Introducing Bluestone: Leighton Davies

Leighton is our Regional Account Manager for Wales. Since joining Bluestone in December 2022, Leighton has been building relationships across the region with both existing and new customers across all sectors, particularly focusing on growing the hard asset industry. Prior to working at Bluestone, Leighton worked as an independent finance broker dealing in both the hard and soft asset market. His previous roles saw him working for some of the largest automotive groups in the UK dealing with commercial finance for fleets of vehicles.

A typical day for Leighton is reaching out to new clients and partners, focusing on business development across Wales, introducing himself and letting customers know that Bluestone is here to support. 

I really like meeting new businesses and industries and getting to know them – I’m always intrigued about how they work, how they run and what they are looking to do to improve.‘ 

Since joining Bluestone, Leighton has brought enthusiasm, a smile, and a willingness to integrate himself into the company and learn and develop.

The world of work   

Leighton began his career working predominantly in the auto industry, focusing on brands such as Ford, VW and BMW over the years. His very first job was in retail, working at the weekend whilst at college, for a painting and decorating company.  

Previously working as an independent finance broker, I was involved in everything from meeting clients, to drawing up the proposals and quotes for credit, so I was attracted to the company structure at Bluestone in my interview. The experience and support from the team and the values they portray made me feel like it was a good place to be.’ 

The early days and eduction 

Leighton grew up in Cardiff and has early memories of spending time with his grandfather, playing outside and P.E at school. 

‘I liked playing football or riding my bike – I’m ‘old’ now so we didn’t have computer games back then!’  

The most important non-academic lesson Leighton learned at school was ‘don’t be late.’ 

More about Leighton 

In his spare time, Leighton enjoys spending his weekend with his partner, walking their dog on the beach, having a roast dinner and drinking a couple of beers whilst watching Manchester United play – passionate about travelling and sport, seeing Man United in the Champions League Final abroad is at the top of his bucket list.   

Leighton’s life motto; 

If you don’t have discipline, you’ll have regret.

Leighton wants to be remembered for…

 ‘My amazing personality and generosity.’ 

If you would like Leighton to help your business to move forward with a bespoke finance solution, get in touch today with him today. 

Leighton.Davies@bluestoneleasing.com

World Mental Health Day 2022: Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace 

Today, on World Mental Health Day 2022, we explore the importance of creating a safe environment in the workplace to support the mental health of employees. 

Last year, in our blog on investing in employee wellbeing, we talked about how business leaders and managers can look to make their employees’ wellbeing a priority by changing the culture and the working environment. 

It’s one of our longer reads, but definitely still worth a moment of your time. 

Mental Health in the Workplace: Statistics

The Mental Health Foundation states that 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace and evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions1

Mental health can impact employee engagement, productivity, and reputation. Mind, the mental health charity suggests that right now, around 1 in 6 workers are dealing with a mental health problem such as anxiety, depression or stress2

Supporting Employee Mental Health

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released their recommendations for employers to help them better support the mental health of their employees. 

The evidence-based guidelines include advice on helping organisations to feel confident offering individual and group interventions and challenging stigma in the workplace. 

Employers have a ‘duty of care’ to do everything they reasonably can to support their employees’ health, safety, and wellbeing, including making sure the working environment is safe, protecting staff from discrimination and carrying out risk assessments. 

As people spend a large proportion of their lives in work – a safe and healthy working environment is critical. We need to invest to build a culture of prevention around mental health at work, reshape the work environment to stop stigma and social exclusion, and ensure employees with mental health conditions feel protected and supported.” 
Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General.

Creating a supportive environment 

Standing by employees when they experience a mental health problem supports them as a valued member of the team, but it also highlights the values an organisation withholds. 

Trust and integrity are key drivers of engagement and organisations that support staff reap the benefits with regards to loyalty and commitment from employees. 

It’s important that employers create an environment where staff feel able to talk openly about mental health by: 

  • Treating mental and physical health as equally important to one another. 
  • Making sure employees have regular catchups with their managers, giving them the opportunity to talk about any problems they’re having.
  • Encouraging positive mental health, for example arranging mental health awareness training, workshops or appointing mental health ‘champions.’ 

Mental health education

Delivering training in mental health can improve managers knowledge, attitudes and behaviours for mental health and improve employees help-seeking behaviours. 

The training available is designed to enable managers to identify and respond to employees who need a little more support due to mental health and encourages those who might be struggling in silence to share how they feel. 

It is important that leaders set an example and educate employees on a culture of openness and understanding about mental health in the workplace, including considering where there may be any unhealthy working habits. 

There should be no stigma around a healthy work-life balance and taking some time for mental health issues, as there wouldn’t be around taking time off for physical illness or injury. 

Encouraging a social culture

Encouraging a more social culture will allow employees to socialise with one another and build deeper connections. 

Employees who work remotely are at risk of feeling disconnected and isolated in their roles but having regular catch up’s and organising group social events and activities (either in person or online) gives people to opportunity to show an interest in the personal lives of others encourage better connections. 

However, it is also worth bearing in mind that not everyone feels comfortable taking part in these activities and it’s important to ensure any social activities are varied and inclusive (for example those with personal commitments who might not be able to attend any after work events.) 

Offering flexible working arrangements

Particularly after the pandemic, a lot of businesses have considered more flexible working arrangements after seeing the benefits this can bring for employees. 

Flexible working policies help employees balance family commitments and their work schedule. Whilst is may not be for all workplaces, more and more are looking at ways they can introduce flexibility to support employee mental health and improve engagement. 

Supporting Bluestone’s Mental Health 

Our employee’s health and wellbeing are important to us. Bluestone has access to mental health platforms through Westfield and Bupa which include a 24-hour counselling and advice line, and access to confidential guidance on medical, legal or domestic issues, as well as face to face counselling and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). Employees can access these platforms at any point. 

We also encourage a culture that is professional, friendly, and respective by providing a sound and supportive platform for success. 

We are proud to support the mental health charity, Mind, who have developed a Mental Health at Work website, hosting over 400 resources to inform and advise employers on managing mental health in the workplace. 

Mental Health Foundation – Mental health at work: statistics

2 Mind: How to Support Staff who are Experiencing a Mental Health Problem

Helpful Resources 

Meet the Team – Victoria Wilkinson

Year Started Working at Bluestone:

2013

Current Position at Bluestone:

I am a Customer Relationship Executive.

What did you do before you worked at Bluestone?:

Before Bluestone I worked for one of the largest IT Distribution companies in the UK selling IT products to resellers.

How does Bluestone differ from other places you’ve worked?

Bluestone has a great team of people, everyone works really well together and helps wherever possible. We are all passionate about leasing and what we do, this is evident in the amount of Partners and Customers we work with on a daily basis. 

What’s your favourite thing to do in your downtime?:

I enjoy spending time with my husband Gareth, going to the gym and socialising with friends. 

What was your dream job as a kid?:

I had quite a few “dream jobs” when I was younger but I think the main one was being a famous actress! Unfortunately, my grandparents did not approve of the idea so it remained just a dream… 

What’s the best part of your job?

My favourite part of this job is seeing the end result. It is one thing discussing a project with a customer over the phone or in person, getting the funds in place etc but the best part is when everything is complete and seeing the new office you helped them achieve or new store they have opened. It makes me feel a great sense of achievement and seeing my customer really happy with the work we did together is the reason I do this job. 

What’s the most difficult part of your job?

For me the most difficult part of my job is when we can’t help. Thankfully it doesn’t happen often as we have the largest panel of funders to work with in the UK and an acceptance rate of 90%+ but when there is an occasion where we cannot get approved funding in place it is difficult as I feel I have let the customer down.

Meet The Team-Amanda Hoyle

This month we invite you to meet another invaluable member of the Bluestone team, Human Resources Manager and Personal Assistant, Amanda Hoyle.

Year started working at Bluestone: I started working at Wyse Leasing (the precursor to Bluestone) in 2002.

Current position at Bluestone: My role has evolved over the 13 years from Personal Assistant for the previous Managing Director to keeping my previous role and adding on work in, human resources, recruitment and office facilities management.

What did you do before you worked at Bluestone?: I had various roles including Hotel Management, Cabin Crew for BA, Customer Services, and Personal Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer for a Company based in London.

How did you start working at Bluestone?: My previous boss relocated to the USA, so I decided to return to my roots and find a permanent position in Yorkshire, through a recruitment agency.IMG_1492 (2)

How does Bluestone differ from other places you’ve worked?: When I first joined the company it employed 10 people and was a very friendly place to work with everyone supporting each other. Over the years the company has grown, and currently employees 31 people, however the ethos has remained the same and an important element of the recruitment process is to ensure all new employees compliment this ethos.

What’s your favourite thing to do in your downtime?: Spending time with my partner John and family, socialising with friends, going to the theatre and travelling.

What was your dream job as a kid?: I had three ambitions as a kid, hotel management, cabin crew,  and a florist. I achieved the first two, but I’ve yet to achieve the last, perhaps retirement will fulfil that ambition.

What’s the best part of your job?: I love working at Bluestone and I love my job. I enjoy seeing the company growing from strength to strength and knowing I am part of a successful team.

What’s the most difficult part of your job?: Juggling my roles, I am fortunate enough to work four days a week, however my work load fluctuates dramatically and therefore time management is crucial.

Meet The Team-Mark Johnston

At Bluestone Leasing we believe that our employees are our biggest asset. Over the next few months we will be featuring long-service employees on our blog so you can get to know more about the people who make Bluestone a success.

Our first profile is our Business Relationship Manager Mark Johnston, who is celebrating his five year work anniversary with Bluestone this month.

Year started working at Bluestone: 2010

What is your current position at Bluestone?: Business Relationship Manager

What did you do before you worked at Bluestone?: I have worked in the leasing and finance sector since 1994 and worked for two large banks and another finance brokerage.

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Congratulations Mark! Cheers to five years!

How did you start working at Bluestone Leasing?: The asset finance market changed a lot during the early years of the recession, and an opportunity came up to work for Bluestone, a business that was growing strongly and, unlike many other intermediaries, not a lifestyle business.

How does Bluestone differ from other places you’ve worked?: It’s like a family here – everyone consciously wants to do well and play their part and I think this comes across to our partners and customers who often praise us for “going the extra-mile”.

What’s the best part of your job?: Securing new partners and helping customers make key investments. This is even more satisfying when they explain how easy we make it when compared to others in the market.

What is the most difficult part of your job?: The opportunities that get away. It’s the story of life – you might write 100 new deals, but you always remember the one you worked on that slipped away at the last hurdle.

If you’re interesting in financing a reprographics solution contact Mark at mark.johnston@bluestoneleasing.com or call him on 01924 248 809