Diversity and Inclusion

How to Champion Women in the Workplace

To conclude the month of March, in which we’ve celebrated International Women’s Day and also Women’s History Month, we ran a special webinar focused on championing women and raising awareness of some of the challenges different women face at work.

Here’s a quick round up of the top takeaways and lessons learned from our expert panelists:

The Speakers: 

  • Ashanti Bentil-Dhue

CEO of EventMind as well as the Co-Founder of a number of consultancies such as 100 White Allies and Diversity Ally – which support organisations to find their weak spots when it comes to diversity, and help workplace cultures become healthier and inclusive.

  • Kistin Gunnis

A seasoned Ops Manager and COO with over 25 years experience in the corporate world. She’s the founder of global networking group Professional Women’s Lunches, and is currently empowering women through networking and mentoring at Business in Heels.

  • Julie Dennis 

Director of Menopause at Work, Julie partners with organisations across the UK to introduce menopause as an inclusive topic, to educate leaders and ensure people working through menopause continue to thrive at work and home.

The Top Line: 

  • Lack of visibility is a prominent issue for women and other minority groups – not seeing people who look like you in senior positions
  • Intersectionality must be factored in when addressing these conversations
  • Managers should have training on implicit bias and inclusive leadership
  • Personal stories are the most powerful vehicle for change
  • Choose external consultants wisely and be prepared to be truly transparent
  • These issues affect everyone and everyone should be involved in the conversation
Guider webinar on championing women in the workplace

The Challenges:

To kick off we explored some of the standout challenges affecting women at work. Kistin raised the issue of the ‘The Broken Rung’ which refers to the lack of pipeline which gets women into entry-level management. Plenty of organisations have diversity in their junior workforce, but not enough of those people are moving upwards.

There’s naturally many issues at a societal level when it comes to gender, and every country will have their own challenges to tackle. Kistin spoke of her experience in India, where organisations not only have the challenge of becoming more diverse, but also of shifting generations’ worth of opinion and bias about women.

“Tearing down long standing beliefs is hard, you’re asking people to really look at who they are and challenge the way they think. So as an organisation yes you can put in policies and procedures, but it’s also this human piece that we have to tackle, and start having conversations on the individual level to inspire change.” 

We were in agreement that visibility is a key issue for women. Julie highlighted the lack of female role models she had when starting in her career, and the idea that the women who had it made it to the top were not then acting as a vehicle for other women to follow them.

“The women in senior positions, I certainly didn’t want to be like them and it didn’t feel like they were there to support the younger women. That was in the 90s and is thankfully far less common now.” 

She then discussed a key element of visibility which was how to get ‘comfortably visible’.

“The only examples we tend to have for visibility are the ways that white males behave, but why should that behaviour work for anyone else? Learning how to be visible in a way that’s comfortable for you is important. As well as recognising that just because you’re doing a good job and working hard, you’re not necessarily going to be noticed”.

The conversation moved on to intersectionality, reflecting on how ‘challenges that women face’ is a hugely broad statement which doesn’t factor in the overlapping identities which create specific circumstances for discrimination, such as race, age, sexuality, gender identity, ability and so on.

As Julie put it: “We tend to talk a lot about the challenges women face in the workplace, but it might be better to talk about people.” 

Taking menopause as an example, this is a topic which is commonly discussed as only affecting or being relevant to women, and yet trans men may also experience menopause. It’s therefore crucial that we have intersectionality at the forefront of our minds when raising awareness in our organisations.

Ashanti works with businesses to help them become more aware of this, and to identify diversity weak points, and believes intersectionality is going to become a bigger topic within organisations.

There are challenges that disproportionately affect women of colour and specifically black women in the workplace in the UK. 

“At the moment across any sector, 0% of senior positions are held by black women. And so when we discuss women’s progression in a professional capacity, unfortunately we don’t see women of colour benefit from these initiatives and programmes that exist in businesses.” 

This raised an important point on the debate of how much responsibility lies with the individual or the system to make change. For women of colour who are not benefiting from existing initiatives, it doesn’t matter how hard they try to increase their visibility if the environment they work in is “not designed for them to flourish” as Ashanti put it.

Another factor which affects the challenges women face is of course age. Research has been released on this topic, showing that as soon as women show signs of ageing they are deemed ‘less competent’, which is infuriatingly the opposite of how older men are received. Julie reflected on this through her work with women going through menopause:

“When it comes to menopause, you might hit a certain point and find that suddenly the confidence you had has disappeared, you might be second guessing yourself, or worrying how people perceive you as you get older. There’s blocks all the way up the chain, so it’s not only hard when you’re starting out as Kistin said, but there’s actually obstacles all the way.” 

When discussing how to raise awareness of these intersectional issues at work, Ashanti raised it’s often individuals actually coming forward, who feel personally compelled to act because of an experience they’ve had at work. Meaning that a number of brave individuals are driving change and flagging issues that then lead businesses to seek expertise to help them address the issue. Julie agreed having seen a similar thing in her career:

“It’s interesting how often it is a personal trigger for someone, it’s an employee within the organisation who has to champion the topic. As opposed to the businesses recognising early on that it’s the right thing to do, and trying to create a positive environment where it’s okay to talk about sensitive topics.”

Before we moved on to discuss some potential solutions, Julie also flagged the severe lack of data when it comes to the topics we were discussing. With the majority of workplace research being conducted on middle-class cis gender heterosexual women, a lot of the data is fairly useless in the areas where we’re trying to drive change.

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What organisations can do to champion women:

Covid-19 has led us to question what success looks like for individuals and businesses, and shaken up the old fashioned way that many of us were accustomed to working. Kistin believes this has provided an opportunity for businesses to look at their company structures and shake off some of the gender norms and stereotypes that have been detrimental to women’s success. For example, tasks like office housekeeping and photocopying which have traditionally fallen to women do not exist anymore.

Ashanti firstly raised the point that all solutions require work, which is ironically something that businesses aren’t always prepared for. D&I is not a ticked box exercise or something that can be solved with an hour long ‘lunch and learn’ as Julie mentioned, it’s a far longer and multi-faceted process:

“One thing that is so key in terms of board members and senior management is self-awareness. A lot of these issues and topics could be eased if individuals had more self-awareness, in terms of their own ideas and beliefs, and also their managerial styles”.

Ashanti flagged how the majority of manager training and leadership coaching do not delve into implicit bias and what being an inclusive leader really looks like. This means we end up with leaders across all industries who have unaddressed traumas and unchallenged bias, which shows up in the way they manage people.

Systemic inequality in the workplace affects everyone, including white males:

“The workplace is broken. The generation for which it was originally designed is gone. Millennial and Gen Z white men will experience their own challenges in the workplace which businesses also aren’t prepared for.” 

A first step solution is therefore to ensure all managers and first-time managers are getting proper training on self-awareness, bias, and systemic inequality. This requires people being humble, emotionally mature, and willing to go through that potentially unsavoury experience.

We discussed how crazy it is that people are promoted based on technical skill, leading them to then manage people, which requires an entirely different skill set and something organisations rarely sufficiently train their employees for. Kistin touched on this:

“We’ve lost the value for people management. We give it lip service. We promote people who are technically astute, but then place them in a role where they’re having to be a manager to people…They may not have high EQ, they may not actually like working with other people.”

Organisations need to rethink the long standing mindset that perpetuates this. Certain behaviours have always been rewarded in business but they’re often not the behaviours that are suited to people management, as it requires a whole different set of skills.

Julie suggested these conversations should be had as early as the final stage interview and definitely within induction processes. They need to be widespread across the organisation and not just within the groups that are already affected. They need to be mandatory.

“The people who aren’t interested in these topics are also most likely to be the ones causing problems. So there needs to be an element of bravery from organisations in strongly inviting senior stakeholders to attend.” 

A good way to do this is to ensure your comms team is involved in any diversity & inclusion initiatives happening within your organisation. This also indicates why mentoring is important for all organisations, you can read more on that in this article.

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What individuals can do to champion women:

We then moved on to discuss this from an individual level. It’s all well and good thinking about what the ‘business’ can do, but we’re all people and people make up a business. Therefore we can all make a difference as individuals to champion women and choose to challenge normalised inequality at work.

Julie highlighted here the importance of personal stories having the power to spark change.

“The easiest way we learn is through personal experience. If you have a story to share and you’re comfortable doing so, then share that story”.

This could be in a one-on-one conversation with someone, an anonymous blog, a video message, or a talk to a small group – whatever you’re most comfortable with.

Stories create a ripple effect within organisations more than any policy or corporate initiative ever could.

For individuals in a Diversity and Inclusion or HR function who have the responsibility of tackling some of these issues in business, Ashanti’s advice was to be genuine and transparent when you source consultants and experts in to help, and make sure you’re truly listening to the stories of the groups you are trying to support internally.

“If you can be honest about what’s truly happening at your organisation, that’s how you can be a good ally”.

Kistin also touched on the importance of a strategic networking plan, and the power of having people in your corner who advocate for you. Not only on an individual level can we seek these networks and mentors out for our career development, but we can also give up our time to support and help others.

Another thing she highlighted was amplification. An all too familiar scene for women is having your point ignored or brushed over in a meeting, for a male colleague to say the same thing and get a pat on the back or spark lots of discussion.

In these situations as managers and colleagues, we all have the power to acknowledge and amplify women’s ideas, to credit them and back them up. These are small behaviour changes which might not seem like they could make a huge impact, but if everyone were to start doing them it could truly change many women’s experience at work.

Some closing remarks included the reminder that these are everybody’s issues. They are not reserved for women, or women of colour specifically, or menopausal women specifically. They impact everyone and everyone has the potential and the responsibility to make a difference.

To be an inclusive workplace, you must ensure everybody’s voices are heard and that everyone is included in the conversation (whether they would volunteer to be or not).


Huge thank you to Ashanti, Kistin and Julie for sharing their time and expertise with us.

We hope it inspires a number of conversations and actions within organisations about Choosing to Challenge and better championing all women.

To catch up on the webinar, view it on demand here.

Advice for Businesses

10 Ways to Encourage Employees to Focus on Self-Care

The term ‘self-care’ is cropping up with increasing frequency, and for good reason. Employees are feeling stressed, and many are turning to negative behaviours to cope.

Encouraging employees to focus on their mental health and self-care is arguably more important than ever before.

Thankfully, this is not one of those things we can describe as “easier said than done.” In this article, we’ll explore 10 ways you can encourage your workers to focus on self-care.

The Stress Stats

People are suffering from stress and burnout, and no good will come from ignoring that fact. There’s no getting away from it. A survey by researchers from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Harvard Medical School found that 55% of respondents said they were more stressed in May 2020 than they were in January. Unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic was largely to blame for their increase in stress. Of the 7,000 American professionals surveyed by Korn Ferry, 73% said they felt burned out.

The situation across the pond wasn’t much better.

The Office for National Statistics revealed that depression rates doubled during the pandemic. 84.9% of adults surveyed said feelings of stress and anxiety affected their sense of wellbeing. In June 2020, 19.2% of adults experienced depression, which was almost double the 9.7% of adults who experienced it between July 2019 and March 2020.

Older research commissioned by Mind found that 34% of people said their work lives were ‘quite or very stressful’. 7% of people suffering from workplace stress experienced suicidal thoughts, and 18% developed anxiety. Just as alarming as those figures, were the findings that 57% of respondents said they drank alcohol after work to cope with stress, while 28% said they smoked cigarettes, 16% took over-the-counter sleeping aids, 15% took antidepressants, and 10% took prescribed sleeping tablets.

It should go without saying that such a situation is unsustainable.

To make a difference in the workplace, use the following 10 ways to encourage employees to focus on self-care.

1. Understand Employees’ Needs

Speaking to Forbes magazine, Dr. Teresa Ray, PCC, said that HR and management shouldn’t assume they know what employees want or need when it comes to self-care. Instead, companies should engage workers to find out about their understanding of self-care, how to achieve a greater balance between work and their personal lives, and what it is about their work that they find rewarding.

When you know what your employees need and want, you can plan the best way to actualize those things.

2. Have Occasional Walking Meetings

When possible, have walking meetings instead of sitting ones. Walking and talking with colleagues offers fresh air, exercise, and shorter meeting times. Just bear in mind that walking meetings are better suited to one-on-one or small group meetings.

3. Lead By Healthy Example

Employees are more likely to respond to encouragement concerning self-care if they can see that their managers or company leaders embody the message too. If the benefits of self-care are evident in your life, and you share tips, motivate, and provide an inspiring example, they’re more likely to take you seriously.

Cynthia Howard, RN, CNC, PhD, told Forbes that the leaders who are most effective at transforming their employees, are those who model the behaviour they hope to see in their workers.

4. Create A Daily Task List

Encourage employees to write a task list for the following day every evening. When they’ve written down all the tasks they need to perform, they can prioritise the items on the list. Doing this can make even seemingly urgent days more manageable. The trick is to be realistic when making the list.

5. Prioritise Ergonomics In The Office

The office or other company environments where your employees work should support good ergonomics. Reduce noise disturbances where possible, ensure workspaces have sufficient lighting, and make use of chairs that help workers maintain good posture.

6. Provide Healthier Company-Sponsored Meals

In many workplaces, company-sponsored meals tend to focus on unhealthy foods such as doughnuts, cake, pizza, pastries, and fried food. Encourage employees towards the direction of self-care by swapping out some of the junk for healthier options such as salads, grilled meat-free dishes, and fresh fruit. When you’re offering healthy food, you can encourage healthy eating.

7. Motivate Employees To Use Their Benefits

The benefits you offer to your employees should include those that support their health and wellbeing. However, merely offering benefits might not be enough—you should also motivate your workers to take full advantage of those benefits, whether they’re discounted gym memberships, massage vouchers, yoga sessions, free medical screenings, or online counselling sessions.

If you don’t offer many or any health-related benefits, it’s time to reconsider that stance. The best PEO companies can help you offer better benefits than you might be able to do on your own. PEOs have a bigger network of providers to draw from, and can negotiate better deals with carriers. This allows you to offer improved benefits that promote wellbeing and self-care at every level.

8. Offer Courses On Managing Stress and Time

One of the reasons stress negatively affects some employees is because they don’t know how to manage it. Ineffective time management can be a contributing factor. Empower your workers to greater self-care by offering courses that provide them with the information and tools they need to better manage their time as well as stress.

9. Offer Flexi Hours/Create Flexible Schedules

The model of employees working fixed hours for employers who are inflexible is crumbling. When it comes to their careers, most employees want a sense of ownership, as well as the knowledge that their employers can empathise when they face emergencies. They also want a greater balance between life and work.

Offering flexi-hours or flexible schedules with clearly defined goals can go a long way to supporting your employees’ self-care.

10. Acknowledge Employees and Their Accomplishments

According to Harvard Medical School, a study showed that employees who felt appreciated at work were 50% more productive than those who didn’t.

By acknowledging your employees’ efforts and accomplishments, you’re letting them know you appreciate and value their contribution. Lift their spirits by letting them know that their work hasn’t  gone unnoticed. In doing so, you can encourage them to greater self-care by helping them believe that they’re worth it.

‍By investing in your employees’ self-care, you’ll be investing in your business. Happy, healthy employees are a true asset, and one you should nurture.

Advice for Businesses

Why Mentoring Is Essential

In February we hosted a webinar to have this important conversation, welcoming speakers with experience in programme managing and mentoring personally.

The Speakers:

  • Megan Taljaard – a Learning and Development Business Partner with 5 years’ experience in learning & talent. Megan has an interest in the power of social learning and how people learn through a variety of experiences. Part of this includes the running and management of NTT DATA UK’s Mentoring scheme, RISE. Megan expanded the scheme during lockdown, including launching a reverse mentoring programme.
  • Ivy Wong – a Product Manager at HighQ interested in innovation in legal services delivery through the use of technology. Ivy is an advisor to LegalGeek, the global legal tech startup community, and founded their successful mentorship programme. Ivy was also awarded a TechWomen100 Award in 2018.
  • Dragos Nedelcu – a Software Engineer and established coach and mentor. After recognising the importance of social learning and knowledge sharing in his field, Dragos joined mentoring communities, established mentoring programmes at his organisation, until finally setting up his own business, CodeWithDragos.

The Top Line:

  • Mentoring is important for all organisations
  • Stakeholder buy in is crucial for business mentoring programmes
  • Use mentoring to support under-represented individuals
  • There’s a disconnect between senior leadership and junior employees
  • Make a start, even if it’s small!

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Back in 2017, Ivy had just changed careers and moved into legal tech, a relatively new industry. She wanted to meet people and get a mentor to show her what a career in legal tech could look like. Realising that other people probably wanted this as well, she approached the Legal Geek community and founded a community mentoring programme.

Since then they have matched over 370 mentors and mentees in over 30 countries. Allowing people to connect and speak with people from across the world who have taken completely different career paths.

Dragos discussed the challenging nature of the tech industry, particularly the pressure and imposter syndrome.

“What I’ve seen personally, is that sometimes you need someone who believes in you more than you do – and they believe in you because they’ve been there themselves”.

A mentor helps you see beyond the obstacles and feel connected to the larger software community. Having seen a number of developers leaving their organisations, Dragos is convinced more human-focused support programmes like mentoring would’ve impacted their decisions. This is where mentoring can really impact business results, and overall happiness of teams. 

“In the software industry in Berlin, on average people stay with their companies for only 1 year and 2 months. It’s so expensive to train these people and it’s a real problem – one of the ways it could be solved is through mentoring”. 

A key learning Megan highlighted was the importance of internal buy in before launching your mentoring programme.

“Buy in from the senior leadership team is really important, because they’re the ones cascading it down and holding other senior leaders to account.” 

Megan also launched NTT Data UK’s reverse mentoring programme during lockdown. 

“When we were talking about reverse mentoring, it was around the time of the 2020 BLM protests. We really wanted to continue having these conversations, and give people the opportunity to ask lots of questions. We realised we needed an educational tool to not only breed inclusivity, but also to educate employees. Research suggests that younger employees are most likely to drive change when it comes to inclusion, so reverse mentoring was a great option.” 

Launching in lockdown was not without its challenges. Megan reiterated the importance of internal buy-in, leveraging networks within the business such as the women’s network. With reverse mentoring, it’s even more important to make sure you have a big group of junior mentors on board before approaching senior leaders to be mentees. Fortunately for NTT Data UK, Simon Williams the CEO said he’d love to be involved, setting a great example.

A screenshot of the webinar participants smiling into the camera

Why Now?

With remote working, loneliness and mental health are more relevant than ever within business. We discussed the impact mentoring can have here, and how our current circumstances make mentoring even more essential. 

“Employees feel isolated from the business. We need to create touchpoints and make sure we’re connecting with employees. Mentoring now in 2021 goes beyond what it used to, it’s potentially talking deeply about how you are doing, how you are juggling everything and so on.” 

Particularly with new starters, a real challenge Megan raised is sharing the company culture virtually and making them feel a part of the business. Similarly, Dragos touched on businesses struggling with onboarding new employees during this time without the human connection of going into the office. Mentoring schemes have been one of the tools used to help people feel part of something.

Ivy also reflected on the impact the past year has had on all of us personally. 

“Globally we’re in a period of reflection right now. What are we going to take away from this pandemic? Mentoring is an avenue for you to work through this deep thinking.


One of the most important aspects of mentoring we discussed is it’s impact when it comes to diversity and inclusion. 

“If you look at UK law firms from a gender perspective, despite half of all lawyers being female, only 29% of partners are women. From an ethnicity perspective, 8% of partners are from BAME backgrounds, and they make up only 11% of the overall law workforce.” 

Despite this, Ivy is hopeful for the future. LegalGeek is building a community that is inclusive and diverse which she believes will have a great impact. 

“I hope this mentorship programme will lay the foundations so that when the industry grows, we have a diverse talent pipeline ready and waiting. Mentorship will play a really big role helping us achieve that.” 

Similarly, more than half of Dragos’ mentees are women. When women make up only 14% of the software engineering workforce, it’s essential businesses are providing additional support to diversify their tech teams. 

“We’re seeing this disconnect in the industry with the new generation of developers and the senior leaders. Extremely talented individuals are becoming disenchanted with their work, mainly because of this lack of guidance and connection.” 

With more and more diverse coders entering the workforce, senior leaders are losing touch with the people they are leading. Mentoring can solve this disconnect. For executives to sit down with the new generation of employees and understand their perspectives, share their experiences, it can only lead to a more motivated workforce and business results.

Mentoring Challenges

One of the challenges discussed by Megan was communicating the benefits and importance of mentoring, particularly for mentors. They found while mentees responded to the personal benefits of mentoring, such as increased confidence etc, mentors responded to the wider business benefits such as retention and engagement.

Dragos built on this point, saying a huge benefit for mentors is the ability to share their passion and learnings, and expose themselves to a fresh perspective from the younger generation. 

“You can encourage C-suite to get involved by emphasising the benefits of showing someone the industry through their eyes. They can even gain clarity on the business by explaining it to someone junior. Executives could have been doing the same thing for 20+ years, it’s great for them to communicate their passions to someone just starting out.” 

Another challenge Megan has faced during lockdown is making sure mentoring sessions are happening with everybody working from home. This lack of visibility can be difficult for programme managers to track their programmes, which is where a mentoring software like Guider can help.

Top Tips

Providing mentor and mentee guidance is crucial! NTT Data UK provides participants with detailed packs on what it means to be in a mentoring relationship, what to do for their sessions, how to get the most out of the experience and so on. 

“This is even more important with reverse mentoring, as you’re asking junior employees to come in and potentially mentor the CEO, so we need to upskill them to have the confidence in that relationship. Particularly with challenging and pushing back, as that can be very daunting. We ran workshops for reverse mentoring mentors before the programme started.”  

Ivy agreed that while the mentoring sessions themselves are valuable, what is often overlooked is the time it takes to prepare for that session. That’s when you’re really working through your thoughts and figuring out what is important to you, or how you can help someone else. It’s vital that we set this time aside.

Megan also highlighted confidentiality. Mentoring relies on mentees being more vulnerable, and so it’s crucial to remove it from their performance reports and distance it from their line managers, assuring that layer of privacy.

Ivy’s advice was to start small, but start…

“Don’t feel like you need change the world – if one pair come out and experience the benefits, I personally think it’s worth it” 

In terms of the benefits for the organisation and approaching that with stakeholders, Ivy highlighted the long term positive effect of mentoring. When mentoring relationships are strong, they carry on well beyond the 6 month timeframe or however long your programmes are set for. So while immediate ROI is hard to prove sometimes, that relationship will continue to grow and add value well beyond the programme, and is likely to even come full circle with mentees helping mentors too.

Similarly from Dragos:

“Mentoring is a must in 2021. It always has been, but now it’s in your face. My advice for business leaders is to just give it a shot. I know mentoring doesn’t seem so easy to quantify, but companies are ultimately about people – and if that’s not important to you, you should reevaluate things!” 

Success Stories

 Across all of our panelists, there were plenty of mentoring success stories to share. From promotions and pay rises, to mentors hiring mentees into their companies.

With Megan’s reverse mentoring programme, they’re already seeing the impact from an inclusivity perspective.

“It’s been so great to see reverse mentoring leading to change in policy within NTT, because leaders are getting exposed to fresh perspectives, they’re getting challenged and being held accountable.” 

It was such a pleasure to have this conversation with Megan, Ivy and Dragos.

If you missed it, you can catch up on the recording here:

Why mentoring is essential in 2021 webinar link

Advice for Businesses

5 Top Tips for Succession Planning

Your workplace will see a flow of employees; from retirees, to those who move on, to those who simply weren’t a good fit. And as each new wave of employees leaves, it’s important to plan for their departure. The exit of key employees disrupts established workflows, and decreases employee satisfaction due to an increased workload. This is why succession planning is important.

Succession plans help your team decide what should be done in case of an exit, gives internal employees something to aspire to, and gives confidence in your businesses ability to plan. Will you be hiring new talent in? Promoting an existing employee? Who takes over which roles in the meantime?

Only 35% of companies have formalised succession plans. Which is critically low considering the younger generations of the workforce have low retention rates. 60% of millennials are open to new job opportunities, and Gen Z are thought to be even less committed to their organisations.

So we’ve put together 5 points for you to consider when getting started on a constructive succession plan.

5‍ top tips for succession planning

1. Start early

Business is highly competitive, so the most talented employees will have a number of options available to them. Even more so with the rise of remote working and the ability to work from anywhere. 30% of CEO departures are unplanned, and sudden departures of senior leaders causes disruptive ripples throughout a business. Succession planning is one of the safest ways to reduce the issues caused by a sudden departure. Succession planning allows you to preserve and pass key knowledge before a critical employee leaves. It’s important to get feedback on succession plans from senior management.

Early planning allows you to iron out any issues as early as possible. Consider the busy nature of senior employees and potentially strong personalities. Start early and give yourself time to sort out issues, disagreements, and organise training in time for any abrupt departures!

2. Prioritise the most critical roles

You’ll need to decide which roles will be prioritised. Succession plans tend to focus on the most senior positions, but you’ll also want to consider succession plans for specialist roles and pools of talent. Are there key employees who may not be very senior, but the lack of their specialist knowledge and skills will disrupt the company? Technical roles such as full stack developers or machinery operators are often critical to smooth work processes.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself when deciding which roles are the top priority for succession planning:

  • Which department(s) will be most affected by their departure?
  • What sort of specialist knowledge does this role require?
  • Does this role require any qualifications?
  • Are there any important soft skills this role requires? (E.g Customer service, leadership)
  • Which are the most important hard skills? (e.g programming languages).

After this you should have a key idea of the top roles to succession plan for first.

Find out more about how Guider works3. Promotion or new hire

Employees are more likely to stay at companies where they know there’s opportunities for advancement and training. 94% of employers have reported seeing a positive impact on employee engagement due to their succession plan. 90% of 18 to 34 year olds find that knowing their company has a succession plan in place for employees improves their engagement.

Knowing these statistics, it’s important to communicate your plans with your employees clearly, as it gives them something to aspire to. And with the high costs of hiring, it’s important that your succession plans are linked to your talent pipeline plan.

Sometimes internal employees don’t always make the best fit for senior positions. You might want someone with external senior experience and a fresh point of view. In either case, you’ll want to set up a training plan for the new or promoted employee.

4. Training and mentoring

As varied as humans are, it’s difficult to find the perfect person to fit any role. 81% of HR leaders have found that the number one reason a potential successor wasn’t a right fit, was because they weren’t ready. This is why it’s important to consider the development roadmap for the position. Decide which skills are key and what you can compromise on. Creating room for training and mentoring allows the new individual to bring in their own individuality and creativity to the role.

The most successful succession plans have high involvement from leadership and other managers. These leaders hold institutional information that should be passed on to other employees. Create a mentoring programme that allows your senior employees to guide your employees into future positions is an effective strategy. Mentors will share their knowledge with an employee who is eager to learn, and help them improve their leadership skills. This works to connect employees across departments, creating a more cohesive workplace. It’s a great opportunity for employees to develop their leadership skills from experienced leaders.

5. Allow room for flexibility

Finally, one of the most important aspects of succession planning is allowing room for change. As businesses change, so will the needs and requirements of every role.

Employees may leave, some employees will need to spend more time on training programmes than others, other employees may benefit from more than one mentor etc. It’s normal for these things to be discovered at a later date. This is why we emphasise starting succession planning early, as it enables you to create an adaptable plan that acknowledges that businesses change, team sizes can grow and shrink, as can employee responsibilities.

Get feedback from the appropriate parties and communicate plans with your employees and you’ll be on the road to creating an effective succession plan that improves employee engagement and sets a standard for future succession plans!

Learn more with Guider: 

4 Essential Succession Planning Tools

How to Set and Achieve Long-term Career Goals

The What, Why and How of Returnship Programs

10 Companies Making the Most Out of Mentoring 

5 Employee Retention Strategies

Diversity and Inclusion

11 Inspirational Lessons From Powerful Female Leaders

The journey up the career ladder often looks different for men and women. Globally, only 29% of all senior management roles are held by women – this number was the same across 2019 and 2020. While this is the highest in history, there’s still a long way to go.

But the statistics are on the rise. There are 114% more women entrepreneurs than there were 20 years ago. Bearing in mind women receive just 7% of venture funds for their startups, this is an incredible feat. (Source). The global economy is relying on the flourishing female-owned business market, and a number of studies have proven them to be better performing than male-owned businesses.

In honour of International Women’s Day 2021, we spoke with female CEOs and leaders across a range of industries to collect inspirational lessons and shine a light on their experience and achievements. Women face a number of challenges in their careers that their male counterparts do not experience. With the IWD theme this year being #ChooseToChallenge, it’s vital to raise awareness of these different experiences and encourage more people to speak up against normalised inequality.

Huge thank you to all our contributors for sharing your stories, lessons and tips with us.

Emma-Jayne Gooch – Chief of Staff, Sellafield Ltd

Share a lesson in leadership you’ve learnt during your career:

During my career and as I moved further into leadership and more senior roles, I learnt a really important lesson, and that is the importance of being your authentic self. To some people this may sound normal, but many people who were like me, will spend so much time and energy trying to be what we think everyone expects us to be. We think that we have to be superwomen and can’t show any sign of weakness or vulnerability. I remember when I was running my own business and as a single mum, I felt I needed to work even harder to prove that I could still complete with anyone else in a similar job position. I had a client who wanted to meet me at the exact same time I was meant to be going to watch my two girls in a play. I felt that I had no choice but to see the client because I didn’t feel I could tell them I needed to be with my kids. I often missed out on time with the children to keep up the persona of having all my sh*t together and being able to balance everything. A friend gave me some advice and told me to call the client and ask them to rearrange. I called them thinking that I would lose their business, and actually it was the complete opposite. They couldn’t believe that I was considering missing something so important when our meeting could be held at any time. This made me re-consider the balance of trying to be a perfect 24/7 available person, and the need to not miss out on those key life events. In addition, this new vulnerability led me to be true to myself. I always wear my heart on my sleeve and tell it like it is. I spent many years biting my tongue and enabling people within business to speak down to me and treat me like the little girl, but now I have empowered myself to be an equal by believing and seeing that I am.

Share your top tip for women aspiring to leadership roles:

My top tip would for women aspiring to leadership roles is to be kind. Too many people think that they have to be cut throat and to trample on their own grandmother to get to the top and that just isn’t true. Yes you have to be strong, yes you have to overcome adversity and yes you sometimes have to make difficult decisions, but if you always do it with a kind heart, and give people a hand up rather than a kick down, you will get to where you want to be. And you will have people around you who trust you and who will always have your back.

Powerful Female Leaders: Emma-Jayne Gooch, Sellafield Ltd

Jennifer Unsworth – Founder & CEO, Tidy Tot

Share a lesson in leadership you’ve learnt during your career:

Leadership has absolutely nothing to do with job role or hierarchical authority, it’s all about attitude. I’ve had that lesson reminded to me twice in my career – most recently from our freelance PR Manager.  She’s not employed by the business, she works on a freelance basis but her commitment, tenacity and enthusiasm on our behalf is palpable.  She reminded me “I don’t do this for the business, I do it for you”.  Leadership is about hearts and minds – to have your team want to succeed for you; to push themselves because they know if will make a difference for you – it’s an incredible feeling to get there and one I never take for granted. 

Share your top tip for women aspiring to leadership roles:

 Be true to yourself.  Vulnerability and honesty are an asset in leadership; without them you will never be able to influence others around you.

Leadership opportunities cannot really be sought or delegated – you have to create them. Even the most junior of roles present opportunities to show leadership skills; it just requires finding a problem (and let’s be honest – there are never shortages of those in business!) and guiding yourself and others out the other side.

Powerful Female Leaders: Jennifer Unsworth, Tidy Tot

Leanne Case – CEO, Vzir Consulting

Share your top tip for women aspiring to leadership roles:

Be you, be bold and be brave… But back it up with substance. Be yourself, never imitate even those you admire, instead make it your practice to learn, to be active in your own personal and professional development. Be clear about your strengths and weaknesses and develop both. Focus on your own development and on building a strong network. We all need support to achieve progression, but also learn by helping others! Seek mentors, people who you can learn from and sponsors, people that will champion you.

Powerful Female Leaders: Leanne Case, VZIR

Virginia Stagni – Business Development Manager, Financial Times 

Share a lesson in leadership you’ve learnt during your career:

Coming from a low income family, working 3 jobs at the same time while studying with a scholarship both at Bocconi and LSE university, I always had to have an entrepreneurial spirit. I think it is key to be smart in finding your way. But I also learnt that it is also important not to forget where you are coming from. 

My lesson is then: there is nothing more powerful than being able to give back. When you land in a leadership position, try to recreate the opportunity you got when you landed in that role. Offer opportunities to other women and always give credit to the younger self you are going to meet in the workplace. It is fundamental to support and recognize other women in the workplace & in life, and take as your personal responsibility & mission to create an environment where women are supported and empowered.

Powerful Female Leaders: Virginia Stagni, Financial Times

Lucy Aylen – CEO, Never Fully Dressed

Share a lesson in leadership you’ve learnt during your career:

I’ve learnt that you can learn just as much, if not more, from the people and teams you are leading as they can learn from you. 

Share your top tip for women aspiring to leadership roles:

Women tend to have more of a humble approach but should believe and be confident in what they have to offer. Women have something so special about them which they can bring to the table in leadership roles.

Powerful Female Leaders: Lucy Aylen, Never Fully Dressed

Sarah Walker-Smith – Chief Executive, Shakespeare Martineau

Share a lesson in leadership you’ve learnt during your career:

Leadership isn’t about a job, a role or a status. It’s about having something you believe in and using it to inspire others to want to be the best they can be whilst creating the environment for them to do so – individually but more importantly, together. To do this you have to be authentic and consistently so! This needs to apply to words and actions; to the good times and the bad. You need to be comfortable with the concept of being marmite. Not everyone will like you or what you do, but that’s easier to bear if you stay true to your own values and know you are doing the right thing aligned to your purpose. That purpose can be altruistic , artistic or business focused – even better, one which delivers a combination. But until you know what it is you will be only be managing, however effectively. When you find it you lead. And when you do it AS yourself but NOT FOR yourself, you truly lead.

Share your top tip for women aspiring to leadership roles:

Fight your own demons not other peoples. If you can ensure you have the right mindset for success you are more likely to achieve it. That means sorting out your own self-belief and nurturing it. Surround yourself with those who support this, and believe that you aren’t aspiring to be a leader, you already are. And you are entitled to be. A few years ago a male colleague said to me ‘your problem is you want to lead’. I spent a few years chastising myself, holding myself back and trying to deal with ‘my’ problem before I realised actually it was his issue that he struggled with seeing women like me as a leader. I now tell myself ‘yes I do want to lead’, I’ve as much right to as anyone else… and that’s NOT a problem.

Sarah Walker-Smith, Shakespeare Martineau

Natasha Makhijani – CEO, Oliver Sanderson Group PLC 

Share a lesson in leadership you’ve learnt during your career:

The most important lesson I’ve learned is that to be a good leader you need to empower your people. Provide your team with the tools and the trust they need to perform to their full potential. This will instil confidence and belief in your leadership. Lead by example, and empower your team.

Share your top tip for women aspiring to leadership roles:

Believe in yourself. When someone tells you you can’t, you can! But be open to constructive criticism – use it to learn and grow. Always remember, doubts and setbacks are part of everyone’s journey – the road to the top is never simple! So be resilient, and never give up. I have been doubted in the past, but I used those doubts as fuel to fire me on to greater successes. You can do it too! 

Powerful Female Leaders: Natasha Makhijani, Oliver SandersonKaren Jackson – CEO, Locala Community Partnerships CIC

Share a lesson in leadership you’ve learnt during your career:

I would say listen – really listen. It is so easy to hear a lot of noise and shouting and posturing and let it colour your judgement. If you really make yourself listen there is something to be heard in every conversation, no matter how difficult it is and always something that can be learned and worked on.

Share your top tip for women aspiring to leadership roles:

Never give up – work hard, be enthusiastic, be open to every opportunity and don’t let anyone or anything put you off. But remember this is not blind ambition leading to trampling over people – always, always be kind.

Powerful Female Leaders: Karen Jackson, Loala

Norma Gillespie – CEO, Resource Solutions

Share a lesson in leadership you’ve learnt during your career:

My career in recruitment has spanned over 20 years of both dizzying success and keen challenges, not least the financial crisis of 2008-9 and the unparalleled events of 2020. And what all the ups and downs have taught me about leadership is that it needs to be honest. If you have to make tough decisions, make them in a transparent, fair and objective way. And, when you’re able to celebrate success, do so sincerely and with genuine warmth. You won’t always get it right – none of us ever will, whether we’re leaders or not – but what people want to see from their leaders is that they’re decision-making is built around a core of integrity, objectivity and honesty.

Share your top tip for women aspiring to leadership roles:

It’s very simple, and maybe even trite – but just believe in yourself. You won’t get everything right all of the time, or make all the right decisions. But you lose 100% of the races you don’t take part in, and you learn more from failure than you ever will from getting things right. Leaders who act differently at work than they do at home are disingenuous and can quickly turn people off. Embrace your strengths and weaknesses, hopes and fears, triumphs and failures. We all have them. If you accept yourself, so will your staff and your stakeholders.

Powerful Female Leaders: Norma Gillespie, Resources Solutions

 Emily Hill – CEO, Ghyston

Share a lesson in leadership you’ve learnt during your career:

Earlier on in my career I assumed that it was the people who wanted to be leaders who became leaders. They were the driven, confident people who naturally took control and could hold the attention of a crowd. I surprised myself (and others!) when I stepped up to run Ghyston, the bespoke software house which my husband and I had co-founded. I felt passionate about leading the business, but I did not fit into my own image of a leader at all! I was even more surprised when I got to know other business leaders and found that, just like me, they had insecurities and doubts and areas for improvement. I’ve learnt that there is no one character mould for a great leader. The important thing for me is to stay focussed on the business and not myself, and to always be keen to listen and to learn.

Share your top tip for women aspiring to leadership roles:

My top tip would be to find a mentor or manager who believes in you and can help you make the most of opportunities when they come around.

Emily Hill, Ghyston

‍‍Sarah Thomas – Global Executive Director, Culture & Engagement, Landor & Fitch 

Share a lesson in leadership you’ve learnt during your career:

Put your own oxygen mask on before you try and help others. In other words, don’t let your batteries run too low and make sure you take your holidays or the down time you need to recharge. Easier said than done I know. I personally always struggled with asking others to pick up work for me while I was out of the office, until I was given this additional context by another former mentor who told me, “When you take time off, it is an opportunity for two people. Firstly, you get the chance to relax, switch off and recharge. Secondly, a member of your team will get the opportunity to step up, walk in your leadership shoes for a while and gain valuable experience”. Just changing the lens through which I looked at things really helped me see my time off as an opportunity rather than a burden. So, take your time out or downtime when you need it. It not only sets a positive example to your team. but it will give you fresh energy and perspective and your team members a chance to step up and shine.

Share your top tip for women aspiring to leadership roles:

Be deliberate about networking inside and outside of your organization and building supportive connections. For example, think about who you would like to meet within your organization who may be able to positively influence your career. Then map out who they are and how you might have an opportunity to for example, meet them, ask their advice as a mentor, work with them or even impress them in a role. Revisit the networking plan through the year. Be deliberate with opportunities or activities that allow your paths to cross; that may mean volunteering for an initiative, seeking advice or a mentor relationship, or introducing yourself at an event.

Powerful Female Leaders: Sarah Thomas, Landor & Fitch
Advice for Businesses

How To Match Mentors and Mentees

A good mentoring relationship is the key to effective mentoring. Humans thrive off interacting with and learning from others. Mentoring connects isolated employees and exposes them to new points of view. But to get there, you first need a powerful mentor matching system!

While mentoring platforms offer matching using software, which is by far the easiest option if you want to scale your programme, you may be looking to experiment with your own manual matching systems.

Let’s look at the questions you need to ask and how to begin building the basis of a successful mentoring relationship.‍

Type of mentoring program

Before matching mentors and mentees it’s important to establish the goals of the mentoring programme. What are the goals for the business? The team? The individual? What do you want the mentor and mentee to achieve from this relationship? Both mentors and mentees benefit from mentoring with increased confidence and promotion potential.

For example, you might want to:

  • Improve overall employee retention
  • Develop the leadership skills of those on your graduate scheme
  • Onboarding new employees and help them settle in to the team

We’ve put together a list of the different types of mentoring to help you establish a mentoring programme. This will help to inform the questions you’ll ask before starting your mentor matching.

Start matching mentors and mentees


Types of mentor matching

Now that you’ve decided the goals of your mentoring programme, you’ll need to decide which matching strategy you’ll use to achieve these results. There are different ways to match mentors with mentees:

  • Manual matching – The programme coordinator asks the mentor and mentee a series of questions and decides who will be matched with who.
  • Self matching – The mentee finds their own mentor or vice versa.
  • Hybrid matching – This method of matching matching mentors and mentees requires you to use the questions asked for manual matching. From this you’ll create a pool of mentors for the mentee to select from.‍

Manual mentor matching

Nishma wants to learn how to give effective presentations and improve her self confidence.

She tells the mentoring programme coordinator, who automatically suggests his own colleague Lucy.

Lucy is a senior who has 10 years of experience in management and presenting to senior leaders.

Perfect match, right? Maybe.

This is a quick method of manual matching, but it could lead to more problems down the line. Mentoring is about the personalities as much as it is about the career goals. A great personal connection is one of the keys to a great mentoring relationship, as it allows the mentee to be more comfortable and open with their needs.

Here are some skills based questions you should ask:

  • What’s your current position?
  • How long have you been at the company?
  • What’s your general work experience?
  • What are your goals? (Such as improving presentation skills, improving self confidence in meetings, or learning new software).
  • What experience do you have with the above?
  • Where do you hope to be in 6 months?
  • Where do you hope to be in 3 years?
  • What are your goals for this quarter?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?

And some personality questions:

  • What soft skills would you like to develop?
  • Tell us about your personal hobbies and interests
  • Have you ever participated in a mentoring relationship before? How did you find it?
  • The top 3 things you struggle with at work?
  • The top 3 things you do well at work?
  • What values and qualities do you consider important for a mentor/mentee?
  • What do you hope to achieve by the end of the programme?‍‍

You should also find out their preferences for communication (e.g phone or zoom) and their availability. These questions will help you to understand the mentee’s goals, what the mentor can offer, and a glimpse into their personalities.

Manual matching can be effective but also time consuming, especially if your mentoring programme is open to anyone or you allow mentees to have more than one mentor. Manual matching might be best suited for invite only mentoring programmes where you decide who’s able to sign up.

Read More: Guider Matching Mentoring Software.

Self mentee matching

Another option is to allow the mentee to find their own mentor (and vice versa) from within the company. This works well as if they already know the employee, it reduces the initial “getting to know you” barriers, particularly for less confident employees, allowing them to get started quicker.

However, just as the experience of the mentor isn’t the only important part of mentoring, the social aspect also isn’t the only important part of mentoring. Are they picking someone who’s skilled and experienced enough in what they’re looking for, or have they gone for someone they’re simply friends with? This is problematic for diversity and inclusion, as you run the risk of only certain groups benefitting from mentoring. For example, senior leaders may end up only mentoring those who are similar to them, or those who are confident will find a mentor leaving those who are shyer without. The great thing about mentoring is connecting people with different experiences and perspectives to learn from each other, so you want your matches to allow for this.

Another issue is that asking a mentor can be nerve wracking for many, especially if the mentee doesn’t have a wide pool of options leading to a lower engagement with the programme or a poor choice in mentor.

Hybrid matching

Mixing manual and self matching can be an effective option in matching mentors and mentees. Mentees who participate in the selection process are more likely to engage in mentoring and see more positive results. You ask both the mentees and mentors the questions established in manual matching, select the best profiles for the mentee, and allow the mentee to select from a pool.

This is the method we prefer at Guider. We ask the questions, and our algorithm matches the mentee with a shortlist of top mentors. Mentees can then read different profiles and select the ones they find best for them. It also allows mentors and mentees to adjust their preferences, as things change during their time at the company.

Provide Guidance and Monitoring

Now you’re on your way to beginning a successful mentoring programme!

After mentor matching, the initial meeting should be stress free. Instead of jumping straight into mentoring, give them an opportunity to get to know each other and their goals. If things don’t go well or they simply feel that they’re not the right fit, there should be an opportunity to re-enter the matching process.

With a mentoring platform, the mentees are able to return to their list of matches and reselect a new or second mentor. You should hold formal meetings or quick check-ins to allow mentees and mentors to discuss their progress and iron out any issues.

Curious how Guider can help simplify your mentor matching? Book a demo today!

Advice for Businesses

6 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement

Keeping your employees engaged, enthusiastic and productive at work is no easy feat. As your organisation grows and changes, you’ll find that employee engagement changes too.

Alongside the impact of external forces such as the move to remote or hybrid work, there are also differences in the way that each individual is motivated by their work. This means that it’s important to continually develop your employee engagement strategies to avoid problems with talent retention later down the line.

An engaged workforce means having a workforce that feel empowered and genuinely interested in putting extra effort into their work. Companies with a more engaged workforce outperform low-engagement companies by 202% and increase profitability by 21%. Low employee engagement increases staff turnover, which in turn decreases staff engagement as current employees overwork themselves to cover for lost employees.

There are many ways to increase employee engagement in your organisation. This in turn will develop talent and grow your team into high performers while also improving your retention rates.

Let’s look at 6 things you can do to increase employee engagement today:

1. Team engagement vs individual engagement

When talking about engagement, it’s tempting to only focus on the engagement levels of the team by using team-based SMART goals and sending employees on team-building exercises.

While it’s important to improve team engagement, it’s essential to understand the needs of individuals first and foremost. Studies show that where there is high individual engagement, there is high team engagement. 

You can then look at how these individuals fit together to make an effective team. Are everyone’s voices being heard equally? This is crucial when thinking about inclusivity as well.

Employees who are part of a team are 2 times more likely to be engaged, as it gives them a deeper sense of purpose, social interaction with other employees and a shared goal. Bear this in mind when thinking of team structures – are there places you can improve individual employee engagement which will then positively impact a wider team?

2. Mentoring

Mentoring is where a more experienced individual shares their knowledge with someone who has the desire to learn. This could be based on people skills such as building confidence or improving communication or technical skills such as learning a new technology or developing computer skills.

Compared to other forms of learning, mentoring connects employees with other employees, allowing them to build relationships across teams. This is especially important for hybrid and remote teams that may feel isolated, contributing to a decrease in mood and therefore engagement.

Mentoring is valuable for building engagement as it increases interactions across teams and departments, allowing each group to learn more about each other and building a tighter, more empathetic community. This breaks down siloes and increases a sense of belonging at work.

Mentoring improves the engagement of both mentors and mentees, as 87% of both mentors and mentees feel empowered by their mentoring relationship. The majority of those with mentors also go on to become mentors themselves, proving the high levels of engagement mentoring has compared with other employee development methods.

It’s also a fantastic way of showing your commitment to developing your people. We know that many people cite opportunities to learn and develop as top reasons to stay in an organisation. If you’re looking to improve employee engagement, focus on mentoring programs within your organisation to build connections.

3. Feedback for management

Part of building workplace engagement is engaging with employees too. This means creating an open space for dialogue that shows them that you value their opinion and contributions. This goes a long way to foster belonging too.

If you’re finding it hard to get feedback from employees, it might be because they feel unheard. It’s important to build a culture of psychological safety in the workplace. This means a workplace where everyone feels safe to share ideas and opinions without fearing negative consequences. Not only collecting feedback but acting on it makes employees feel heard and therefore more engaged in every part of the workplace, including workplace culture.

Create space for anonymous and non-anonymous feedback, and find ways to act on it. Similarly make sure you take onboard positive feedback, by continuing with the aspects of the workplace culture employees enjoy and embrace!

Guider how it works banner4. Continuous feedback from management

When it comes to feedback, many workplaces choose to offer a formal review every six months. These reviews can be nerve-wracking for employees, as they await a big update on performance or salary. That’s why it’s important to factor continuous feedback opportunities into your 1:1’s and weekly team meetings. This should include both praise and constructive criticism.

By doing this, you normalise feedback so people become more comfortable with it. When feedback becomes a part of company culture rather than a 6 monthly meeting, it becomes far less daunting. It allows employees to know where they stand at any moment, so they don’t feel that they’re moving in the dark. It also makes management seem more accessible, letting them know that it’s okay to ask questions if they need extra help. Continuous feedback is also more accurate, as people feel comfortable raising things as and when they happen, rather than waiting until a 1:1 or review meeting.

Remember that feedback isn’t just about searching for the negative, it’s about reinforcing good practices too.

5. Invest in Employee Wellbeing

One theme that links each of these topics to engagement is employee wellbeing. Creating an environment where employees are able to connect, communicate, be heard and feel part of a team is an important aspect of engagement as an employee. With 69% of UK adults worrying about the impact of the pandemic and economic uncertainty, it’s become increasingly important to prioritise the wellbeing of employees.

Here are a few examples of how some global companies have prioritised employee wellbeing:

  • Google –  Google has put in place a wellbeing plan that emphasises employees being able to spend time with their families, providing on-site gyms and offering healthy, nutritious meals. Other companies that can’t offer onsite gyms tend to offer gym memberships and virtual fitness memberships instead.
  • Expedia –  Described as “the best place to work” in 2016 by Glassdoor, offers a wellness allowance of up to £1,200, allowing employees to choose how to prioritise their wellbeing needs.
  • Publicis Group –  Through their ‘Publicis Plug-in’ programmes, The Publicis Group put together virtual employee sessions such as coffee mornings, meditation and language classes. Allowing employees to connect with each other and reducing isolation.

For a more detailed read on this topic, check out Employee Wellbeing Areas to Focus On

6. Celebrate success

Finally, avoid employees feeling under-appreciated at work by celebrating their success and showing them how valued they are.

Did you know that 66% of employees would leave their job due to under-appreciation? This jumps up to 76% for millennials and younger generations, as people value job satisfaction above all.

Celebrating success can be done through:

  • Positive Feedback – As we mentioned earlier, positive feedback not only helps to reinforce good habits but simply makes employees feel good. When people feel good at work, they are much more likely to commit to staying.
  • Time Off –  Rewarding hard work with surprise breaks and days off can help employees feel appreciated. It contributes to their overall well-being allowing them to take a well-earned rest.
  • Employee Rewards – From treats to lunches and vouchers to bonuses, one way to show and celebrate employee success is through rewards. They work as a reminder that your company invests in the success of the individual.

And don’t forget to celebrate your own success by measuring the ROI of engagement and remembering to reward you and your team for your efforts!

Employee engagement is a hot topic for any organisation trying to mitigate employee talent churn and increase productivity. As you can see, there are many ways that you can act to improve both individual and team engagement. The key is to be consistent. Employee engagement is cultivated over time and may require several different methods to work across your diverse organisation.

Want to find out more about how mentoring can improve employee engagement? Talk to the Guider team today