Welcome – Growing Talent 21 Associates!


Talent untapped

1st April saw the start of the Orientation Week for Growing Talent 21 Associates. Designed to build confidence, self worth, camaraderie and employment etiquette before going into the employer’s training for the vacant role.

A nail biting time. Not knowing what to expect. Starting off as strangers, hesitant, unsure it’s a joy to see the growth in confidence, ‘I can’ attitude and enthusiasm over the week. So much empathy and integrity nurturing each other to get through each challenge.

Stephen at the start of the Orientation Week… now onsite with ISSWorld

The feature image does not show Stephen who is also on Growing Talent 21 with ISS World at PwC. Stephen is profoundly deaf and lips reads. He had the courage to try out the Orientation week even though he knew it would be difficult with so many people and noise.

Shennell joined us as lip sync – all that practice singing along to her music gave her a good grounding! Unfortunately Stephen could only do the first two days but is working with the team learning what will be his new role.

Shennell was part of Growing Talent 6 and always returns, when she can, to support and encourage the Growing Talent Associates following her. She’s centre stage below in the mustard cardigan with Anna – lead for Growing Talent at Job Centre Plus behind her at the end of an exhausting and invigorating week!

So, what actually happens on Growing Talent’s Orientation Week?

Day one is always about ‘getting to know you’. Sharing our backgrounds in pictures breaks down barriers and kick starts empowerment. Everyone on Growing Talent has experienced different issues and stereotyping due to those issues so strong bonds are quickly formed. We devise mantras for those dark, wet mornings when getting out of bed is so difficult to setting goals of what the Growing Talent Associates are going to buy out of their first salary. We round off the day by brainstorming Social Enterprise ideas ready for the challenge on Friday.

Day 2 starts the communication power hub. Looking at body language, power stands, regulated breathing and visualisation, using the right brain to ensure we make considered decisions and of course – reflection – so important in all communication. What are we going to say, how are we going to say it, what communication tool will we use, how will we receive it and as Jade of @CustomerCareFirst always says ‘can you say it a better way’? We learnt how to use a stress bucket, undertook some real case studies and welcomes Emma from Unravelling Minds for her art therapy workshop. Emma is also a therapist and shares her journey from high powered career, new boss, breakdown, recovery and change of career. Emma devised a bespoke workshop for Growing Talent Associates which is one of the key highlights of the week and always very well received.

Day 3 included brainstorming and honing Social Enterprise ideas as well as delivering 2 minute presentations on everyday objects with a unique selling point – hysterical! We also did exercises on networking – how to start and end conversations as well as the importance of handshakes!

Day 4 – we welcome Jade from Customer Care First to share her top tips on effective workplace communication.

Jade setting the scene…
Jade’s challenge – to get in order of birthday – date and month without speaking!
Amar & Bernie – drawing an object without saying what it is!
Drew & Navin trying not to peek!
Robert, Amar, Navin, Kelly and Katrina listing the dos and don’ts of conversations with clients

Day 5 is the Social Enterprise Challenge presentations – check back to find out what happened!