Jacqui Burke’s passion to help people working for SMEs and non-profit organisations fulfil their potential led to the launch of Flourishing People in 2001.
Based in Newmarket, the business operates throughout the South and East of England, supporting the growth and development of its clients by building the competence and confidence of managers leading to an environment where people can flourish.
Services include Business and Management Training, Team Development, Coaching and Mentoring and HR Support Services.
Flourishing People achieved an overall Gold award in the Responsible Business Standard in January this year (2013). The audit was carried out by ORB licenced auditor James Davey. In his report and certification summary, James described Flourishing People as: “An excellent example of good practice in a small business.”
Matthew Hancock MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Skills and the Government’s Small Business Champion presents Jaqui Burke with the Responsible Business Standard Gold Award.
He added: “Jacqui is responsible for all aspects of the business from administration to delivery through to strategy and policy. It was clear straight away that Jacqui is dedicated to providing a first class service to her customers delivered with passion and in an ethical manner.”
Flourishing People has experience of supporting a wide range of organisations from business start-ups and SMEs through to large corporates and public sector businesses.
Jacqui is currently the sole employee within Flourishing People but is well-aware of the importance of providing a happy and harmonious workplace.
In her role with clients she encourages businesses to recognise that competent confident staff are not only more productive but also far happier in their job; they feel valued, are more engaged, more creative and more focused. Jacqui said
“Training motivates staff; it provides them with the confidence to feel that they are doing their job to the best of their ability and offers them a reassurance that their position within a company is secure.”
“So often in the UK we promote people into management and supervisory roles because they have been excellent at performing a particular task. And we expect them to somehow pick up the ability to manage other people doing the job.
“Flourishing People designs and delivers training and development programmes to build the business leadership and management skills and capability of your managers, from first line supervisors and team leaders through to senior executives.”
Effective management can also help to create a harmonious working environment.
“A study of 1,000 UK employees found almost 1/3 of workers regularly clash with colleagues, although 60% of respondents believe clashes are unhealthy. Flourishing People offers tailor-made programmes for teams designed to develop effective team working and reduce conflict.”
Flourishing People’s Human Resources support services also help businesses ensure they comply with the latest employment legislation, adopt and maintain good employment practices, maintain and develop competent and highly motivated staff and maximise their competitive edge through increased staff loyalty and commitment.
Jacqui has clearly put some real thought into the impact her business has on the environment and ways in which she could minimise its negative impact and make a positive impact.
Jaqui Burke of Flourishing People and Jill Poet from the Organisation for Responsible Businesses (ORB) talk about the Responsible Business Standard.
Last year Jacqui was accredited as a Suffolk Low Carbon Champion. Flourishing People also won Silver Suffolk Carbon Charter and the Environmental Awareness Award as part of the Newmarket & District Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2012.
Award judges applauded Jacqui’s ‘exemplary’ approach in identifying the key areas where her business impacts on the environment and in the setting of specific objectives as a result. These objectives are regularly monitored as part of the Suffolk Carbon Charter Programme.
The building from which Flourishing People operates is fitted with solar panels enabling it to generate its own electricity. Energy consumption is monitored via energy bills and the system includes energy monitors which are regularly inspected.
The business strives to reuse materials itself or passes them on to others where appropriate, recycling all waste when possible or ensuring it is disposed of in a responsible manner.
Jacqui has also committed to reduce the use of materials used in the delivery of services by 5%. The business produces fewer printed hand-outs, relying on e-mail or electronic provision where practical, but ensures that all necessary paper is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.
She has also managed to deliver a significant cut in the environmental impact of business travel by opting to use public transport whenever possible. In 2011, 90% of travel was by car. This reduced to 50% in 2012.
Flourishing People’s accountant recently commented on the extent to which these changes in practice have reduced costs within the business over the past 12 months and increased profit.
As a provider of HR and training services Flourishing People are able to influence the behaviour of clients by encouraging them to consider environmental impact as a part of their business and HR policies and procedures.
Jacqui’s commitment to green issues goes beyond her own business operations. She is keen to spread the environmental awareness message to others and Bottisham Community Primary School, where she is Chair of Governors, has now gained a Top Recycler Award and Silver Award as an Eco School.
ORB’s licenced auditor praised Jacqui for being acutely aware of the community in which she works, stating: “She has thought about what she can do to give back to the community and has taken direct action to make a positive impact.”
Congratulating Jaqui Burke on the award Vicky Ford MEP Conservative Spokesman on Industry and Research said that The European Parliment talks about how important small business are as the backbone of the economy,
As well as being Chair of Governors at a local primary school, she is also an Advisory Board Member for the Bottisham & Soham Children’s Centre. Jacqui’s partner is also heavily involved with the village hall committee. The company’s work with the school and the village hall is voluntary and unpaid.
Flourishing People recognise that many small charities cannot always afford the valuable services that they offer and so work as a member of Cambridgeshire ProHelp to provide pro-bono services to local charities who need help with HR projects.
Flourishing People aims to actively support charities within their community and beyond. MacMillan Cancer Support is one particular charity close to Jacqui’s heart as she herself has benefitted from the charity’s help and support in the past. She continues to work with Macmillan Cancer Support as a Macmillan Cancer Voice.
Jacqui also helps to provide support for businesses located within the Forest Heath District of Suffolk as a Committee Member on the Newmarket & District Chamber of Commerce, which is affiliated with Suffolk Chamber. Her support goes beyond her work with the Chamber, as Flourishing People endeavour to use local suppliers and goods. If no local supplier exists then mail order is chosen to reduce road miles.
Flourishing People endeavours to ensure it works with organisations that share its strong embedded values. The company’s written Purchasing Policy states that preference is given to businesses which have clearly stated standards of ethical and responsible business practice.
The company’s commitment to good practice is clearly paying off. It boasts a high level of customer satisfaction based on feedback received since its inception.
Jacqui ensures that all services are professionally delivered to an agreed standard. Regular feedback is obtained from tutors, assessors, clients and participants to continue the consistency of design and delivery of programmes.
Clear consumer information covering all aspects of the many services on offer is provided via the Flourishing People website (http://www.flourishingpeople.co.uk/) with any brochures being provided electronically.
Keeping suppliers happy is equally important. Flourishing People demonstrated to ORB auditors that it has developed and maintained good supplier relationships and has a clear policy of paying suppliers on time, supported by their commitment to the Pay On Time Campaign (www.payontime.co.uk).
Ethics, Values & Transparency
Jacqui’s personal values are the key to her success and so she is keen to promote her ethics and values. She regularly shares her ideas with clients and associates and through both face to face and social networking, using membership of a number of Linkedin Groups relevant to her industry and her Twitter account.
Jacqui’s personal values are also implicit in her Associate Inductions. She will only work with associates who share her embedded values.
Flourishing People is involved with the fledgling National Early Years Trainers and Consultants Organisation which plans to enable the sharing of best practice amongst consultants doing similar work. Transparency in this area is really important to Jacqui because her clients are values based businesses and organisations.
Her commitment to responsible business is clear to see in all aspects of her operations and has been justly rewarded with the overall Gold award in the Responsible Business Standard.
Jacqui confirmed her commitment to continue to build responsible business practice into all of Flourishing People’s training programmes for business leaders and managers. She sees this as the most effective way for her small business to impact positively on business practice.
As a Committee Member she is also working with the Newmarket & District Chamber of Commerce to promote the use of local businesses to provide products and services by taking the lead on a Buy Local campaign.
In her role as a School Governor Jacqui is working with the Head Teacher to develop a closer partnership between several local primary schools. This will facilitate the sharing of good practice and resources at a time when school budgets are severely challenged and when local authorities are less able to provide support.
As far as Flourishing People are concerned, the future requires creative thinking to deliver their valuable support services to clients more cost effectively. This is likely to involve more remote delivery of services using technology in order to reduce both their own and clients’ need to travel. Jacqui feels that this will create opportunities for Flourishing People as it will enable them to deliver services to clients in locations that are not currently accessible to them and thereby open up new markets.