Continuing the Menopause Awareness Charge

Menopause, in simple terms, is a natural part of being a woman and importantly, it’s normal! It isn’t something to be ashamed of or scared of and we are starting to see an increase in awareness in the workplace and what good leaders can do to support those going through it.

One of the most common myths about menopause is that it happens to women ‘over 50’ and it’s just mood swings and hot flushes. It has had negative connotations and been viewed by some as the transition to a woman being ‘past it’, no longer able to have children and time for her to disappear in to middle age.  Yes, the hot flushes and mood changes are common, but the increase in awareness, particularly at work has started to educate people and make them realise that symptoms like forgetfulness, anxiety, depression and stress are just as common and can be supported in the workplace.

One of the major barriers for women going through any stage of menopause is that they feel unable to discuss their concerns with their line manager and it is this area that businesses can really add value by educating their staff on the subject and demonstrate how they can help, support and join the conversation so it becomes the ‘norm’.  By supporting women through the menopause, organisations can benefit from increased engagement, empowerment and loyalty, as well as lower sickness absence and employee turnover.

The key is to giving that support is to appreciate that it’s not just ‘a HR issue’.  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, we all have a part to play in supporting our friends and colleagues.

If you want to raise awareness in your workplace, please get in touch for further information by calling  us on 01623 409824 or email us at

Talk to us about:

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

How Communication is vital to an Inclusive Culture

Organisational cultures are a vital aspect within any company and defining how the company and its people operate and interact with each other to achieve their goals is part of that culture.  However, creating an inclusive culture is not easy to prioritise with the demands of the business pulling in other directions.  But fit in it must, particularly as employees are becoming ever more aware of the importance of inclusivity and what an organisation should commit to do to become an equal, diverse and inclusive employer.

The start point for most organisations is reviewing and where needed, amending its values and beliefs which should be at the core of any inclusive employer – don’t forget, done well, they can unite a company.  When trying to establish a culture, these values and beliefs should be kept at the forefront. They should be true and defined as a collective by the entire organisation, not just a senior leadership team developed initiative.

That said, leadership plays an important role and becoming an inclusive leader is key to the success of embedding values and beliefs. If senior leaders do not champion what the company believes in, this can create misunderstanding and frustration.

So, how can organisations build inclusive workplaces?  Its important not to focus solely on diversity – you have to try to capture everyone which often means ensuring that your inclusivity strategy does just that, includes!  Inclusion is what’s needed to give diversity real impact, and drive towards a world of work where all employees are empowered to thrive.  

Whilst diversity and inclusion often go hand in hand, inclusion is fundamentally about individual experience and allowing everyone at work to contribute and feel a part of an organisation – how do you ensure the new parent who can’t make it to social events like they used to be able to do feels included and involved.

Many believe that the key to inclusivity is adopting an inclusive communication strategy that is respectful, accurate, accessible and relevant to all.  It should be person centred and use simple language that is free from stereotypes and biases.  Adopting this approach can often increase engagement, solidify the workplace culture and improve wellbeing across business units.  It also promotes a feeling of being valued, makes people feel like they belong, promotes respectful relationships, avoids false assumptions and enables everyone to understand and be understood.

Being a culturally inclusive communicator also means being flexible, seeing how others are responding, and making adjustments where necessary. Remember, the goal is to create a space where everyone feels they belong and are acknowledged for what they do.

If you’re looking at ways to become a more inclusive employer, speak with one of Futureproof Training’s Learning & Development Managers about the types of initiatives that have been useful recently. 

Contact us on +44 (0) 1623 409 824 or at

Establishing Team Identity

In a competitive climate, teamwork is key and establishing a positive and effective identity can often be the subtle difference between a good team and an excellent one.

Team Identity is based on how well the team demonstrates belongingness, a desire to work together, and a sense of clarity around the role of each member. Teams can often become confused when roles and responsibilities aren’t sufficiently clarified.  

As people managers, it’s often useful to take a step back and review.  Is there a good balance in roles that is designed to bring out all team members talents?  And does everyone understand the division of responsibilities?  One of the best ways to create a Team Identity is to answer the question – “Who are we?”.

Creating a shared team identity involves discussing and determining the team’s purpose or mission, what the team values, what they live by and what the teams’ key strengths and limitations are. It involves understanding who each team member is as an individual, and the attributes and skillsets each person brings to the team.  Having a shared team identity is important for common ground and a shared sense of purpose across the team.  A shared team identity is also important when communicating with stakeholders across the business.

It’s not easy though, there are challenges to creating an identity.  There has to be business context and a vision on where the team sits within that context so clear communication is always key.  A team identity also depends on the company culture and how the senior leaders behave.  It is also based, in a very practical way, on the support the team receives from senior leadership. This includes the support and “cover” the team receives, both in a political sense and in terms of the resources dedicated to the team’s efforts.

Team identity evolves too, members of more experienced or long-standing teams may find that the team’s purpose and mission changes significantly over time as the business leadership changes. Changes in the team members and responsibilities will also impact how the identity evolves.

Although not a one size fits all approach, the following strategies may help to foster a shared team identity.

  • Recognise what will “fit” the business and its culture
  • Identify and harness individual expertise
  • Discuss “Who are we?” as a team
  • Develop a team “elevator speech”
  • Consider documenting key aspects of the team’s identity and culture and circulate them
  • Re-evaluate the team’s identity periodically

Building an effective team identity is complex but the rewards are huge, talk to us about our people management courses and structured management development pathways.

Futureproof Training – Management Courses

Futureproof Training – Management Development Pathways

Being a great Manager isn’t just about managing

As we move into a post lockdown era, many businesses seem to be busier than ever trying to meet the demands of their customers / clients. During this busy time, it’s going to be fundamentally important to provide people managers with the core skills, knowledge and behaviours required to lead and guide their teams effectively.

Good managers are essential to any successful organisation and many believe that the key to being a good manager is to be able to attract, develop, work with and support their people.  Good managers achieve goals through hard working, productive and effective teams.  Exceptional managers attract exceptional staff; they make the organisation a preferred employer; they help to increase market share; add to profits and reduce costs. Simply put, their staff are engaged, committed and ‘go the extra mile’.

So what makes a good manager?  Many believe it’s the relationship between the manager and their team that is key.  Good relationships are based on trust, commitment, energy and engagement, and a good manager has the ability and behaviour to galvanise those attributes and build a cohesive team.

Good managers coach, counsel, they listen, they learn from their teams, they support and help those who are struggling for whatever reason.

Good managers seek feedback, they communicate, delegate and trust those who they delegate to, they develop, empower and motivate.

Good managers communicate upwards, shine a light and shine the spotlight, they show compassion and care genuinely care about their teams.

Good managers adapt, are flexible and embrace change, they coordinate, they don’t over-control, they plan and observe what’s coming and adjust accordingly.

On the flip side, good managers do not micro-manage or spoon-feed, they don’t underestimate the need to define goals, don’t lead with their ego’s and don’t display favouritism.

This is, and will be, an ever changing list of attributes, but it’s the managers who take pride in their teams, nurture and support who will continue to thrive in the busiest times.

Here at Futureproof, we’re putting the spotlight on the key topics that are making a difference in the organisations we work with. Get in touch with one of our Learning & Development Managers to discuss the following: or 01623 409 824.

Championship Mental Health & Resilience!

It’s not a great surprise to learn that one of our most popular topics at the moment is resilience and ways to improve our mental health.  To some, resilience is a sort of “miracle drug” personality trait that can heal all wounds and right all wrongs.

In simple terms, resilience is our ability to adapt and bounce back when things don’t go as planned. Resilient people don’t wallow or dwell on failures; they acknowledge the situation, learn from their mistakes, and then move forward.  And it’s the ability to learn and move on that is a key driver in improving our mental health, particularly at work.

Here at Futureproof, we believe that the following building blocks provide a great framework to adopt when looking at your resilience and your ability to move forward.

  1. Get connected. Building strong, positive relationships in your personal and professional life can provide much needed support in good and bad times.
  2. Learn from experience. Think of how you’ve coped with hardships and disappointment in the past. Consider the skills and strategies that helped you through difficult times. Sometimes writing or making notes about past experiences can help you identify positive and negative behaviour patterns.
  3. Be proactive. Don’t ignore your problems. Instead, figure out what needs to be done, make a plan, and take action. Although it can take time to recover from a major setback, know that your situation can improve if you work at it.
  4. Make every day meaningful. Do something that gives you a sense of accomplishment and purpose every day. Set goals to help you look toward the future with meaning.
  5. Remain hopeful. You can’t change the past, but you can always look toward the future. Accepting and even anticipating change makes it easier to adapt and view new challenges with less anxiety.
  6. Take care of yourself. Tend to your own physical and mental needs and participate in activities and hobbies you enjoy. Include physical activity in your daily routine. Get plenty of sleep. Eat a healthy diet. Practice stress management and relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation or deep breathing.

Taking care of and improving our mental health needs commitment but the positive influence it has on our life can be huge.  We make time for our bodies, make time for our minds too.

To learn more about what we offer to help manage mental health and boost resilience, contact one of our L&D Managers at or 01623 409 824.