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Archive for the ‘Equal opportunities’ Category

SK Chase are excited to announce that we are in the process of recruiting for three new roles within the business. These roles are Service Manager, Client Support Administrator and Training Manager.

Both the Service Manager and Client Support Administrator roles are full time roles based in our Edinburgh office, whereas the Training Manager role is a part time role (2.5 days a week) and will be based in the London/South East area.

Before you jump in and look at the job descriptions please take a moment to browse our slideshare on our culture here.

And if you like what you see then please read each job description and how to apply on the recruitment section of our website.

We look forward to hearing from you.

TEAM

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Smile!

The SK Chase team were all smiles yesterday as the marketing function had organised a photoshoot for everyone, so we can use the photos in our material, including our new website. Marc from Klaklak was our photographer. We had an awesome time and got some lovely shots of everyone!

Kaye_Steph

Personal Development

SK Chase believes and invests in personal development and training and gives the team opportunities to be set free. SK Chase encourages employees to attend seminars, workshops and courses appropriate for their role and where their interests lie.

Dani has started a 7 week online business school course called B-School with Marie Forleo to learn how to build an online business. It touches on profit building, website, communication, list building, offerings and marketing and Dani is excited to be able to start applying her knowledge and key learning’s.

On a personal note…juice

Kaye and Steph went on a 4 day detox at The Raw Retreat. They drank juices only for four days and learnt all about the benefits of an alkaline diet which Kaye said was fascinating. Steph shared that it has completely changed her outlook around food, drink and exercise as a result and both of them are making informed, healthier choices because of it.

Trophy

Congratulations to our office manager Catharine who came third in ‘The Demon Run’ in Glasgow last weekend and received a sparkling trophy! And she is off to try to win ‘The Mighty Deerstalker’ race this weekend – Good luck Catharine!

Linda has decided that she would like to to challenge herself physically and try something new.  So this year, it’s surfing! She’s now booked (with the rest of her family) on a 3 day surfing course at the end of May.

Happy Mums

We hope everyone had a happy Mother’s Day. Were you one of the lucky Mums to receive a lovely gift voucher? We hope you enjoy using it.

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Kaye and I were having a coaching session a while back and I had a lovely realisation that I didn’t actually have to ‘do’ anything other than connect to myself.  Whilst this may sound a bit obvious to some and perhaps a bit weird to others,  I’m going to attempt to explain what I mean and how this has had a profound impact on me since.

In the context of the conversation I was having, I was talking about how I can best serve or support others.  In a nutshell, I was attempting to learn new ways to help others (and myself) realise their full potential.  For several months, I had been on a bit of a mission seeking a technique that worked, i.e. what could I ‘do’ to support others reach their potential?

Then bam, it hit me straight away – when I connect to myself, my true self, I’m being the best I can be and as a result I can fully connect to anything or anyone.  Simple and what a relief! When I connect to others it enables them to connect with themselves and see their potential for themselves.

Up to this point I’d definitely had experience of doing this, but it wasn’t my ‘default setting’.  Drawing on these experiences helped me realise that I had the capability to connect, so all I had to do now was replicate it.


What is it?

The definition of the verb ‘to connect’ is: “Bring together or into contact so that a real or notional link is established.”

For me this definition perfectly describes my experience of when my soul or my heart is brought together with an idea or concept or another person and then a definite link is made.  Once the link is established there’s absolutely no stopping it!  It’s like a train travelling fast down a track with a clear view of its destination and nothing is going to prevent it getting there.  This is where the magic happens….all is clear, I’m free and the opportunities are endless.

After having this realisation I immediately wanted to connect with everything and everyone around me!  I rushed into an implementation phase of ‘connect’.  I asked myself ‘What concepts have I learned but not actually connected with fully?’ ‘Who have I not yet connected with?’ etc.  I literally couldn’t wait to connect with everything and everyone on my list!

Then as with most things, I slowed down a bit and realised that I can choose to connect.  So whilst it’s not perhaps my ‘default setting’ I have the skill and desire to do so when it’s appropriate, or when it’s important that I connect.  I believe this is also linked to intuition, for example when I intuitively know something (or someone) is right, I connect to it and follow the path confidently.

I have felt a positive shift in how I respond to people around me; when I connect, I trust, when I trust I can let go of outcome. This in turn sets others free to reach their own potential.


Why?

Connecting also enables me to deepen my understanding around things.  For example, I was learning a new Shirlaws framework around ‘Capacity’ and when I realised I hadn’t fully connected to it, I took a step back and chose to proceed once I had connected to it.  This helped me realise that as well as the massive cultural benefits of connecting there are also significant commercial implications, i.e. I can only take a framework so far in our business if I ‘sort of’ get the concept, whereas if I fully connect to it, everything comes easily, naturally and just flows.  I can then see opportunities to leverage the framework into other areas of our business (and sometimes my personal life) and can share it whole heartedly with our team, energising them too as a result.  This gives the maximum benefit (or return) on our investment in learning the frameworks in the first place.


Currently connecting to…

We’re currently focussing on the ‘Functionality’ framework with Fergus, our Shirlaws coach.  This framework is close to my heart as I have seen in the past how it can transform a business and I’m very excited about connecting with it and getting even more from it this time around.  It’s already brought about a significant shift in our business and is supporting us to create space and opportunity for us all…..who wouldn’t want to connect with that?

P.S. This is a live example of me connecting with writing this blog – it only took about 10 minutes!

Stephanie_Wilson

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New Start – New Outlook
Since starting at SK Chase on June 19th, I have absorbed an abundance of business changing frameworks and techniques, learnt company ins and outs, and attended some wonderfully insightful and inspiring team workshops. As a result, the source of writing material for this blog is huge! I have, however, chosen to describe my journey of getting to know SK Chase so far…. with a little about the exciting times I can see and look forward to ahead!


Beginnings
When I came across the job advertised at SK Chase I was only browsing…. just seeing what was out there. And I said to myself that any job I went for now I wanted a more culturally aware company, and one which ‘felt right’ to me. I certainly found that with SK Chase! I think I only spent a couple of minutes scanning the website (and checking some Youtube videos – *cough*) before raising my eyebrows and saying, “this place is different” – and as I read on, from the ‘meet the team facts’ to the ‘blog posts’ I could see that there was a beautiful transparency about what is done here, and that each and every one of the team are part of making it this way.

I was delighted the recruitment process went well and I was offered the job as Head of Client Services, a role which I hold an incredibly amount of passion for.


Cultural Change

There was an incredibly warm welcome and supportive induction. As expected, the culture shift was vast and there was a lot to adapt to. And I’m not just talking about the standard things associated with moving company, such as the company structure or learning what everybody does, but there are some fundamental company beliefs and values which make SK Chase so very unique.  Never before has anyone asked me at work ‘how my energy is’ or to ‘share my feelings’ – all of which is done without an air of pressure, only encouragement to set free.

‘To be courageous. To be true and fair to all’… you really couldn’t choose better words to describe what SK Chase stands for and what it does. And after being a part of the team for 5 months now, I can really say how refreshing an outlook this has been.


Functional Focus

Throughout the time I spent learning my role, the supportive theme continued and I was aided all the way before getting to a stage where I could be confident in my knowledge of the company and with how best to support each client with their requests and needs. And each week something new will come up, but it is a nice feeling to know that I’m not alone when I’m unsure and support is always there.

In a relatively short space of time I have learnt an awful lot about myself, and am also continuously being helped to develop new skills & techniques that will stick with me – 6 steps to aid meeting structure, Think/Feel/Know communication styles to raise awareness of others, energy matrix etc.  – these at first meant very little and were just things written down on a page, but now not only do they make sense, they form the structure I use to create a positive working environment for myself, which I hope will benefit all my clients in the future.


Looking Forward

Time is spent concentrating on not only the growth of SK Chase and our clients (systems developments, etc.), but that of staff too. It is great to be part of a company that doesn’t stand still and is always looking to focus on ‘what’s next’ and ‘how we can continue to improve’. Our recent sequence of workshops have given focus to how we can become as efficient as possible in business, shown the importance of trusting ourselves and each other so we can reach an inter-dependent stage so to work seamlessly together, and that we strive to understand and improve our communication styles (both internally and externally).


In a nutshell
It is wonderful to be part of such a culturally aware company, that doesn’t have their values just written down, but actually lives by them. A company that is passionate about supporting all, making everyone a trusted and valued member of staff who can take the ultimate responsibility and the wonderful opportunities that are on offer.

The times that lie ahead with SK Chase are exciting, and I look forward to being a part of such a unique and refreshing company as it continues to grow!

Jonathan McElroy

Jonathan McElroy

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We’ve come to the end now of our ‘Together’ workshops (but really of course, it’s just the beginning).

Together business

At SK Chase we’re all aware that we’d like to work more closely together, and at the three workshops we agreed:

  • What working together means (being ‘interdependent’)
  • Why work together? The benefits – for the business and for each individual
  • How do we do it better? What’s at the source of working together (self-responsibility and trust are two of the sources)

Rather than being entirely dependent on a colleague or being completely independent of each other, we are choosing to move into the third stage of a relationship: interdependency, where we are able to mutually depend on each other and be aware of the business and our own needs.

With this level of awareness, and if we do it well, we’ll be able naturally work together as one. We’ll be tuned in to what’s right for SK Chase and allocate our capacity and energy accordingly.

At the foundation of working together is trust.

One question that really struck a chord with me during our workshops was this question:

‘What would trust do next?’

I work in Marketing at SK Chase and part of my role is to ensure our ‘brand’ reflects SK Chase – in a true and fair way. (for example in creating visuals for presentations or in our website redesign).The brand is basically our look, tone, identity and what we stand for. So it’s not black and white; ‘this is the right way’ or ‘this is the wrong way’; it’s quite a subjective area.

Kaye (one of the founders) has a strong Marketing background and I would often seek reassurance from her if I was heading in the right direction.

Trust myself

So when faced with a dilemma, I now ask myself the question ‘What would trust do next?’ I listen to my intuition and also by asking myself this question, I give myself space to reflect – to check in on our intent, our values and our focus. The answer is always surprisingly positive and easy to get to! And so far so good with the way things are working out!

It’s true, I still have some ideas that are slightly ‘off track’ – but they’re ideas (and there are no bad ideas). If this happens, it won’t just be dismissed. We’ll look at why it doesn’t work. And this reinforces my learning and my awareness and knowledge deepens.

Trust others

I’m part of the project team for the System Rebuild Project, and again the answer to this question is at the source of working together with my colleagues successfully. We all have different strengths and all bring something different to the project. Without trust – we’d get nowhere, fast.

Family life

My children have recently gone back to school and I was getting abit anxious about being away from them for six hours a day, and entrusting them in the care of someone I’ve smiled at once, not knowing…. what’s happening? Is their teacher being kind and fair? How they are getting on? So I ask myself the question again, ‘What would trust do next?’ I trust that they can do their work, that the teacher lives our school’s values, that they’re getting on ok in playground.

When I trust, I have a belief in someone or something and it comes from within me. It’s an inside job.

Is there doubt?  Sometimes, yes. But we live in an uncertain world; I know that some doubt is normal and it’s healthy for our minds to be able to accept it.

To trust is a choice

Our business coach reminded us that trust is ‘a choice to view events as they unfold positively overlaid with a belief that they can and will’.

I choose to trust

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I was lucky enough to be able to attend a one day course hosted by Hub Events and facilitated by Larry Reynolds on the 24th May, which was titled “The Manager’s Guide to Flexible Working”. As a business SK Chase is really focused on creating a healthy work/life balance, and I went along hoping to learn from other businesses learning’s and experiences with regards to flexible and home working.

This was the first time I had been to an HR related seminar on my own, so I was feeling slightly anxious as to what the people would be like and what I would take away from this. I arrived at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow at 9am sharp, ready for our 9.30am start and having walked in to the meeting room I realised that there were more attendees than I thought there would be, about 20 in total. We sat down and got ready for the session to begin. I had read feedback on Larry’s sessions and his method seemed much aligned with that of our Shirlaws business coach, Fergus King, whereby he was there to facilitate the session and help with group work, rather than standing at the front of the room lecturing us all on managing flexible working.

There were lots of different people at the seminar, representing lots of different businesses/organisations, ranging from small IT companies who were already working flexibly to council representatives who had been tasked with creating and managing flexible working with their council. One thing which I noticed early on in the session, and which gave me an overwhelming sense of pride is that SK Chase has made a conscious decision to help our staff create a better work/life balance, and in many ways we are ahead of the game, with almost all of our staff either doing flexible hours, working from home or a mixture of both.

Some organisations had come up against resistance from Manager’s when flexible/home work had been requested, or they had encountered fear as to how they would be able to trust people working from home. Being able to share SK Chase’s experiences felt very rewarding, as a business but also for me as a representative of the business. It made me realise that as an organisation we have already accepted the benefits that flexible/home working will bring to our business, and that happy staff are more effective and productive for the benefit of SK Chase.

With all of the above said, that is not to say that I sat the whole day thinking that there was no point being there. I did take away several key learning’s from the seminar, one of which is that as a business we need a more structured way of creating flexible/home working procedures. In the past the request has always been raised by a staff member and has been done on an ad hoc individual basis, however moving forward, as part of our ongoing HR project I will be looking at ways in which we can create a more structured process, so that as SK Chase grows, existing and new staff know where they stand when it comes to requesting and implementing flexible/home working.

As an organisation within which most of our staff work from home at least one day a week, we fully trust that our staff will manage their workload effectively and manage team members expectations as to when they can be reached and how best to communicate with them when they are not in the office. At the seminar we were given the top ten tips for building trust within a virtual team, and having just recruited two new team members who will be based down in London with our Sales Manager Daniela, these brought about some new ways in which we can ensure that we all actively communicate with each other, as well as reinforcing that we are already ensuring that we maintain the trust which has already been created with the team.

The top ten tips are:

1. Clarify expectations- have a face to face kickoff event if possible.
2. Be available- clarify how people can get hold of you and other team members.
3. Get to know each other- make social calls, have a fun fact sheet for each team member.
4. Let people know what is happening when they are not around.
5. Stimulate peer to peer and buddy relationships.
6. Give open and honest feedback.
7. Do frequent short calls, check ins and virtual huddles.
8. Encourage debate and disagreement.
9. Be utterly reliable and hold others to a similarly high standard.
10. Create time and space to share the learning.

I felt really energised after the seminar and after sharing my learning’s with the team, Kaye & Heather shared that it would be a good idea to write a blog about the session and what I took away from it.

I now have a feeling that the only way is up for SK Chase and I am looking forward to creating new procedures within the business to make sure that our working from home policy is documented.

And, on a side note, my fears and anxiety about attending the seminar were of course completely unfounded, and towards the end of the day I even found myself up presenting in front of the rest of the group, something that I never imagined myself doing at all.

Every day is a learning and every learning is a gift to be cherished.

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‘I hate my job’,

Nooo – not me (but what an interesting post that could be)!

A friend said it to me the other night during dinner.  And I don’t often need to look too far away to hear or read similar words… ‘Are you happy in your job?’ she asked.

I nodded and replied ‘I like my job’.

In fact…. I like my job a lot.

If someone asks me what I do for a living, their response is often ‘wow, you’re lucky, sounds like you have great job’ or ‘did you write your own job description?’, which is ironic, because I actually do write my own job description.

We all do here at SK Chase.

Once a year, we have a Performance & Salary Review’, to check in on staff member’s achievements and review their work over the past year. It is also a chance to show how they wish to develop their roles.  As part of this, we also complete a ‘staff energies’ table; which is a table with all the functions in your business (i.e. IT, Marketing, Sales, HR, etc.), and we simply write down if we have up, down or neutral ‘energy’ around that particular function.  So there are real opportunities for you to grow into other areas, should you wish to. And from this, you write your desired position description.

Our position descriptions provide clarity to each member of the team as to what is expected of them in their role, in terms of functions, tasks and capacity.  In this way it ensures SK Chase is remaining effective (all tasks are being carried out) and efficient (there should be no duplication of tasks).

They also provide a tool for time management – to ensure each function is given the capacity required, and team members are able to measure how much time they are spending in a particular function. By putting together a proposed position description for the following year, each member of the team gets the opportunity to choose which areas of the business interest them the most, so that every member of the team is working in areas which energise them.

And once we have done this, the HR Manager, together with the two owners, sit down and look at our position descriptions, energies, capacity in each function, what’s happening in the future, and lots of other things I’d imagine. And from that it’s agreed who does what, and what percentage of their time they will spend in that function. The top line is ‘what’s best for the business’; the second is ‘where does this person’s energy lie?’.

So we get to write our own job description here.

We get to choose what we do.

Just reading that again, it seems crazy that someone would stay in a job that they disliked; but I know it’s not simple. You train for a role, work your way up, are on a level of salary where walking away and trying something new is simply not an option.  And it’s easy to stay in a job, that you might not like, but you know what do.

So rather than feeling trapped by my job, like my friend, working at SK Chase has given me freedom.

SK Chase has created a culture that empowers and involves everyone in the business; that gives freedom.

I’m at my happiest when I’m doing something I love: I’m completely in the moment,  when I am ‘living my intent’ and in my case it’s ‘to create’.  And at SK Chase it matters that you live your intent – that it’s part of your job.

Kaye Taylor, one of the founders of SK Chase, reminded me,

’Intent is the ‘why’ we do ‘what’ we do. When I’m living my intent, I am completely connected and aligned – I feel free; like I’m flying and in tune with the universe. When we’re living our intent we don’t feel like we’re ‘doing’ anything – more that we are being who we really are – and it’s effortless.

Why is it important that we live our intent at SK Chase? How amazing would it be if everyone felt like that every day?!’

For me, my intent is where my heart is.

So I said to my friend ‘Well if your heart isn’t in it…’, I paused and shrugged my shoulders, ‘What about finding a job where it is?’

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