We are proud to work with all of our clients on their people and team development. Here are a few…
“I asked MRD to work with us on a team building session following a recent consolidation of locations and functions. In addition to a team charter design session we were running, Marcus came along and ran a team event that had a very positive impact. Having previously profiled the team, we had a fun, relaxed and productive afternoon together.
Since then I have received very positive feedback on the session which has left people energised, talking more and really considering each others’ styles and needs.”
Ian Dunning, Facilities Management Director
South East, Unilever UK Ltd
“During a period of change within Farecla we identified a need to raise the skills of our UK sales team in terms of internal and external written communication. Unlike so many other training providers, MRD did not offer us an off-the-shelf course; their expertise means they work closely with the client to tailor a training solution that delivers specific objectives.
Careful preparation ensures the training addresses those objectives and on-going support helps to reinforce the lessons learnt ‘on the day’. The result in our case has been a team who communicate effectively with one another, their colleagues and, most importantly, their customers, enhancing the professional image of Farecla.”
Yvonne Nice, Human Resources Manager/Company Secretary
Farècla Products Ltd
“The day provided very useful perspectives on the different “styles” of the team, and put these into a context that helped us to see how each style can contribute to the team as a whole. I was amazed at how accurate my own profile proved to be.
I found the exercise in which we took 3 cards of each colour and then handed on those which suited others more than ourselves to be really valuable for me – I received cards from other team members which helped me to see that I’m valued in ways that I didn’t know or expect.
Richard created a comfortable, informal atmosphere which made it easy for everyone to relax and take full advantage of this opportunity to step out of the everyday work world and reflect on ourselves and the way we work together. It was a very enjoyable and useful day – thanks.”
Rita Ireson, Sexual Health Promotion Manager
Heart of Birminham NHS PCT
Heart of Birmingham NHS Primary Care Trust – Team and Leadership Development: Team Build and 1-1 Leadership Coaching
Heart of Birmingham Primary Care Trust (PCT) sexual health service teams work across the whole of the Birmingham area. While they operate quite effectively in their own individual areas, there was room to improve and increase interaction and communication among them.
Sharon Myring, Head of Sexual Health for Heart of Birmingham PCT, and other senior PCT managers, saw a real missed opportunity here. They believed, quite rightly, that if individual teams got to know each other better, they might be much more likely to share their knowledge and experience, to the benefit of all.
“The teams weren’t really helping each other and certainly weren’t realising the potential that could be achieved through greater co-operation,” said Sharon. “But that was mainly down to the fact that they had little personal contact and didn’t know each other well on a personal level.”
“On MRD’s recommendation we took all our Service Managers out of their working environment and off to a hotel for the day,” Sharon pointed out. “MRD did a great job of facilitating the various discussions and activities, and we have had exceptionally positive feedback from team members as a result. At least one person is, in fact, continuing to work with MRD on a one-to-one basis with the aim of improving their team working skills.”
Among many who felt they gained some real benefits from the day was SAFE Project Manager, Susan Taylor, who said, “It gave me a great perspective… I can now see a way forward where there didn’t appear to be one before.”
Cathie Hill, Lead Nurse at Family Planning said “I thought this day highlighted just what a dynamic team we are, that our strengths and ‘weaknesses’ make us potentially capable great achievement.
And Siobhan McDonald, PA to Sharon Myring, commented, “I thoroughly enjoyed the day and would strongly recommend MR Dynamics to any NHS service or other organisation.”
In summary, Sharon Myring said, “Everyone involved thought the day was a great success and was very impressed with MRD. It was a major step forward but it’s now important that we maintain the momentum and build on what we’ve achieved so far. So we hope to organise many more team ‘away days’ with MRD.”
Harrogate Neighbours Housing Association: One Day ‘Away Day’ Team Building
Harrogate Neighbours Housing Association provides accommodation for around 60 of the North Yorkshire town’s elderly residents. Heath Lodge is a 28-bed residential home, while Greenfield Court has sheltered housing for up to 52 people.
The level of care all residents receive is of a high standard but the Association’s Chief Executive, Sue Ullmann, felt that a lack of communication among members of staff can sometimes affect the way the Management Team works, and potentially causes problems in the day to operation of the organisation.
Sue had already met Richard Hoyle of MR Dynamics at a seminar where she had been particularly impressed with what Richard and the rest of his MRD colleagues had to offer in the way of team motivation, morale and communication. As a result she invited MRD to run a one-day ‘awayday’ team building exercise in a Business Centre in nearby Knaresborough.
“The idea was to get people to know each other better outside a work environment which is why we deliberately took a day out!” said Sue. “There were nine of us and MRD were very good in getting everyone involved a number of different exercises and open discussions. We were also able to confront and discuss our individual strengths and weaknesses through MRD’s Insights personal profiling.
“Personally I found Insights fascinating but also slightly unnerving as to how accurate it is!” Sue added. “It was an excellent day, with even those people who had been sceptical at the start becoming much more positive and enthusiastic the more they got involved. We hope to do something very similar in the not too distant future… with MRD, of course… once we have had chance to address some of the issues that arose from the day and then review progress further down the line.”
Gratterpalm Ltd – Annual Staff Survey: Helping keep the ‘Chatter’ in ‘Gratter’
Gratterpalm is a leading retail marketing agency, creating everything from award-winning advertising campaigns to point-of-sale and other promotional material for an impressive portfolio of well-known high street names.
Gratterpalm has a very active HR department, led by HR Director, Helen Saunders. Helen is not only responsible for staff recruitment and other day-to-day HR issues but also for looking at various ways of further enhancing Gratterpalm’s considerable successes through the performance of its employees. To achieve this Helen and her colleagues employ outside consultants such as MR Dynamics for support with particular projects.
“We first came across MRD in 2004 and were impressed with them after using them for a series of Insights management development workshops,” said Helen. “Since then we kept in touch regarding further possible projects and they became involved with Gratterpalm again early in 2008 when we decided to assess exactly what our employees, of around 100, thought about the company, the management, their office facilities and many other issues.
“Even though general morale was good, we didn’t actually know how they felt. The result was the roll out of the Gratterchatter survey, compiled, implemented and evaluated by MRD, which produced an excellent response,” said Helen. “The survey was far reaching and covered everything from opinions on management and training to salaries and in-house kitchen facilities!
“Not only was the response rate 100% – with the majority of our team responding within 24 hours – but the results were extremely positive, with 85% confirming they thought Gratterpalm was a very good place to work.”She added that the survey was a great measure of employee engagement and will work as a great benchmark in the future to track improvements in key areas.
“We have already taken a number of comments on board – running employee workshops to set out where we are going as a company and feedback actions to the agency, increasing employee training, reviewing our employee recognition and committing to the creation of a lunch/chill out area within the building, for instance.
“All this has come out as a result of this one survey. It’s also boosted staff morale even further, as people really appreciated not only being asked for their views but seeing those views acted upon.”
On working with MRD Helen said, “MR Dynamics are very genuine, personable people… very easy to work with. Their fees are also very competitive! Their development of the Gratterchatter survey and the resultant response has been instrumental in allowing us to set our long-term HR agenda. We certainly intend to use MRD again, on a follow up survey to Gratterchatter 08 and we already have a team away-day arranged for next month.”
IT@Spectrum Ltd – Stress Reduction: Keeping in control of growing business while being aware of our people issues
“Stress is not a big problem at our company. Our reasons for investing in the MRD stress programme were because we want to be in control of growing business while being aware of our people issues.
We needed to get an awareness of certain issues, legislation, what signs to look for should stress come up. So if people are acting out of character we can act in an appropriate manner, stay on the right side of legislation, and more importantly do the best thing for our people and the business.
Also we have a great trust of MRD’s work and a great relationship with Richard Hoyle. He comes to us with the right things for our business and delivers the right information for us to become a stronger team.
All the managers did the training, so all the mangers can now spot anything that might mean a team member is suffering from stress and be aware of how to respond. We can now recommend the best and most effective course of action in situations before stress creates poor performance, lateness, sickness etc.” Ken Sturdy, MD
Farècla Products Ltd – Strategic Sales Planning: Helping the development of the UK Field Sales Team
Farècla Products is an international market leader in automotive aftercare products, with outlets in over 100 countries across all five continents. In the UK, and elsewhere, much of the company’s sales success relies on reps out on the road, covering the length and breadth of the country to promote and sell the Farècla range.
However Farècla were finding that, although good at their jobs, many of the reps were operating in isolation, not communicating with or consulting their colleagues as much as they might to share problems and identify new opportunities, for instance. There were also time management issues which needed to be addressed.
Recognising that this was not something they could handle in house, they decided to call upon the specialist expertise of MR Dynamics, an organisation of which they were aware but had not worked with previously.
“The first project they developed for us was a two-day team building exercise with our sales force,” says Craig Mortimer, Farècla’s UK Sales Manager. “I was very impressed right from the start, as were most of my colleagues… even those who had originally been sceptical about what MRD might be able to achieve. Frankly, it was one of the best team building exercises we’d ever experienced and, as a result, we have carried on the ideas MRD introduced. We regularly monitor progress to make sure we don’t lapse into old habits!” said Craig.
More recently a further challenge awaited MRD, when Farècla decided to introduce a second, lower management level, reporting to the existing sales team. The aim was to free up the senior reps so that they had more time to exploit new business opportunities, while at the same time managing their more junior colleagues in their role of maintaining the existing customer base.
“To address all the issues involved, particularly those of time management, MR Dynamics ran two tailor-made sales planning days for us in Summer 2007,” said Craig Mortimer. “We were delighted, once again, with what they were able to achieve with our sales force and the different management levels.”
MR Dynamics is now working with Craig and the Farècla sales force in a number of other sales-related areas, including the development of a 6-hour sales course designed to give Farècla customers greater involvement in the company’s culture. In addition to this other departments within Farècla are now taking advantage of MRD’s coaching and training skills on a variety of projects.
SICK (UK) – Case study where MRD has become the prefered provider of Training and Coaching for SICK (UK) Ltd
SICK is a leading sensor manufacturer, developing and supplying an ever-expanding range of products to aid the smooth running of factory automation processes. These products include industrial sensors, machine safety systems, environmental process and analysis instrumentation and auto ident devices. The Group employs over 5,000 people in 30 countries around the world.
Managing Director of SICK UK and Ireland is Alan Reeves, who took up the position in 2002 and, as Alan says, “inherited a senior management team which was lacking direction. Several managers moved on but the team still contained a number of individuals, including myself, with widely disparate backgrounds. We needed a better understanding of each other’s roles and potential if we were really going to pull together and perform effectively.
“I’m a great believer in good teamwork as a key driver of both individual and company performance. Developing a team culture from within the company, however, was not going to be easy simply because you find that in most teams there’s a least one member who believes their way of doing things is the right way!” said Alan. “To get individuals to improve the way in which they communicate with their colleagues so they are better informed, managed and motivated needs professional coaching which we certainly could not deliver internally.”
“The organisation we chose to do this was MR Dynamics. I had already met Marcus Hoyle of MRD and was impressed with what MRD had to offer, even on first meeting, although only on working with MRD would we find out just how successful they would turn out to be!” Alan pointed out. “Already in the last twelve months they have achieved a great deal through three programmes – management training and individual coaching, a staff survey, and a performance review, including company-wide orientation sessions.
“Each programme was tailored to our needs, not just pulled off the shelf and re-gurgitated which has sometimes been my experience with other companies similar to MRD. The programmes and training and coaching sessions were all run in-house at our headquarters in St Albans, Herts, and produced some very positive results. Even senior managers who were initially sceptical about MRD’s proposals have now been persuaded of the benefits and are taking an active part in monitoring progress as we put the MRD programmes, and the ‘coaching culture’ they have created, into practice,” said Alan.
Alan Reeves and his SICK colleagues are now working with MRD on an ongoing basis, both to refresh and re-inforce the training which has already been carried out and to implement further programmes for 2008 and beyond. These will include team training, leadership training and help with internal ‘people systems.’
A final word from Alan Reeves. “As a result of our very positive relationship with MRD, and what they have helped us to achieve so far, people are communicating more effectively, they have a better understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses and, importantly, they are much more motivated. This is already starting to show in overall performance and company profitability.”