Burts Snacks turns to former military trainer for team motivation
UK independent firm Burts Snacks has sought to match its bold flavours with a clear ambition to add a winning business ingredient in motivational assistance for its teams, reports Neill Barston.
The Devon-based outfit has grown from a small family enterprise to a nationally recognised, award-winning brand employing more than 300 people.
To help his employees through the turbulent time of Covid-19, Burts Snacks site director Paul Bavin (pictured below) turned to executive leadership coach and former combat leader Neil Jurd OBE for his services.
The former Sandhurst instructor, launched his virtual leadership course to enable business leaders and managers to best equip themselves to lead their teams through any situation. He had previously dedicated 25 years to the army where he led a number of overseas expeditions including in Bosnia and Sierra Leone. He also commanded a Gurkha squadron in Iraq in 2006-2007.
Given the disruption firms have experienced in the last 12 months, Paul said the input and impetus Neil’s experience and expertise gives the company is ideally timed.
Paul said: “I have been so impressed with Neil’s discipline and his governance more than anything. We have a big ambition and a corporate vision here at Burts Snacks and I want to ensure everyone is working towards the same goal.
“Our current leadership team all come from different backgrounds and have received different leadership training over the years, so it will be nice for them to start and finish this leadership development training together.
“If our team isn’t being led in a way that is nurturing to our employees and mentoring them, then what’s the point? Leadership to me is about taking people on a journey and so it’s imperative that our team has the right tools, which Neil supplies them with.”
The independent hand-cooked crisps and snacks manufacturer was formed in the late nineties and has since grown into a nationally recognised brand known for using the best quality ingredients.
Not scared to experiment with bold flavours, Burts Snacks uses local ingredients to create exciting flavours such as Firecracker Lobster to Levi Roots Reggae Reggae and Guinness stout crisps. The business also offers a lower-calorie alternative to crisps with their popular Lentil Waves range.
Neil, who works with senior leaders across the UK, successfully launched his first book on leadership and team development The Leadership Book – A-Step-By-Step Guide To Excellent Leadership; which offers a refreshing and transformational approach to leadership and team development.
Speaking on his work with Burts, he said it was great to be engaging with the company. He added: “Covid-19 has changed the way we interact with people and it’s important to keep the conversation flowing between senior management and their employees.
“It’s easy for people to get bogged down in micromanaging and simply going day-by-day with tasks to complete, but that’s not healthy for anyone nor is it a positive and effective leadership style. Due to Covid-19 it’s been difficult for people to think outside the box. So I hope my videos help to inspire people to become better leaders.
“Leadership isn’t complicated. Anyone with an open mind can learn, apply it in real-life situations and become a better leader.”