act’s Managing and Promoting Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing delivers all the tools to proactively build a resilient workplace. The 50+ tools taught in i-act are life-long skills that enable us to deal with all life events. Accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, designed specifically for the workplace and global.

Therefore, I’m going to control what I can and ignore what I can’t – how about you?

Spreading the @I-act word!

What a full on, interactive, knowledge sharing week it’s been so far and we’re only at Wednesday!

An unexpected, last minute re-schedule request saw two I-act Managing & Promoting Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing delivered on Monday with a little over one hour gap – exhilarating!

The first with a utilities organisation who have already delivered this course to many of their managers and seen the benefits of doing so….

Followed by a leading UK university – this time with some of their senior managers and academic staff. I never thought I’d be training a ‘Professor’! Fabulous collaboration and sharing of experience and thoughts.

In between these, work on a potential new advertising campaign for Growing Talent in the New Year, ongoing processing for 25 Genos EI Assessments for a global facilities services company – progressing nicely then yesterday I delivered I-act Managing and Promoting Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing to a mixed cohort including managers from diverse industries wanting to upskill their knowledge and some trainee instructors doing this as part of their accredited instructor journey….

What an honour it’s been to work virtually with so many people in such a short time!

What was some of the feedback?

“The course was very interesting and so close to my heart”

“You made us all feel included and comfortable – I learned so many new tools”

“I’m going straight back to work to talk to my managers – we need to do more of this!”

And what happened when I mentioned nose hair? Well, that’s a whole other post.

Some weeks are full to the brim with activity, new learning and wonderment. If we just open ourselves up to every opportunity – who knows where it will lead or the new connections we’ll secure!

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Is your team and workplace energised?

It’s easy to miss the subtle signs of change. If our teams aren’t energised, positive and enthusiastic, sooner or later the culture of the workplace will become toxic.

Prevention is better than cure – we all know this.

Sometimes, especially in leadership positions, we can focus on deadlines, budgets, projects instead of the team.

Some leaders have nailed this formula and know by taking care of their teams, their teams will take care of their business and clients.

Richard Branson famously said “If you take care of your team, they will take care of your customers”.

Makes perfect sense – doesn’t it? We all know how we feel when we’ve interacted with staff who feel valued, respected, listened to and the difference when they don’t.

Clearly, there is an issue with leadership and culture when staff are not feeling invested in and valued.

Thoughts and emotions impact behaviours. Behaviours impact actions. Bad leaders = devalued staff = toxic workplace = lost customers/business.

How we show up matters in all areas of our life.

To explore this further, why not join me on 16 November at 12noon? Use the link below to pre-register…..

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZctdumrrTgiEtHFIXHFrtY5Fna3zSrn4XZJ

Is there a different way?

In the UK we are experiencing a lot of news traffic about the lack of HGV drivers and the knock on impact of petrol shortages, Christmas goods not making the shelves etc. We can look at the blame game or we can focus on what we can learn to do differently to really move forward.

For so long there has been adulation for ‘celebrity’. With the growth of social media, there has been a new career title ‘influencer’.

The global pandemic has shone the spotlight on the careers we really need, should value and respect all of the time, yet many don’t – HGV drivers, social care workers, delivery drivers, auxiliary specialists in NHS – the list goes on.

There is an old saying which seems apt here “keep doing what you’ve been doing, keep getting the same results”.

I just wonder if now is the time to do things differently. Instead of trapping people in the hamster wheel of benefits and state support, why not invest in specific training to give unemployed people real skills to move into careers where they can support themselves, their families and pay taxes to support those vulnerable people coming after them?

If we take HGV training. It costs over £4K to train as a Heavy Good Vehicle driver – and rightly so. HGVs are weapons of mass destruction in the wrong circumstances so drivers must be robustly trained. This initial cost will be repaid several times other by each individual leaving benefits for good – not to mention their mind health will increase.

Of course, training is one part of the issue. Wages need to reflect the responsibility essential services like this carry which means either lower profits for shareholders or higher costs for consumers.

The same applies to social care. One thing seems to be forgotten in the talk about pay and conditions in this highly under rated sector. That is despite the growth of AI in many sectors, it won’t replace the need for humans to be trained well and WANT to work in social care looking after the most vulnerable of our society. Many seem to forget those of us luckily enough to have a healthy adulthood will likely need social care of some sort in our twilight years.

What kind of care would you want? Someone exhausted holding down multiple jobs to make ends meet or someone who has a passion to work in social care? If it’s the latter, don’t they deserve a wage commensurate with the nurture they give?

There seems to be a shadow over humanity at the moment where the wrong ‘careers’ are feted and respected. Is now the time to look at our priorities?