19s: Michelle Mook of Pro-Development won the York Press “Business Personality of the Year” award.
38s: What is your personal story? 7 or 8 years ago, I was working for an organisation and I was having coaching and what came up that mattered to me was making a difference and having fun. I left and set up my own business which was a big step, exciting but a bit scary too. Unfortunately, 6 months later my husband left which was a tough time. Fast forward though 7 years later, I now have an amazing team of 5 and we have an office in York.
3min 7s: How do you turn a bad boss into a good boss? Most haven’t had the opportunity to develop. The company promotes those who are doing well and they’re suddenly managing and don’t know where to start. It’s a mix of a lack of knowledge, lack of experience and a lack of understanding.
5min 0s: Who makes training decisions? You should encourage an environment for people to be responsible for their own training. Only 17% of SME’s invest in any kind of leadership and management development. Businesses have a responsibility to develop their people.
6mins 19s: Give us examples of your team making a difference. We will only work with clients if we can make a difference. One example was introducing a staff survey and the average of engaged employees is 59% in the UK but 5 years on after the staff survey, they now have a 96% engagement rate.
8mins 26s: What has that done for that company? Increase turnover, profitability, staff leaving in fewer numbers. Their biggest problem was staff retention.
9mins 55s: Do you focus on values? Values and culture. There are 10 key drives. You need to know where the business is going and what difference you’re making towards that.
11mins 16s: Will SME’s see a reduction in the cost of hiring/firing? Definitely. The UK is lagging in productivity. They will see an increase in profit and customer satisfaction as well as more innovative and creative ideas and sickness leave going down.
14mins 2s: You are the chair of York professionals. Do you have any networking tips? Do it to build really great, strong relationships.
16mins 42s: Tell us about your team. Sue is a really good friend, and what I love about her is that we are complete opposites and value each others differences. I have a great team and I feel very fortunate.
19mins 2s: What good and bad decisions have you made? It’s worth sticking it out past the first 2 years, many give up but be persistent. Then, when I decided to grow the business a few years later, I underestimated the time it took to set it up and recruit. My focus wasn’t on business development and networking like it should’ve been.
21mins 53s: Where will you be in 5 years? We want to be the go to employee engagement and development place in Yorkshire and the Humber. Just growing and we might take a property to do outdoor learning.
22mins 56s: What is experiential learning? We have a 7 month programme with 7 workshops which puts leaders in experiential situations- it could be working with horses, on a lake like raft building, a cooking workshop etc. It’s about getting honest feedback and big changes.
25mins 6s: If you are feeling low, who do you go to? I get my energy from being around others but I also watch films as an escapism. I turn to the team.
27mins 12s: Do you have a morning routine? I’m quite spontaneous. I try to get up early and make time for networking and strategic partnerships but I also have 2 teenage boys.
28mins 31s: When do you check emails? I try not to get distracted by them and I look at them at certain points of the day.
29mins 48s: How do you bring fun to a boring business? One place has a fun committee and they have a budget for it. You can’t prescribe it though, it comes from the people and it’s about how you can bring them together.
32mins 3s: Do you get a lot of resistance in your type of work? Not everyone realises that people are key to their business and we won’t be able to help everyone but many businesses are realising that something is missing and they do care about people and want help to understand how to address that. We run a workshop once a month to raise awareness. The leaders leave with an action plan an we sometimes work with them as well.
34mins 52s: What is your type of client? We love to work with businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber. But it could be any size business, our smallest client has 7 employees and our largest had 100s. We have a range of work types.
36mins 7s: How do people contact you? Our website: www.pro-development.co.uk we have a weekly blog and a monthly newsletter. We are also on LinkedIn and we’ve started doing video messages. And I’m always up for a coffee!