In May 2016 Prevista took the bold step of closing the entire business for three days to give every member of staff the opportunity to take part in a training course with a difference. Led by Mark Charley of Uncommon Results – a Miami-based training organisation which facilitate personal, professional, and organisational development – the course focused on developing a new approach to working with disadvantaged groups by challenging thinking patterns and preconceptions. Using methods he has honed on 35,000 people worldwide over 25 years, from young people in the American prison system to ex-IRA members to professional sports teams to senior directors of blue-chip corporates, Mark challenged Prevista staff members to “get into a conversation that goes to the heart of who you are, the heart of who you want to be”. The effects of the training was instant, Prevista Managing Director James Clements Smith describes the impact:
Mark spent 3 days with my entire staff team and there is little doubt that there has been transformation across the business: I can sense this, feel it, but more important my staff are more productive, more efficient, more focussed on the task at hand.
Following the success of the three day training, in June 2016, as part of Prevista’s ongoing commitment to capacity building delivery partners, we invited our delivery partners’ Contract Managers to participate in a similar three day training course, specifically tailored to improving operational performance. Through this we aimed to reinvigorate our supply chain and accelerate ongoing performance improvement across our portfolio of employment, skills and NEET contracts.
This was no ordinary training course, participants left with new concepts to take into not only their professional lives but also their personal lives. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, after the training 100% of participants stated that the programme was either “good” or “excellent” and 100% reported increased aspirations and motivations and stronger relationships with their family, friends and professionals. As one delegate wrote in her feedback:
Over the three day coaching I personally took away being present within the moment is essential, ensuring that past experience does not affect current (present) communication within personal, working or coaching context. This concept has been really effective within both my work and personal life, which I am looking forward to exploring further
Participants learnt the importance of listening to others, of not making excuses, realising that they have made a choice to work with their client groups and excuses for poor performance are just that, excuses. They learn to banish the word can’t and focus on solutions. James is excited about the impact this course is going to have on our supply chain partnerships:
Mark has created a new sense of purpose, a sense that we are all in it together. The 3 days he spent with my supply chain was just so good, just so good for them, for my business and for the future relationships between us: more focused, clear, with purpose and clarity
Representatives from key funding bodies such as the Skills Funding Agency, Greater London Authority and Department for Work and Pensions attended as observers. They were impressed by the quick change they saw in the participants:
It was really helpful to be allowed to return for the afternoon of the second day. It was very noticeable that the delegate’s mindsets were different than from the first session we observed on the Monday. We were also struck by how the atmosphere in the room had changed and how quickly the delegates had built trust and understanding
Prevista has a growing strategic relationship with Uncommon Results, four of our staff have volunteered at their residential camp for young people in Belgium and going forward we intend to give young people on our NEET programmes the opportunity to participate in residential courses.
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