Having just toasted to its 20th anniversary in business, TOOJAYS Training & HR Consultancy Ltd (TOOJAYS) has another reason to celebrate as its enthusiastic, passionate, and driven CEO, Lee Martin is named CEO of the Year 2022 – East of England. We find out more from Lee about the firm, its history, and its future.As an award-winning leadership, management, and team development training and HR consultancy company based near Peterborough, TOOJAYS Training & HR Consultancy excels at delivering inspirational learning and development, and HR solutions to a global client base.
Working across all sectors and industries, from FTSE 100 to SMEs, public and private sector, wherever there is a need for the development of people, there is a need for TOOJAYS’ services.
Big brand names such as Kuehne & Nagel, Heineken, The Rank Group, Allianz, John Lewis, HM Treasury, CIPS, Z Hotels, Avon, Cedo, Aviva, Sodexo, and Matalan, to name a few, have engaged TOOJAYS’ services over the years. They have experienced the company’s bespoke programmes and enjoyed its ability to really listen to and understand their needs, and deliver tangible value.
TOOJAYS was officially established in 2003, however its story started much earlier than this. Formed by Lee Martin, the original focus for the firm was on providing enjoyable and relevant soft skills courses for managers and leaders. Lee’s own experience of training providers had left him disillusioned with their lack of flexibility, understanding of client and delegates’ needs, and ability to deliver. As a result, he was convinced there had to be a better way. So, stepping out of his senior HR role with his corporate employer, and utilising his own consultancy and L&D expertise, he set up TOOJAYS.
Lee explains more about these early years and how the company evolved even further to become what it is today. “As time passed and the business grew, more clients were approaching us to assist with specific development and personnel issues,” he begins. “That’s when things got interesting. Because of our adaptability, understanding, and expertise, we were able to create tailored solutions to clients that had real impact and made a difference.”
Soon, Lee found himself involved in much more than just training courses. His approach to experiential learning meant that his reputation proceeded him – and coaching, team building, HR advice, graduate development, and event management found their way into the company portfolio.
Utilising a core team of experts and excellent facilitators, Lee is now able to continually ensure the quality of everything the firm does and, while he continues to add more services and solutions, as well as strives to provide a unique partnership relationship to clients, his initial goals haven’t changed since day one. These are to respect the individuality of clients and ultimately equip and enable them to succeed for tomorrow’s achievements.
“Regarding our values… we value innovation,” he enthuses. “We always aim to be leaders in our field and address tomorrow’s challenges today. We value passion and we are passionate about our work and look to inspire our customers to feel the same about what they do. We value excellence and are committed to providing a high-quality service at all times. We value integrity and strive to uphold the highest professional standards and, finally, we value teamwork. We believe in bringing out the best in each other.”
So, let’s learn a little more about Lee… As a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) he is an experienced Learning and Development professional having spent over 25 years in L&D consultancy, training, and senior management positions.
Having established TOOJAYS in 2003, Lee has worked internationally in both public and private sectors in a variety of industries, providing training, coaching, facilitation, and consultancy to managers and directors at all levels.
He has project managed change management initiatives, delivered training and learning needs analysis (TNA & LNA) processes, as well as delivered outplacement services and works as a HR Director and Head of L&D departments.
As a motivational trainer and coach, Lee has worked with high performing individuals at all levels, from CEOs, executive teams, VPs, MDs, to front line staff. He has delivered bespoke training and leadership programmes to graduates through to board level in both national and international organisations.
Lee has designed and facilitated team building events, business planning sessions, focus groups, and strategic planning sessions, with a diverse range of clients from the small through to large multi-nationals and even professional bodies.
With his trainer hat on, Lee has worked internationally within organisations to deliver certificated programmes and presentation techniques and, finally, as a business adviser, Lee has worked with hundreds of SMEs to improve leadership, management, and HR capabilities to help grow clients’ businesses and ensure legal compliance.
Overall, Lee’s passion for enabling others to achieve their goals has been the driving force behind the success of TOOJAYS.
“My leadership style has always been one to show respect and humility to the knowledge within the team,” he elaborates, telling us what he believes makes him a successful leader. “Listening to others, gaining understanding from their experiences and coaching development and solutions, as well as effectively empowering others to perform and reach their potential, which in turn benefits the team and company. This is fundamental to the DNA of TOOJAYS and the way we work and engage with clients. Listen, respect, engage, empower.”
Despite his exceptional skills as CEO, Lee is also quick to sing the praises of his dedicated workforce, describing his staff as the reason for the company’s overall success. When looking for new talent to join the team, Lee wants a customer-centric mentality, combined with the ability to take the initiative to resolve the customers issues, and a thirst for constant self-improvement.
In fact, his dedicated team were behind him and the firm all the way when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and the workload dropped off the proverbial cliff.
“We had to adapt very quickly – which, credit to the team, we did successfully,” Lee states. “We moved our courses to online delivery via Zoom and webinars, which required a different skillset but enabled us to maintain the high standards of leadership and management development. We also developed our own range of on-demand training. We’ve found post-Covid these approaches live on and whilst we are returning to face-to-face training, the remote and on-demand solutions are still very much of the new way of working which supports a hybrid workforce.”
This adaption to offering remote solutions was obviously a huge challenge, but the ability of Lee and his staff to be agile served TOOJAYS in great stead, and business is once again booming.
Having learned lessons from the pandemic, yet survived to tell the tale, was just one of the reasons that Lee recently gained recognition in the CEO of the Year Awards and was named CEO of the Year 2022 – East of England, UK.
Now, as he looks to the future, it seems that the firm will continue to be a fast adaptor of new technology and mediums in order to deliver its leadership and management solutions effectively, with 2023 looking bright when it comes to providing more resources and greater access to its podcasts, YouTube videos, online remote eLearning courses, webinars, and downloadable content.
And how does Lee intend to build upon his current success? “I’m always learning, and don’t believe age should be a barrier to that,” he laughs. “I continue to learn new tools, techniques, and processes for the team, and from clients, colleagues, and collaborators. I am sure that will continue into 2023, and as a result, benefit the company.”
For business enquiries, contact Lee Martin from TOOJAYS Training & HR Consultancy Ltd on their website – www.toojays.co.uk