Putting a spring in our step – SGP conference builds cohesion and diversity
SGP’s Spring conference found a new, in-house venue this year, with the entire SGP staff being welcomed at the new Leicester office at Grove Park, Enderby.
Explains Ian Yallop: “This is the first time SGP has been able to bring together all our staff under our own roof, which is very exciting. The feedback we’ve received has been very positive and highlighted the importance of these face-to-face get togethers. Even staff who have been with the practice for many years are meeting people they’ve only spoken to on the phone.”
Lyndon Johnson, Associate
As an old git I have to say I was a little sceptical, but it exceeded my expectations. I found the day stimulating.
The day began with Ian outlining the key elements of SGP’s business plan – reviewing where the practice is at and where it aims to be.
“We’ve put in a lot of investment over the last two years to support our aim of strengthening the practice for the challenging times ahead,” continues Ian, “We’ve invested in new infrastructure like cloud-based computing, and in staff, bringing in experienced people with key sector knowledge and contacts to help protect our future through diversifying our markets. The diversification strategy is already making great strides with two new, highly competitive sectors, transport and healthcare, already accounting for 10% and 4-5% of turnover, respectively.”
Each sector lead – industrial, retail, offices, residential, mixed-use, healthcare, transport and interiors – then took their audience through the practice’s recent successes and plans for the future. Bringing together architectural and non-architectural staff for the same presentations was particularly valuable in helping staff understand what was happening in the practice as a whole. Lunch in the office’s café and terrace area was a lively get-together and gave everyone the opportunity to chat and swap ideas and impressions.
Karen Coekin, Financial Controller
Just wanted to emphasise how valuable I thought the spring conference was, being non-technical I did not feel ‘out of my depth’ and felt it gave a great insight into the different sectors. Great to meet the other offices too!
The recent Spring Conference is one of four practice-wide events, including a Christmas party, Summer BBQ and Autumn conference, aimed at bringing the practice together to meet up, socialise and share information.
Concludes Ian: “Because of events like this, we’ve realised the high-quality design of our office is a real physical expression of the principles we hold dear as a practice. Gathering here instils a positive sense of pride and achievement in the people who see it. We’re certainly looking at more events; seminars and working groups are a possibility, but it’s obvious that bringing everyone together at Leicester helps communication and networking, as well as building a sense of cohesion and team spirit across the practice as a whole.”
Alan Soper, Studio Director
I thought it was an excellent day not only for the opportunity to speak with colleagues once again, but significantly I felt there was real collective engagement and especially after the Sector presentations, dare I say a sense pride (‘puffing up of chests’) in what the company is achieving!