Relationships are at the heart of a thriving organisation’, is a belief held within the tigers group.

Organisations can spend copious amounts of time strategising about how they are going to grow their business, scoping market conditions, branding their products and services, and manging their financial performance. All these functions are fundamental to creating a healthy and sustainable organisation, but we believe the key to a thriving organisation is, relationships.

We believe that as an employer we have a moral responsibility to create a culture, and community, where people feel emotionally safe, respected, and valued. Our approach is one of non-judgement, inclusion, and acceptance.

We invite our team to bring their ‘whole self’ to work, which means a commitment to supporting our team with all aspects of their professional and personal development. We believe that we must nurture the relationships within our organisations to allow us to nurture relationships externally.

This conscious awareness of the importance of relationships and building the skills and confidence in developing healthy relationships, is what we call, Relationship Led Practice.

Relationship Led Practice

Tigers exists to inspire and support people to develop their infinite potential. We create learning and development opportunities that can break down the barriers that individuals face to developing their potential.

Our ‘Relationship Led Practice’ was created from our understanding that significant learning and development only happens in the presence of secure, positive relationships. We understand that taking risks, being innovative, partnership working and challenging the status quo, requires vulnerability. It is easier for people to embrace their vulnerability if they are working in a culture of emotionally safe relationships. Relational safety helps us to regulate and build the resilience needed to overcome adversity and stress.

These skills and attributes can be taught, just like any other.

All business is a series of ‘Daring Ventures’ 

We ask our team to take their personal responsibility within relationships.

We have dedicated financial investment, and time, to offering our whole team learning and development in Attachment Theory, early brain development and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). By understanding the science of human connection, we are better equipped to create environments that support our team, and wider community, to feel psychologically and emotionally safe and supported.

Over the last two years, we have been building our team’s knowledge and confidence in the application of the science of Attachment Theory. In partnership with our colleague Dr Suzanne Zeedyk, a developmental psychologist and researcher, we have undertaken a training and development journey, that we named Daring Ventures. This name was taken from John Bowlby’s quote “Life is best organised as a series of Daring Ventures from a secure base”.  Some of the concepts we have learned about are, attachment styles, the rupture/repair/relate cycle, emotional regulation, adolescent brain development, and emotional boundaries.

We have developed a shared language, cultural rituals, and deeper connections, through this shared journey of learning. Daring Ventures has provided our team with self-awareness to better understand the relationship they have with themselves and others. And, it has allowed our aim to grow the skills needed when faced with relational challenges and fears, which can happen daily within organisations!

What does Relationship Led Practice look like within the tigers group?

We often use the term, ‘you start with the adults that are present in the life of children and young people’. We cannot ask adults to nurture and support our children and young people, if they do not feel emotionally supported and nurtured within their own organisations. The same applies to our leadership team. You cannot ask leaders to support the emotional wellness of our teams if they do not feel supported and emotionally secure.

We encourage our team to bring their whole self to work, and to embrace their uniqueness. We understand that we all bring our relational experiences to our present life. For some of us, those experiences have been positive. For some of us, those experiences have brought adversity and challenge. We store those experiences in our brains and our bodies. This means that we will all have different trigger points, fears, and anxieties when it comes to relationships. This is crucial within a workplace to reduce and minimise those fears if we want to grow and thrive.

By providing knowledge, training, and insights into the science of human development, we aim to help our team to make sense of their own experiences, and the moments in which they feel stress and anxiety. We are helping our team understand what is happening in our stress response system in times of fight or flight, and we provide them with body-based techniques, and the skills, to be able to regulate their bodies.

We offer space, and time, for body-based mindfulness, yoga and breathing techniques within our Calming Hub. Our team have access to our Health and Wellbeing Co-Ordinator and can engage in reflection and goal setting with our in-house Life Coach.

We have created a culture of being free to talk about our emotions instead of following the traditional, outdated workplace approach of asking our team to suppress them, and ‘leave them at the door’.

We adopt a human leadership approach. We see our team as people, not resources or commodities. We take our journeys of growth and courage together, and we lead with empathy, compassion, and with a focus on the quality of our relationships. This fosters collaboration, loyalty, and trust,

The level of investment that we put into building our relational culture demonstrates the commitment to our ethos. It is not a strategy; it is a way of being.

Trust is built because our actions match our words.

The power of storytelling

Placing relationships at the heart of our business has seen all the traditional business matrix such as, profit, revenue, labour turnover, absence, move in positive directions. We are a more courageous, innovative, and creative organisation than we have ever been. We are experiencing new meaningful collaborations, expansion of our services, and we are diversifying by developing new business models.

But, for us, Relationship Led Practice is qualitative, not quantitative. It is the stories of our teams’ personal and professional growth that provides the most compelling evidence that our ethos is creating a thriving organisation. It is the stories of the impact on their relationships with their own children, partners, families, that have been so powerful. If our team are experiencing healthier, more positive relationships within their family life, they will be happier, more content and more regulated when they come to work.

We also have an array of stories of our team developing their professional capacities by feeling brave enough to push themselves out of their comfort zone to take on new roles, responsibilities, projects, within the organisation. This is often attributed to the power of the supportive, trusting, caring relationships that have been nurtured in the organisation.

We have developed a company group model that has an ethos of valuing relationships and building the skills and abilities within our teams to connect with themselves first, then others, in positive ways.

We hold the quality and impact of our relationships as the most important measure of our organisational success and sustainability.