Business success? It’s all about people power…

September 7, 2016

In my role as managing partner, I am often asked what the key to business growth and success is and how to achieve this on a long-term basis. My answer is always the same: our people.

With over 120 employees working from the Scottish Borders down to North Lincolnshire in a wide range of roles, it is the George F. White team and their hard work that is pivotal to how the business operates. Each of our staff provides clarity, direction and support to help clients make informed decisions and achieve the best outcomes. To us, that’s what business success is and that, in turn, drives growth and prosperity.

For me, investing in your people is without doubt the most important thing you can do as a business, especially one where constant communication with people – be they clients, suppliers, partners, local communities or staff – is at the core of the services you provide. By giving the right mentoring, training and tools to excellent people – the team – we’re able to give the right guidance and support to clients.

At the heart of our culture are people, focusing on key qualities including innovation, inspiration, honesty and commitment, embedded into all we do and conveyed through the diverse range of services – from agricultural and rural services to commercial, residential and planning and energy development – that we provide. It means we are always committed to delivering high quality professional work, whatever the sector and whatever the job, large or small.

A key part of the George F. White culture is the personal and professional development of our people across the group. Our main objective is to provide opportunities to all our employees so that they can constantly strive to develop and better deliver for our clients. We believe opportunity needs to be a structured and formalised process within a business, which is why we have created a career structures framework focused on enabling every person in the business to understand and appreciate how they deliver value in their role and how they are valued by George F. White.

It is much more than just allocating job titles to employees – it’s about appreciating our team and enabling everyone to feel that they contribute in their role. The aim of the programme is that all George F. White employees understand what success means to them. This, in turn, helps us to shape individual career paths and really focus on what skills and within which services our staff want to develop and progress.

Of course, delivering a high quality client service is always the aim, 24/7, but, as an established business spanning across the North of England, we do feel like we should give back to the local communities that we work within. This is why our Corporate Social Responsibility programme is important with many of our employees involved in charitable and volunteering activities outside of the workplace in varying degrees from an annual fun run to Trustee positions. Indeed, over the last three years, we’ve supported 28 local and national charities, with the team baking 83 cakes and walking or running 470km collectively. One of our staff was, until recently, chair of the North East Teenage Cancer Trust and is still an active volunteer. Another team member has been a special constable with North Yorkshire Police since 2015.

Our investment in our team, who operate out of six northern offices, is reflected in the array of awards won by staff over the past 12 months or so. Award winners have been right across the group, including our letting business, from director-level roles to mid-level management roles, down to apprentices. At last year’s North East Woman Entrepreneur of the Year awards, Holly Armstrong, director of GFW Letting and operations manager of George F. White, won the Leadership Award. Fran Mulhall, regional operations manager at GFW Letting, beat stiff competition in the service category, picking up the Best Service Award.

One of our partners, Jonathan Wallis, received a high commendation at the RICS Young Surveyor of the Year awards, a fantastic achievement on a national level. Also, one of our first ever GFW Letting apprentices, Adam Bishop, was named Apprentice of the Year at the Newcastle Business Awards for his success and continued hard work.

Not only do these award wins recognise the promising careers of individuals across the organisation, they have also made me proud and even more excited about expanding the business and being able to bring people on within it. As a consultancy, getting the right people to join the business and fulfil their true potential is a priority. People do business with people therefore it is crucial that we protect our people-driven brand and values and continue to push this ethos forward.

Our overarching aim is to deliver value and opportunity to our clients; this would not be possible without the team of people I work with at George F. White. I know I’m the managing partner but, hand on heart, I can say it is an exciting, friendly and forward-thinking business to work within and for. Due to our year-on-year growth, we are actively recruiting to expand our 120-strong team, creating five new roles across the business which we’re hoping to fill over the coming months. Our ability to continue to hire and grow our workforce is all down to putting our people at the centre of our ethos. Without a doubt, this is what I firmly believe holds the key to business success, regardless of the sector, size or stature.

For more information about the current vacant positions George F. White is recruiting for, please visit the George F. White website or contact 511997.

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