How Organisations Can Show Appreciation for Their Teams

In: BlogDate: Nov 26, 2019By: Claire Lickman

At COOK, they believe that the key components of good working relationships at work are having a common purpose, clarity for staff on where they fit within the organisation, and finally by showing their staff that they are appreciated.

At the 2019 Happy Workplaces Conference, Rosie Brown of COOK explained how they manage this at an organisational level in this short 2.44 minute video.

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How organisations can show appreciation for their teams

I don’t know if you know what the greatest relationship of all time is? It is, of course, Kate and Leo. They are the greatest relationship of all time and here they are.

I’m including them because there’s a moment in the film where they’re sat on the deck of the Titanic and they’re talking about Jack’s drawings. Rose turns to Jack and she says, ‘You have a gift Jack, you see people.’ And he turns back to her and he says, ‘I see you.’ What happens in that moment is they both see each other and it’s from that moment that their relationship really blossoms. But at work, too, we want to be seen. We want to be appreciated for what we’re bringing to the party and that in turn makes for better relationships.

We’re always trying to find fun ways to get people to connect at work. These are two of our London shop managers in a photo booth thing who clearly love each other a lot, which is great. As organisations we can act too by appreciating where our workforce is at and meeting the needs of those in our organisations.

In our kitchen and after speaking to people we ran lots of workshops. We have English workshops, we have an Eastern European workforce, we have run Brexit clinics, because that’s been a real challenge to some of them, the uncertainty that’s causing, we do financial wellbeing workshops, mental health, confidence workshops, because that’s where the need is and that’s what matters to people.

Likewise we have a hardship fund, because we definitely don’t want people going to the loan sharks elsewhere to support people. We have a holiday home, because when you’re on the Living Wage affording a family holiday can be a real stretch. We have something called the Dream Academy, which is a life-coaching programme, which is four months. A lot of people who come and work for us don’t have a lot of education, haven’t had a lot of input, and this is a programme to really help people identify what their life goals and dreams are and then to help them achieve it.

We’ve had some lovely stories. Having better relationships with their step-children was someone’s dream. Someone learned to drive. Better teeth, buying a first flat. I think the point is when we tune into the needs that exist in our teams and in our organisations, and then we go and meet that need, people feel appreciated and that fuels positive relationship.

At COOK, they believe that the key components of good working relationships at work are having a common purpose, clarity for staff on where they fit within the organisation, and finally by showing their staff that they are appreciated.

"At work, we want to be seen. We want to be appreciated for what we're bringing to the party, and that in turn makes for better relationships," explains Rosie Brown, Managing Director at COOK (speaking at the 2019 Happy Workplaces Conference).

How do you show appreciation to your staff? At COOK, they do this in a number of ways. They look at what people need and find ways to meet that need, for example by hosting workshops in English language, mental health, self-confidence and financial wellbeing. They also have a Dream Academy, a life-coaching programme to help people identify and achieve their dreams. This can be anything from buying their first flat or learning to drive to having better relationships with their step-children.

"I think the point is, when we tune into the needs that exist in our teams and in our organisations, and then we go and meet that need, people feel appreciated and that fuels positive relationship," explains Rosie.

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About Rosie Brown

Rosie started her career in London, and it didn’t take long to work out that politics and investment banking weren’t going to be part of the long term plan. In 2000, she joined COOK (then three years old, and co-founded by her brother Edward) working in most departments and having three sons along the way. Rosie became People Director in 2012. In 2016 Rosie took on the role of Managing Director.

COOK manufactures remarkable frozen food in our own Kitchens (made like you would at home) and sells it nationally in 86 retail stores and online. COOK are proud to be a founding UK BCorporation (people using business as a force for good) and have been voted as one of the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work For, for the last 5 years (and the highest placed manufacturer). In 2015 COOK won the Sunday Times Wellbeing award for our work on relationships, and in 2016 and 2017 won the award for Developing Potential. In addition, COOK’s ‘Dream Academy’ was voted in a Times list of Top 10 company benefits. In February 2019, COOK were recognised in 14th Place in the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work For list.

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