What we think

This is where you can peer into our minds and learn a bit more about us as recruiters, consultants and humans. Expect plenty of insight into Consumer, Retail, Recruitment, and life in our Leeds and London spaces. Some tips from the top and the odd guest appearance. Enjoy and please feel free to leave us a comment!

How to engage your team + Business Growth post-pandemic

26th May 2022

This year Seven celebrates twenty years in Consumer & Retail recruitment. As part of our celebrations, we’ve interviewed clients and partners who have been central to our success and business growth.

This week it’s the turn of Dan Oakley, MD at Motivus Consulting who has facilitated many training sessions for the team here at Seven and knows the journey of our brand well. Dan has worked with Seven as both a client in his leadership roles within the food industry as well as developing our team.

Dan talks through the importance of development tools such as the Insights [Colours] Personality Profiling model and 360 Degree Feedback for business growth and success. Thank you, Dan!


So Dan, many businesses are currently re-assessing their capabilities and business growth plans post-pandemic. What tools do you utilise to help recruit and then retain people?

When discussing potential candidates for my businesses, the first thing I will ask is what are their Insights colours? This will help design the right questions during the interviews and give an understanding whether the candidate is able to flex and adapt to different situations and audiences.  However, the Insights model [as with all personality models] has nothing to do with the performance of a candidate as it does not measure their capability, experience and most importantly, their attitude. That is where 360 Feedback comes in. These reports gather feedback from lots of different work colleagues to give managers and leaders a real perspective of what they are doing well and where they need development.

What’s the next stages of the Insights Colours Profiling once the team have completed a training session with you?

To embed the learning, you need to use the language day in and day out. All too often people can receive their personality report and then read all about themselves but forget that it is really about understanding others and how best to communicate with those around them.

Something that has suffered over the last two years with the move to hybrid and home working is the ability of people to connect properly with one another. It is so much more difficult to read people on a video call as you cannot see their body language so conversations don’t flow so easily. The Colours are a great reminder that everyone is different and the need to flex and adapt the way we communicate with one another.

You mentioned it there; what do you think about the home/hybrid working model and its impact on how we understand each other at work?

I’ve seen a lack of culture and comradery. I’ve noticed that the people who struggle the most working from home are those with high yellow energy. Has the last two years damaged the culture and values of businesses? Yes, because it’s been all about the short term and getting things done, which are very red and blue traits. In terms of strategy businesses are missing out on that future planning, the long-term agenda and vision.

In terms of the work you do with your clients, how has that changed recently?

Many businesses have realised that their culture and internal communication have suffered. I’ve been delivering lots of sessions on general communication and just resetting teams. As a business, you can’t rely on taking everyone out for a drink or booking the Christmas meal or summer barbeque to create a culture of openness and trust.

Moving onto 360 Feedback, what’s the reluctance of some leaders to take the ‘360 feedback’ or embed it into their businesses?

Because they can be painful! I think it’s great at Seven where the owners have exposed themselves to receiving 360 feedback. They have all taken on board the feedback from their teams in a really open way and want to develop. They have demonstrated a humbleness that leaders are often nervous to show. This seems to have had a huge impact on their business growth throughout the years.

I think that speaks volumes about the culture of openness and inclusion they are trying to develop.

What do you think is the benefit, of a business of this size, of the leadership team behaving in that way?

Retention is obviously a big priority. If the leaders themselves have taken 360 feedback on what they are doing well and not so well, this helps them understand the impact they are having positively and negatively on their team.

Most people leave a business because of their manager. By undertaking 360 feedback the leadership team can understand what they are doing that might be demotivating their team.

You’ve had a varied life in Consumer Goods over the last twenty years. We’ve asked everyone this question in this interview series – if you could go back and give yourself some career advice in 2002, what would that be?

Do something you enjoy, it’s a long working week if you don’t. Between 1996 and 2012 I worked very hard in the food industry and honestly there was a lot I didn’t enjoy. I realised that my roles required lots of Blue/Red energy which wasn’t natural for me.

It wasn’t until I set up my own business when I found a true enjoyment in terms of my career, so I’d say find something you enjoy doing.

Thank you, Dan for your time and insight!

To learn more about Motivus Consulting and Dan’s work with his clients, visit http://www.motivusconsulting.co.uk/


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