The ‘say-do’ gap is one of the main blockers to employee engagement, which in turn can significantly influence productivity and performance.
Communicating strategic goals and mission statements around employee culture, albeit challenging in today’s global climate of continual change and economic uncertainty, is simple.
Lining all of your people up behind them and getting them to ‘live & breathe’ them is less so.
Tapping into diverse motivations and that elusive discretionary effort to achieve the highest levels of performance continuously, all whilst ensuring peoples’ wellbeing requires investment of effort.
Walks the TalK is about helping organisations do what they say they will when it comes to their people, from Board level leadership through to line managers at all levels.
We focus on developing:
Agility & adaptiveness to change
See each section for more information. All services are bespoke to your needs
Workplace resilience (and wellbeing) is increasingly appearing amongst high priority lists for organisations big and small and is important at three levels:
Organisation: sustaining a highly engaged and high performing workforce whilst navigating the complexity and uncertainty of a changing global workplace
Team: creating an inclusive culture in which all feel motivated and valued for their individual contributions
Individual: helping people to manage the stress & pressure of work/today’s workplace so as to continually perform at their best and maintain positive mental health
Mental health is increasingly in the news, thanks in no small part to the Royal sponsorship of ‘Heads Together’. Some may believe it is simply todays ‘hot topic’ but that’s unlikely. More likely is that the world is becoming increasing complex and uncertain and pressure & stress is following suit. Employees have been working in an environment where ‘Change is the only constant’ for years now and generally being asked to do more and more with less as reorganisations / cost cutting programmes are implemented in order to help organisations sustain themselves into the future.
Pressure and stress impact every organisation and are a necessary fact of life, as is the fact that individuals and teams within them are expected to perform at their highest level consistently over a sustained period of time. It is also a fact that human beings are not designed to constantly operate under high pressure. And that too much pressure and stress can lead to mental ill health if not managed in a proactive way. 1 in 6 employees experienced this in 2017 and most experts agree this ratio will increase.
Walks the TalK offers a bespoke range of support at each level from developing programmes to develop skills needed for the future, workshops to help teams maintain high performance and bespoke 'Be on Alert to Mental Health at Work' sessions on stress management including:
1 hour interactive 'Make friends with stress' session focussed on raising awareness of stress, its impact and how to manage it effectively (20 - 30 people per session)
2 hour interactive 'Team Resilience' workshop aimed at working with intact teams to develop a pro-active approach to improving resilience and collective wellbeing (designed for teams of any size)
Self-care toolkits for individuals and teams to use to keep the topic of resilience and wellbeing front of mind and help tackle reluctance to discuss mental health/inability to cope
We also offer the full range of Adult Mental Health First Aid training courses from MHFA England.
Agility & adaptiveness to change
'Change is the only constant' is a refrain we've been hearing for years now, or a version of it anyway. However phrased, we can all agree that we are living in an increasingly complex and fast-paced world and that the future will likely be unrecognisable compared to the one we know. Certainly when the Chief Economist of the Bank of England warns that the UK will need a skills revolution to avoid "large swathes" of people becoming "technologically unemployed" by artificial intelligence, it seems sensible to take heed and for businesses to consider how they will ready themselves and their employees to both survive and thrive this transformation (the Fourth Industrial Revolution or, catchily, Industry 4.0!).
It also strikes at the heart of the problem when it comes to driving real change in workplaces: the emotions bubbling within the human beings that need to evolve or change and the resistance to let go of the familiar and oh so comfortable status quo.
Walks the TalK places this human reaction to change at the heart of all solutions when working with organisations or leaders looking to make changes or develop new ways of working. Having attained a Masters in Organisational Change focused on Complexity Theory & Gestalt, Tara works with you to develop holistic people-centred approaches to creating the culture and working environment best supported to your strategy, however large or small your business is.
Leaders in any organisation are symbolically powerful in addition to the actual authority they have in their day to day roles. Their actions and words carry significantly more weight than those who don’t hold the position and they are the recipients of expectations placed upon them by the teams they lead, many of which are unrealistic!
Most leaders are blissfully unaware of this and become frustrated that they are hampered in their efforts to lead and do their jobs effectively.
To support leaders in developing their capability to lead, Walks the Talk offers:
1-to-1 executive coaching to leaders at all levels
Leadership team workshops (facilitated events to coach the team around effective working & team dynamics)
Bespoke Leadership development training
The emerging consensus in the wake of advancing technology is that ‘human skills’ will be required by the workforce of the future, human skills being defined as emotional intelligence, creative problem solving, curiosity & flexibility to continually learn new skills.
Walks the TalK offers training & development programmes that build emotional intelligence for individual self-awareness, relationship development/management & influencing and systemic awareness (including navigating organisational politics). These programmes can be tailored to your organisational context and are all based on ‘experiential’ learning techniques, allowing people to practice applying what they have learned to build confidence and capability back in the workplace.
Tara is also an accredited Mental Health First Aid England instructor and offers their full range of Adult mental health first aid training courses (see below). The skill set that is developed on these programmes is that of questioning & listening which is transferable to many other workplace situations (coaching, performance management, understanding client needs, etc).
Walk the TalK’s philosophy is to work with you in a holistic way that develops internal capability to maintain the desired behaviour/outcome ongoing, whether that is in a 1-to-1 coaching relationship, team effectiveness workshop or organisation wide change programme.
One-off interventions can be very effective; however, their impact can be eroded over time if the culture/operating environment is not supportive or encouraging of the new ways of working. A programme of support is far more likely to provide a sustainable impact without creating dependency on external training or consulting in the long-term.
Adult Mental Health First Aid Training
Whilst great strides are being made by those seeking to increase awareness and visibility of mental health issues, the reality is that day to day stigma around mental health is very much a fact of life that stops people disclosing that they are struggling or asking for help. This is particularly true at work where they fear the impact on their jobs or career progression.
Mental health and stress-related conditions are estimated to have cost the UK economy £34.9 billion in 2017, with 12.5 million workdays lost to stress alone. The average cost per employee is £1,300 and taking even small steps to support employee mental health can save at least 30% of these costs.
Tara is accredited by MHFA England to train your your people in their internationally recognised MHFA First Aid programmes and she can draw on a network of trusted colleagues (all of whom have experience in organisations) if needed to deliver:
Mental Health First Aider (2 days)
Mental Health First Aid Workplace Champion (1 day)
Mental Health First Aid Aware (4 hours)
About Tara Kent
Tara is a highly relational and experienced Organisational Development consultant, Leadership/executive coach and Organisational Development practitioner with over 20 years of facilitation & training experience with one of the largest Professional Services firms.
The last nine years of Tara's employment was spent working with leadership teams (up to Board level) to help them deliver and sustain long-term strategic goals, requiring focus on driving behavioural change whilst maintaining leaders’ resilience in the face of inevitable human resistance to that change.
She has an in-depth understanding of how professional service and similar organisations work and quickly comprehends the nuances of group dynamics, organisational culture and politics in order to help leaders overcome the inevitable challenges and frustrations these pose.
How resilient is your organisation? Your leaders? Your people? Have you all got the skills and capability needed to sustain your business' future success? Are your people engaged and motivated to give you their full discretionary effort? And manage their own wellbeing?