Achievement and Recognition at McLaughlin & Harvey
I’m off to an important event today, the presentation of certificates at McLaughlin & Harvey for staff members who have successfully completed their leadership and management qualifications with ILM. Fantastic, although for some reason I’m feeling a bit nervous about the whole thing! I arrive at the venue and my nerves dissipate a little when I see Stephen and Jock heading into the hotel as well.
As everyone starts to arrive it is great to touch base and catch up with people I have worked with recently and with others who I have not seen for some time. But as with real friendship, that distance in time in no way stifles the conversation and craic. The atmosphere builds as the numbers increase and the directors start to arrive. This is the first time this event has taken place since the ILM programmes started at Barr Limited almost 10 years ago to the day! We registered our first ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management on 25th January 2007! Since then, 72 leadership and management qualifications have been secured, with the company having registered 127 learners. A conversion rate of 56%. Of those 127 registrations, there are 20 learners who are still to complete. So, I know that those conversion rates will continue to increase. And in 2017, there is more to come too!
Alison calls everyone to attention and the presentation begins with the managing director Barclay congratulating those present for their achievement and confirming McLaughlin and Harvey’s ongoing commitment to supporting the professional development of staff throughout the organisation.
Then it is my turn! My nerves continue to disappear as I look out at a room full of confident, professional and smiling faces. It has been my privilege to be given the opportunity to support the development of these people as leaders and managers. I very much value the chance I have to work with those who are truly committed in both their role at work and in their own continued professional development. As I have said many times, I just have the best job ever! Mark Twain said,
“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
And I very much go along with that!
However, these simple measures are not the only way of assessing the impact of this investment. Through our evaluation at the end of each programme and in securing continuous feedback, it is evident that the programmes are impacting on the quality of behaviours at work. It is essential to support the growth of effective relationships at work, both internally with colleagues and externally with clients, sub-contractors and so on. And that is an important part of what these programmes are all about. I know that in some cases, what we do is even having a positive impact on relationships with partners at home!!
So, what do we cover during the programmes at each of the different levels? The focus is very much to support leaders and managers in developing their skills to meet the need of workplace today and of course tomorrow. This includes
- Understanding leadership
- Facilitation coaching
- Making a presentation
- Working with change
- Managing conflict
- Promoting health and safety and environmental issues
- Performance management
Over the past 10 years there have been many highlights and without mentioning any names, some of these include;
- The presentations on famous movies, historical characters and events, sporting heroes and workplace challenges
- The skill practice sessions with our resident actor John Hay on conflict management. Brilliant!
- The team challenges and the banter within, including The Helium Stick, The Mast Contract and The Red Card Blue Card Game
But of course, this important investment by McLaughlin & Harvey is all about supporting the development of people as leaders and managers. And beyond the fun and laughter we have had, I get enormous satisfaction from seeing people learn, grow and develop their confidence in themselves. This is what it is all about really.
One thing that I can’t avoid mentioning is the assessment element of the ILM programmes at all levels. I know that this creates a great challenge for everyone but for those who get there in the end, many talk about the value in doing it. The assessment does not just give the learner the opportunity to confirm what they know but can also add significantly to their learning through the research that they do in preparing their assignment. And for some of the team it has been transformational really, where at the beginning they had their own doubts that they could do it but at the end they have proven to themselves that you can.
As Nadia Hussein said in her acceptance speech after winning 2015 Great British Bake Off,
“I’m never gonna put boundaries on myself ever again. I’m never gonna say I can’t do it. I’m never gonna say ‘maybe’. I’m never gonna say, ‘I don’t think I can.’ I can and I will.”
And I have been privileged to see that attitude prevail in many of those present here today.
So, in wrapping up, congratulations once again! I’m looking forward to facilitating three new ILM programmes this year and I very much value the opportunity to do so. I must take this opportunity to thank my own team at OTTC, namely Catherine, Archie and Craig. And of course, my thanks also go to Alison and Alison and the HR team at McLaughlin & Harvey, who put so much work and effort into making all this happen. Thanks to you all!
So, a final quote from Pericles, a Greek statesman who all those years ago, said something that is so relevant to our celebration here today. He said,
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved on stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others”
I hand back to Alison, who speaks passionately about how the ILM programme has developed her confidence and helped her achieve things that she might not have been able to do so before. Stephen and Callum contribute their testimonials and the formalities come to an end. It is time for the photographs and interviews, facilitated by Alistair and Kieran from the communications team. And finally, it is time for lunch and an opportunity to chat with colleagues and friends. A wonderful occasion!
Taking the time to recognise achievement is not only a nice thing to do, but it is essential to support the continued development of people and relationships at work. Congratulations to all 72 members of staff at McLaughlin & Harvey, past and present, who have achieved their leadership and management qualifications and goals and I look forward to supporting those who have still to make that learning journey.