Quooker hires psychologist to help improve performance

Quooker UK has announced it has hired one of the UK’s leading performance psychologists to consult on its company culture as part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to employee wellbeing.

In what’s being described as a major milestone for the company, Martin Littlewood has been hired to focus on Quooker UK employees and their sense of wellbeing, to help improve performance.

Littlewood has an extensive career as a psychological consultant within the sporting world, having worked with professional athletes on how correct self-identity and self-expectation feeds into wider team success.

Previously, his work has helped clubs such as Bolton Wanderers FC, Everton FC, and Leicester City FC, and he has also worked closely with the Premier League to develop its Elite Academy Managers’ development programme.

Speaking about the appointment Stephen Johnson, MD, Quooker UK said: “Quooker UK is now the size of a corporate company, but we want a workplace culture that aligns more closely to that of a start-up. One that puts people first, can be flexible to the individual, that is based on trust, and ultimately is a place where employees look forward to coming to work and giving it their all.

“I have always maintained that our phenomenal success over the past decade is of course due in large part to the world-class product, but in equal measure due to our people. Company culture is crucial to get right which is why we have invested time and resources into it. Working with Martin has been brilliant in helping us navigate and implement this and we have already seen huge benefits across all teams.”

During his time with Quooker, Littlewood has been using a strength-based profiling technique to better understand how team members cope under pressure, what motivates them each day, and how they see their role within the larger organisational structure. Littlewood says that the technique focuses on an individual’s personal strengths instead of identifying their deficiencies.

Littlewood said: “My job is to work out how to get the best out every single employee to help the company perform dynamically as a whole. When working with individuals, you must first understand who they are and what their unique job in the company is, which takes time and trust. Only by understanding people as individuals can you help them work out their personal goals and focus – where they want to get better or how they can grow most efficiently.

“The balance between prioritising performance versus wellbeing is a tricky one to get right. Companies should want to create an environment where it is ok to find something challenging, providing you learn from it. A workplace culture that is ok with failure if it leads to growth is a healthy one.”

To show its commitment to fostering a positive company culture from the top down, Quooker UK MD, Stephen Johnson, shared his personal profile with his employees.

Speaking of the profiling process, Johnson said: “By acknowledging and accepting where I am both good and bad at something, it helps identify the gaps and how others can step-up to fill them. When this same process is done in every team across the whole company, it helps us better plan and focus hiring around missing skillsets. We all come with different strengths and weaknesses, that’s what makes our company unique.”

The company’s commitment to employee wellbeing has already been recognised, with The Sunday Times naming Quooker as one of the best places to work in the UK, earlier this year.  Last month, it was also described by solicitors Ward Hadaway as “one of the fastest growing companies in the North West,” based on its annual turnover.

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