Phoenix Rises

DEDICATION, inspiration, transformation. Kenny Graves, Nadine Taylor and their  colleagues in the HR department at the Phoenix Group in Birmingham started with the first, experienced the second and resulted with the third. All thanks to an introduction to Naked Leader founder David Taylor and the HR team’s determination to make a difference through innovative thinking and practical action. Now the whole company is benefiting.

Kenny, Group HR Manager and Nadine, Group L&D Manager, made a true decision to own an ambition for world-class performances – which tied in exactly with The Naked Leader’s, your future – take it or lead it…slogan.

Nadine explains: ‘We wanted to make an already good team exceptional and when Kenny and I chatted to David we found that the Naked Leader research into World Class HR overlapped with our own.

‘We wanted to become more commercially aware and business focussed. We identified skill gaps and where we needed to up-skill and we planned a series of events where various teams went on courses ranging from half-day to 24 hour events.’

Those sessions proved both inspirational and practical, and immediate change was made as the various HR teams gelled for the benefit of the company.

Nadine continues: ‘I didn’t just want the courses available for the senior members of the team. I wanted everyone to be involved. We offered one-to-one coaching for everyone which was quite a departure for David.

‘The discussions didn’t have to be about work. I believe if there’s a problem at home it will affect the work as well. The sessions were fantastic and I had staff thanking me for bringing David in. He was great. He speaks to people in plain and simple language and connects with them.’

That connection was particularly pertinent in the company’s Peterborough office, which is due to be closed.

Around 40/50 staff members attended a morale-boosting 60-minute master-class, with further one-to-one talks included. ‘The feedback came back as being ‘life-changing’ and a real buzz was created,’ said Nadine. ‘This isn’t people being sycophantic. They had no reason to say that if they didn’t mean it.

‘One of the things David does phenomenally well is he makes people feel as though they are the only person he’s working with. He really cares and you can see that from the follow up work he does with them. It’s a real personal touch. He has helped transform the HR department and I would completely recommend him to other companies. The biggest notable change is he’s helped us to pull together as one team.’

David, who is delighted with the response and will continue his association with Phoenix, adds: ‘Alan Jones (Phoenix Group HR Director), Kenny and Nadine had the vision, their people gave the commitment and I was delighted to be able to help all of them to achieve that vision.

Every one of us has the ability to better ourselves, to make it happen. And if the staff’s motivational levels and performance at Phoenix have been transformed that’s because they have made it happen.’

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