Communication in the Workplace

Communication within a workplace environment is one of the vital factors to a successful organisation.  We all know that it is the process of exchanging information and ideas, both verbal and non-verbal within an organisation. But, effective communication ensures that all organisational objectives are achieved, and it is so important because it increases productivity and efficiency.  Ineffective workplace communication leads to communication gaps between employees which causes confusion, wastes time and reduces productivity.

Words are only a very small portion of how we communicate.

Face to face communication is always the best type of communication and should be used wherever possible.  Speaking directly with someone in the workplace can eliminate any misunderstandings that often occur.  You can also gauge how a team member is reacting / feeling from their body language and facial expressions.  By having one quick conversation rather than lots of email interactions can make the outcome more efficient in the end.

Body language and facial expressions play an important role in how effective or ineffective you are at communication with team members.  Eye contact makes people feel acknowledged as they speak and listen.  It helps to stand in front of a mirror before a meeting if you rehearse what you are going to say, so that you can see if your body language matches your words.

Phone conversations are part of everyday work life.  Some people enjoy speaking to their team members by phone, but others dislike it.  Always speak clearly and slowly so that your words are understood.

Written communication such as emails and notes are the types of communication that can lead to the most misunderstandings.  People often read between the lines or feel that there are implied messages or emotions in written forms of communication. 

Communication between you and your team will always be a work in progress, but always remember to communicate , communicate, communicate!!

Overcoming Barriers to Change

We all know that we need a plan in place to guide change, but it is never as simple as it sounds.

Unless the barriers to change management are accounted for, your organisation’s transformation will hit a stalemate.  You may have your plan in place and your necessary tools, but if your employees are resistant, your efforts will hit a major roadblock.

Resistance is a difficult problem to overcome but by anticipating which influences might create the barriers and addressing them, the likelihood of your change going to plan will run much more smoothly.

So, let’s think about the obstacles that may arise:

The Unknown – None of us can assess the effectiveness of change without knowing exactly where you are starting from.  Take the time to evaluate where your business currently is and what you will need to drive it forward with maximum success.  Employees will become very resistant if they feel unprepared.

Communication – We all know communication is a huge barrier in organisations, but it is one that can be overcome.  As a leader, try to be as transparent as possible, encourage questions and encourage employees to talk about their concerns, ask for ideas to help improve the transformation.

Limited Employee Involvement – If employees are not included in the change plan, then be prepared for them to become resistant and de-motivated.  Not a good idea if you don’t want your productivity to reduce – Involve your employees and ask for their feedback.  You may learn something that will enable you to amend your strategy for the better.  Your employees will feel valued and appreciated and we all know it’s great to feel that you’ve been able to provide a valid input.

Complex Processes – Implementing new processes are a major barrier to change management due to employees being frustrated with complex processes that they can’t quite grasp.  The tip is to provide as much relevant information and support and provide plenty of training. 

Next time you are planning on making a transformation, help yourself and remember the tips.  Employee motivation and training is paramount to making a happy, productive organisation.

Managing Change Workshop

Driving & Implementing Strategic Change – Workshop

Being Resilient Matters More Than Ever

It never crosses your mind that something like this Pandemic would ever happen within our lifetime.

This is now reality, take a minute to think about all the other situations this Pandemic brings in life… being made redundant, losing someone you love, losing your business, becoming ill, relationships becoming increasingly difficult etc.

Life at the minute is scary and this is a fact we can’t change. What we can change, though, is how we react to each of the negative situations which arise, and perhaps even more importantly, how we bounce back. So, why is resilience even more important now and what does it take to be resilient?

A definition of resilience is ‘the ability to recover from setbacks and still complete what you set out to achieve’. Hopefully, this is a skill that every one of us can develop.

Being resilient is crucial to maintaining good mental health. While it’s ‘okay to not be okay’ we don’t want to feel sad forever so we need to be able to ‘bounce back’ and try and rebuild our life and emotions which in turn, can enable us to grow and strengthen us for the future. 

There are many qualities that resilient people have compared to those people who aren’t and it’s true that between 1 and 5 working age adults will become depressed, anxious or will experience stress related problems at some time during their life.

We have an emotional reaction to many things and our stress response is activated when we feel threatened or scared such as times like now. Developing resilience is the ability to effectively manage our emotions and responses in any given situation.

Let us look at some tips to help us to stay resilient…

Don’t isolate yourself…

We are all in isolation which in itself is draining.  We are social animals and we need our friends and families more than ever at the minute as they allow us to feel nurtured and safe. However, due to the restrictions put in place for us all, it’s not that easy, we all need that hug and that reassurance.  We must try and stay connected to our friends and families through social networking and facetime/skype etc as we are all feeling the same and that one conversation will help to lift our mood. 

Be kind to yourself…

Some people are more resilient than others and being less resilient doesn’t make you a lesser person. Nurture yourself while you find the time to heal and bounce back. Once you have bounced back from a tragedy, it’s normal and inevitable to revisit the event and the feelings associated with it but don’t beat yourself up for having a bad day, for crying, or for being anxious. Allow yourself to feel. Holding in emotions doesn’t do anyone any good.  Always show yourself some love and never compare yourself to anyone else.

Ask for help…

Reaching out for support in these difficult times can make a significant difference in life. You are never alone and your support network will always be there for you, never feel like a burden to anyone and remember that asking for help is a strength, not a weakness.

Be flexible… Everything happens for a reason, but if you’re the sort of person who likes to have everything planned out in detail, you are going to have a hard time coming to terms with the change.  You must tell yourself that life has created a new path for you and you’re going to have to deal with it the best you can, learn to be a little flexible.

Self Care…

We should always be looking after ourselves, but we definitely need to turn this up a little at the present time.  Do some different activities to see which makes you feel better both mentally and physically.  Go for a run, a walk, a bike ride (while social distancing of course).  All exercise can help release your emotions but be mindful not to overdo it.

Next time you’re feeling a low try and keep some of these tips in mind. Even following just one of them can help you bounce back. Soon enough, you’ll be feeling like yourself again, and you’ll be stronger and ready for the next thing life throws at you when normality returns.

Stay safe!

Virtual Training v’s Virtual Seminars

With many businesses and employees being suddenly forced to work remotely and start using a range of new conference / communication technology, Futureproof Training have also seen a sudden increase in the number of requests for virtual training and development support.

This short post is designed to provide useful information regarding the key differences between two of the main virtual delivery formats that you may consider using for staff development / support interventions.

What is a Virtual Seminar?

Futureproof believe that Virtual Training Seminars are most appropriate for knowledge sharing sessions and are ideal if you want to cater for a large number of participants. The duration of a seminar would typically be between 45 to 60 minutes. We interact with the group via chat rooms, polling facilities and use of virtual ‘break out’ rooms.

It is important to note that when the group size reaches 15 people or above, participants will generally join the sessions with video and audio turned off. This does have a negative impact on the levels of interaction and human contact that that we can achieve during delivery.

What is a Virtual Training Session or Coaching Session?

We have found that Virtual Training sessions limited to a maximum of 6 to 8 delegates, achieve far higher levels of engagement and interaction between the group that are very similar to those associated with classroom-based delivery.

The smaller numbers allow the Facilitator to actively involve each person by asking questions and encouraging delegates to share their thoughts and experiences with the group. The duration of the session would be between 60 to 90 minutes and delegates may be required to complete pre and post training activities.

Virtual Training Ground Rules

It is important that virtual training workshops give delegates an interactive experience that provides tools, techniques and new ways of thinking that will help the way in which employees approach working life in these uncertain times. The following guidelines will help enhance this experience.

  • Give yourself time to understand how to use the conference platform you will be accessing. Allocate time to download the correct application and know your log in details for the session.
  • We ask that all delegates have video and sound ON. It is important that we know that all participants are engaged and ‘in the room’ mentally with no distractions.
  • We ask delegates to observe all of the rules associated with a face to face meeting or training session. Phones and other devices on silent or do not disturb and all other applications on your computer closed.
  • Delegates should join the session with pen and paper to hand and having completed any pre-training tasks.
  • We would like all delegates to take a full and active role throughout the training workshop in order to gain maximum benefit.
  • Delegates will be asked to follow a specific protocol for asking questions or providing comment on group discussions.

If you want to receive further information regarding the range of virtual sessions that we deliver, please get in touch 01623 409824 or email info@futureproof-training.co.uk.

Menopause in the Workplace

Statistics show (British Menopause Society) that 25% of women go through the menopause with little impact on their daily life. But this means 75% experience symptoms that can last for several years and have a negative impact on their performance at work. Sleepless nights can affect concentration, while hot flushes can be physically distressing and embarrassing. The British Menopause Society actually state 34 different symptoms and are keen to point out that no two women are the same and many women can have quite different experiences.

Why act now?

The Office of National Statistics have shown that women aged 50 to 64 are the fastest growing economically active group. By supporting women through the menopause, your organisation will benefit from increased engagement and loyalty, as well as lower sickness absence and employee turnover.

Don’t make menopause HR’s responsibility

Of course, HR will have a role to play in supporting the business in their legal duty to ensure working conditions don’t exacerbate someone’s symptoms and to protect employees from discrimination, but the majority of direct support must come from line managers and colleagues. In a business world trying to foster equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace we all have a part to play in supporting our work mates.


Support Available (Short courses & Bite-size sessions)

  • Awareness workshops for women
  • Awareness workshops for men and women
  • Training workshop for People Managers
  • Training Workshop HR / L&D professionals & Key Stakeholders

If you want to raise awareness in your workplace, look at putting guidelines in place and understand the adjustments you could put in place to create a support and comfortable working environment, please get in touch for further information 01623 409824 or email info@futureproof-training.co.uk.