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Leadership & Mentoring

Culture and skills: key to unlocking new business opportunities

James Harrison, Director at Stockport-based Fusion Electrical, argues that the power of a business’s culture – and the importance of making time for training and development – cannot be underestimated. 


As an electrician by trade, coming off-site to work in an office environment was always going to be quite a change, not to mention now having to tackle the finances, marketing, and business management. But when my business partner and I started Fusion, we knew that we wanted a solid workforce made up of loyal, skilled workers – we both believed that the team you’ve got is the heart of your organisation and we wanted to be able to grow based on the strength of our team.  

To achieve our vision, and attract and retain the right people, we needed to learn more about people management, motivation, and development, which is why we approached GC Business Growth Hub.  

Working with the Hub through the Skills for Growth programme helped us see the bigger picture and develop the abilities needed to run a successful business. We found that there were two key elements that were essential to support the growth of the business we wanted to build: culture, and skills development. 


Creating a company culture

I now know that the power of culture can’t be underestimated. To get the best out of people it is so important that they are bought into what they are doing and feel like part of something bigger. Through the work with the Hub’s business coaches and the courses we’ve been able to go on, we’ve created a company culture we’re proud of.  

With a desire to take team members on the journey with us, we learned how to create a foundation and instil our ethos into every colleague, embedding it into the framework of our business. In doing this we have found that displaying the values of our company is just as important as showing potential clients how we can deliver our services. The things we learnt were completely invaluable and have transformed the way we think and operate as a team and as an organisation.  


James Harrison wanted to create a company that valued the relationship between himself and his customers, while providing a high class service to the local community. (Photo: Fusion Electrical)

Developing the right skills

Rather than just focusing on recruiting new people, the Hub helped us understand the importance of upskilling within our company. We’ve now learned to make time for skills training and development for ourselves and the wider team, and this is something that has become part of our business model.  

We want to continue to grow the team and as a result we’ve brought on four apprentices, including two adult learners, as well as recruiting an electrical supervisor. We’ve found that investing in the development of our people has made team members feel valued and shows our commitment to them.  

The importance of making time for training and development can often be overlooked until there is an urgent need for recruitment, but we are now proactively enlisting our staff on regular training sessions and courses to support their progression within the business.  

As we grow, we want and need to retain the best talent, and working with the Hub has shown us how to do just that. They were – and continue to be – an important sounding board to help us look at our business in a different way, identify emerging markets and decide how we want to move forwards.  

We have big plans to expand our suite of services, diversify our revenue streams and grow our electric vehicle offering. We also want everyone associated with Fusion Electrical to grow with us and we’re committed to investing in our team. Thanks to the Hub we now have the tools to make this happen.  


Download GC Business Growth Hub’s free guide for SME leaders, Attracting and Retaining Talent in a Changing World. 

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