Here’s what we’ve been up to

Local couple swoop star prize in Entec Si sponsored charity golf event

Two local residents celebrated winning a week in a traditional Cyprus villa thanks to our sponsorship of a recent charity event. The lucky couple from Erdington won the main prize at The Alzheimer’s Society fundraising gala dinner held at Holyfields Sports and Conference Centre in Erdington, after entering a raffle.

Mark and Jenny Newson, the recipients of the prize said:

“Winning a villa for the week in beautiful Cyprus was a huge shock, but more than that, we were delighted to support this worthwhile charity. It was incredibly generous of Entec Si to donate the prize for a fantastic event”

We not only donated the prize, but also sponsored a hole at the charity golf event earlier that day at Hatchford Brook Golf Course in Sheldon, Birmingham.

Peter Marsden, Executive Chairman added:

“Alzheimer’s affects so many lives and as a Midlands business with employees who have experienced this disease in their own families, we were proud to have the opportunity to help raise money for the charity.”

Putting employees first with Sarah Frost’s new promotion

We continue to prove our commitment to employee development with the promotion of Sarah Frost to Head of People Operations.

The position comes with a seat on the strategic leadership board, to support the development of the business’s unique person-centred ethos. With a foot in both the leadership and project delivery camps, Sarah has a unique 360-degree view of business operations. In doing so, Sarah’s promotion places our person-focused approach at the heart of all business decisions.

Sarah has a varied background in people management, beginning her career at the NEC, spending six years supporting key recruitment and distribution activities for live events staff, whilst honing her problem-solving and people management skills. Since joining our team, Sarah has been supported in her personal development and is now working towards her CIPD level 5 diploma in People Management.

Joining us in early 2020, Sarah has been responsible for:

  • The end-to-end people strategy, including talent acquisition
  • Resourcing and commission coordination
  • People and career development
  • Culture and wellbeing

This key leadership role provides strategic advice to the board on matters impacting its people and to ensure that its consultant portfolio is the right shape as the company expands, and that the voices of our workforce are properly represented.

Eman Al-Hillawi, CEO said:

“Sarah has proven to be an invaluable asset to not only the team, but also to the future development of Entec Si. Her passion for supporting her colleagues has not gone unnoticed and she will be a key driver in our mission of instilling ‘change for good’ in everything we do. “I can already see Sarah embracing her new role and we will continue to offer our undivided support on her personal development journey.”

Sarah adds:

“Working for a company like Entec Si, which places people front and centre of its business, has already been extremely rewarding for me and I’m delighted to take on this new role. The company is supporting me to develop my career and achieve new qualifications. Alongside this I’ll take an active role in shaping how our people continue their journey with the company. Having a seat on the strategic leadership board helps to ensure every aspect of the business is well-represented when making big decisions. I’m looking forward to supporting Entec Si and our team in our next development phase”.

Surgical robot project hits new milestone

Construction work to support the introduction of the highly anticipated surgical robot has been successfully delivered thanks to programme and change management expertise provided by ourselves.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust enlisted our help to introduce the state-of-the-art surgical robot at Alexandra Hospital, Redditch, initially to help finalise the business case. Following approval of the business case, we were subsequently commissioned to lead the implementation of the programme, accountable for the critical path across a number of workstreams.

Helping to build a robot

Our responsibilities included coordinating the build works, recruitment and training, finances, clinical operations and communication efforts, as well as the digital elements needed to support the installation of the robot. With the operating theatre now complete, we have handed the stabilisation phase back over to the Trust.

Providing a blended team of specialist consultants and working across all stakeholder groups, has ensured a holistic overview of the entire programme, keeping each of the various elements on track.

Providing a better patient experience

Surgeons will use the Da Vinci surgical system to initially perform urology procedures on prostate cancer patients. Robot-assisted surgery is less invasive surgery, so this change will result in a better patient experience, with shorter stays in hospital, less pain and quicker recovery times for patients with prostate cancer – the most common form of cancer in men.

The refurbishment work included renovating and reinforcing the theatre floor to take the weight of the new robot as well as upgrading the ventilation system to cater for its additional functionality. Senior clinicians aim to begin providing robot-assisted surgery at the Alexandra Hospital later this year.

Julie Smith, senior consultant, comments:

“Entec Si’s experience of understanding the complexities of managing change within healthcare environments has meant the successful construction of the new operating theatre ready for the robot. Not only has this been an inspiring project to oversee, but one that is incredibly important to the community in which it will serve. Understanding the importance of improving patient outcomes has been the thread that has kept this entire project so innovative, emotive and focused.

“Being able to add value to an already highly competent team remains the unique gem in Entec Si’s crown and I’m proud to hand over the programme to the Trust for the final stabilisation phase in a healthy position.”

Mr Steve Goodyear MD FRCS, Divisional Director (Surgery) of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, adds:

“Entec Si has been invaluable in the delivery of this project, helping us to demonstrate our commitment to providing the best experience for our patients. Its consultants have been fully engaged, committed and brought energy to this complex project, and we are incredibly grateful for their support. The successful delivery of the project will not only mean better care for patients but also help to make the Trust an even more attractive place to work and train clinical staff across a wide range of specialities.”

How to successfully manage an office revamp

The increase in hybrid working has led to many organisations reassessing their property strategy and the way in which the workplace is being used. But how can a business or organisation ensure that their office revamp not only runs smoothly but also uses the space to best effect?

Office space requirements

There was a time when personal work areas and large amounts of space were needed to fit entire workforces on site. However, the current rise of hybrid working has changed how office space is utilised. When considering an office revamp, decision-makers need to examine which areas of a project require face-to-face contact, which tasks lend themselves to home or office working and whether employees will use the office to work independently or as part of a team. By understanding employee needs and deciding how spaces will be used organisations will have a better understanding of how to make the most out of their space.

Invest in modern IT systems

Digital connectivity is essential for ensuring employees can properly carry out work from both in and out of the office, and employers should ensure staff are appropriately equipped with the right technology. With the hybrid working approach growing in popularity, many employers have used this as an opportunity to take steps to improve and modernise their existing IT infrastructure. Investing in modern workplace software will provide employees with digital team collaboration and encourage group work, without the need for constant face-to-face contact, decreasing the amount of time employees spend in the office.

Hybrid working patterns

In order to eliminate inefficiently used space, it’s important for decision makers to initiate a clear model of working, setting out direct expectations to the workforce of exactly where and how they are expected to work going forward. Whether this be working in the office one day a week to working in the office full-time. By considering the requirements of the space, it’s important to implement structured working patterns. This will help to eliminate the possibility of unused or impractical use of space and provide clarity for employees. For larger organisations, it may help to split office days between teams, allowing for equal amounts of face-to-face contact, whilst occupying a smaller office space.

Hybrid working difficulties

Communicating with employees to determine what works for them may be beneficial to employers to work out whether a hybrid approach will suit them. For staff struggling to work from home, provisions should be made to ensure there are permanent spaces available for those who choose to make the daily commute and should be considered when sourcing new office space.

Remaining open to internal business change

It is crucial for employers to understand that no one has perfected this new way of working and that they may even feel the need for more change after an office revamp. Recent years have shown that organisations should be prepared for the possibility of changing methods of working almost instantaneously, although most likely not to the same extent as the 2020 pandemic. Regular research into how other organisations are implementing agile working and updating methods as required could help employers who feel a business transformation is needed. Communication with the workforce will also allow employers to see if and where change for good may need to be made in future.

For employers to reap the benefits of an office revamp they need to understand exactly what is required from an office space whilst ensuring the needs of the workforce are also met. Investing in modern IT and assessing workforce needs are just some ways to ensure an increase in efficiency and productivity amongst staff, whilst regular industry research and communication with employees will create a better working environment.

Meet the consultant… Anna Lane

1. What does your day-to-day role as a senior consultant look like?

Life as a senior consultant means that every single day varies, which is what makes working at Entec Si so appealing. I specialise in people change management; for example engaging people to ensure that a new HR or finance system, or broader transformational changes across an organisation are a success. Another focus is ensuring that the benefits of a programme are identified, measured and realised.  One minute I could be developing a new change strategy for a client, and the next, I’m creating a communications plan to ensure that all stakeholders are involved and aware of how we’re going to deliver it.

2. What part of your role is most rewarding?

I’m a people person through and through, so developing good relationships with my clients is the best part of the job. It makes things much more enjoyable, and often results in a quicker turnaround time for work.

People don’t always understand what working in change management or benefits realisation means, so it’s important to explain to clients why it’s so essential. That shared understanding is extremely rewarding to me, and the feeling never tires.

3. What made you choose a career at Entec Si?

Two main things really stood out for me. Firstly, sharing the same values as a company has always been a priority for me in my career. I wanted to help make positive changes for people and their organisations and Entec Si allowed me to follow that passion.

Not only that, but as someone with a family I didn’t want to have to choose between my family life or my work life. A career at Entec Si has allowed me to be present in both aspects of my life and achieve true satisfaction in both.

4. What is your favourite memory of working at Entec Si?

There are two memories that spring to mind:

Developing our relationship with our charity partner Thrive – who offer therapeutic gardening programmes to people with health, social, or educational needs – has been so rewarding. We have spent lots of team days here weeding, digging and bonding.

A favourite memory has to be from the days during Covid when everyone was locked away and working from home, and we came together in support of Eman and Peter to create a compilation video of all the team singing ‘I Will Survive’ by Gloria Gaynor. The team came together, had a bit of fun and it really put a smile on our faces in the process. Knowing you have a team around you that are going to pull together in the hard times is a fantastic feeling.

5. What has been your biggest career highlight?

That would have to be becoming a Prosci change practitioner, one of the world’s most popular change management certifications. From that I’ve been able to utilise the methodology into practice with a number of different clients, through a variety of different sectors, which have all achieved fantastic, long-lasting results. It’s definitely something I am extremely proud of.

6. Outside of work, what are your biggest passions in life?

I like to think I have lived my life to the fullest. A younger Anna would be telling you all about my skydives, travelling and diving experiences! My current chapter of life is a little less adrenaline-fueled and instead my passions are much closer to home. With a young family to care for, I love spending time making memories with my children and watching them grow up. However, on the rare occasion I do find myself with some child-free time you will certainly find me pottering around in the garden. Anything from wielding a hedge trimmer to getting creative with planting. Being able to sit back and enjoy the hard work you have put into something will never get old.

7. Have you got any advice for aspiring business consultants?

What people might not know is that it takes all sorts of attributes and skills to be a business change consultant. Personally, I come from a background in international development which is an entirely different sector. But the skills I have brought with me to this role have helped me to achieve great results for my clients and bring real value to the team. Just because your background doesn’t fit within the vague outlines of business consultancy, doesn’t mean your skills won’t be an asset to any team.

Meet the consultant… Jack Sixsmith

1. How did you get into change consultancy?

I’ve had an unconventional career path. From university, my first job was with a huge multinational organisation which made me feel a little like a tiny cog in a big machine. Following that I then went into the antiques dealing business. A bit different, I know! I’ve always had an interest in business and management, so when a recruitment agency offered me the opportunity at Entec Si, I jumped at it. I successfully attended a recruitment day and that’s where my change management journey started.

2. What is a typical day in the life of a junior consultant?

No day is the same here. My role is incredibly varied but that’s one of the things I enjoy the most. Depending on the project I’m working on, my day could be spent being creative and designing presentations for clients or utilising my research skills by gathering and analysing data or interviewing people. There’s no set ‘typical’ day but there’s always something new to get stuck into.

3. Why Entec Si? What makes it a good place to work?

Beyond the flexibility provided here, Entec Si takes a lot of responsibility over the personal development and culture within the team. Its passion for career development is unmatched, with support in defining a clear path through training courses, shadowing and meetings. But it also prides itself on the culture it’s built, going above and beyond to ensure team members are being listened to.

After Covid, there was a shared sense of loss amongst the team as the distance between us took away some of the family feel we have always loved. The leadership team responded really quickly, implementing frequent get-togethers, away days and new reporting structures to allow us, not only meet with our line managers, but also the wider team, frequently and virtually. This has to help us connect more, which has already had a big and positive impact on the team.

4. How does Entec Si support your career development?

Continuous development runs through every member of the team. Our managers are constantly on the lookout for training courses and opportunities that enhance our professional skills and there are ongoing discussions as to where you see your career heading.  From shadowing others, being placed on specific clients to mentoring from an individual outside of the company, there is a big emphasis on personal and career development here.

5. What has been your biggest career highlight?

It has been really rewarding to guide and transform clients, not just through processes we implement but also transform their mindset too. Getting the balance between the technical and the human side is fascinating. This often involves helping them to think in a more logical, project management-focused way, as well as how things will roll out in practice. For me, supporting a client with a lack of structure and enabling them to adapt and grow has built my confidence massively and is definitely one of my biggest career highlights so far.

6. What does a good work-life balance mean for you? Does Entec Si support this?

Work-life balance isn’t about having set hours, it’s about being able to flex your job around your life at certain times. A lot of the team have young families and are able to work around the school run. Similarly since the pandemic, over three quarters of the company have welcomed new pets to the family! It is refreshing to see how a modern company can fit around your life. This is something I have not seen done quite as well as Entec Si has.

The leadership team are always encouraging different ways of working, from regular ‘walk and talks’ (where we go for a walk and have a catch up over the phone) to frequent team building socials. As you can see, it isn’t just a place where you come to work, it’s more of a community.

7. What is one personal goal for the next six months?

I want to learn how to meditate. I have attempted to do this previously, but I can’t seem to get past half an hour before giving up. My goal is to get to a full hour of meditation!

In a professional context, I’m hoping to get a few more qualifications under my belt, with a special interest in becoming a scrum master.

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