Huddersfield Thriving Workplace findings
Posted: Tuesday April 16 2019
By: Katie Mallinson
Huddersfield Thriving Workplace findings. During the month of March, MMB launched its popular Private Lunch Club in the region of Huddersfield. Held at the luxurious Manor House in Lindley, invitees – mid-senior-level decision makers from across the town – were invited to discuss and debate ‘the secret to a thriving workplace’.
Huddersfield Thriving Workplace findings
Chaired by Scriba PR’s MD Katie Mallinson, the inaugural event took the form of a relaxed and informal afternoon, allowing like-minded people – from varying walks of business life – to talk openly about the theme, in depth. Here’s how the discussion unfolded. Following the introduction of all parties in the room, Katie explained the reasoning behind the chosen topic, saying: “The secret to a thriving workplace is something that has definitely evolved over the years. In the past, being as physically productive as possible was key, which evolved into possessing a large share of the market and recruiting the top graduates.
“Now though, in the current turbulent economic and political climate, it has become more about resilience, offering an increased level of service to meet consumer demand, and safeguarding morale through employee engagement.”
In the first of her key questions of the afternoon, Katie commenced the debate by asking what the secret ingredient to a buoyant workforce truly is, and whether the catalyst for this is through leaders or people.
Chris Taylor, corporate and commercial lawyer at Eaton Smith Solicitors, believes it is a mixture of both, and said: “There needs to be leaders directing from the top, to define where a business is going. But leadership is not about the title given, it’s really what you do with it.”
However, director at DealTrak, Steve Lees, disagreed, believing that it starts with the people and that leaders can be found in all areas of an organisation, not just at the top. He commented: “Leaders come from many different sources, and if a person is influential, they can be a leader, regardless of the level they work at.”
Mo Bunter, vice-principal of Greenhead College backed up this point, stating: “Depending on the business type, leaders may be needed at all levels of an organisation. For example, in a people-orientated environment such as the college, it’s important for student ambassadors to have an impact and inspire others – this allows our people to thrive.”
The issue of poor leadership was also raised. Ruth Brooks, principal lecturer and undergraduate team leader at the University of Huddersfield stated: “It’s possible to have people in leadership positions that are ineffectual, so it’s about ensuring the right personality and skills come together.”
It was agreed by some attendees that the freedom to lead is heavily linked to culture. And Chris Iredale, founder of Thriven, elaborated on this, saying: “The culture of a business, and its core identity must be clear, to ensure the correct people are recruited. There is no right or wrong when it comes to cultural differences but hiring those who fit with your ‘way of living’, will ensure the right people come into your company.”
Gavin Howarth, MD of Howarths, then asked: “But can you recruit specifically for leadership?”
The general consensus was that, yes, this was possible. Abbie Coleman, founder of MMB, said: “Don’t recruit under your own vision, it has to be a business need – aligned with the goals of an entity – to ensure the right leader is recruited. Clear company aims, culture and vision have to be something all employees are aware of – and buy into – to attract the right people.”
Natasha McCreesh, founder of Pip To Grow Strong, thought that it wasn’t always necessarily easy to recruit for leaders, as, in flatter structures, self-leadership is more prevalent. “In this type of business, people need to stop always looking to others, and instead be more self-reflecting in their own roles – which, in turn may assist in developing them into leaders, helping them bring colleagues along.”
# Huddersfield Thriving Workplace findings