What is well-being and how can we improve it?

Being mindful of, and for many, finding ways to improve our wellbeing seems to be the hot topic for the workplace at the moment – but what does it actually mean and why is it so important?

To answer that best, we have to acknowledge that wellbeing is subjective. It will be different for everyone and is based entirely on our thoughts, feelings, behaviours and body. Past experiences, our attitudes, our outlook, and our choices all impact our sense of wellbeing.  However we define or pigeonhole it, wellbeing is fundamental to our health and overall happiness and organisations play a key role in that when looking at their own employee’s wellbeing.

Enhancing your wellbeing isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it.  The basics can start with simple tweaks to our lifestyle such as eating a healthy balanced diet, getting enough sleep and exercise, and creating healthy habits to look after ourselves more.

But it’s not just a personal project, your employer can help too and those who commit to a variety of initiatives to improve and embrace wellbeing to have healthier and happier employees.  There’s lots of information on what employers can do out there, but the most popular are:

  • Provide an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) – this would provide private and confidential advice, information and signposting to those in need.
  • Introduce wellbeing focused benefits – discounted gym membership, healthcare or screening and cycle to work schemes work really well.
  • Use tech – there are lots of apps, on-line networking groups and websites out there that provide wellbeing services, could you link up with companies like ‘Headspace’ or ‘Mind’ to help?
  • Look at what’s out there in terms of training and development and how it helps to link positive wellbeing to increased performance.
  • Upskill your leaders in everything wellbeing.
  • Arrange get-togethers – taking people away from their desks and providing time to focus on anything but the day job can have massive benefits.
  • Encourage breaks and early finishes when things are quite – this works particularly well in spring and summer.
  • Create positive and healthy relationships, particularly between managers and their teams.
  • Tweak routine and patterns to help your employees – promoting a flexible and inclusive approach can work wonders.

Here at Futureproof, we know how important this topic is and will continue to be and have the knowledge and experience to help companies promote a healthy workplace. Click on the link (Personal Development & Well-being), give us a call or email us at info@futureproof-training.co.uk to learn more.

The Art of Coaching

Put simply, coaching is a process that aims to improve performance and focuses on the ‘here and now’ rather than on the distant past or future. While that may be true, it takes a very specific skill to actually be a good coach – not everyone can or wants to do it.

Many believe that there are three generally accepted styles of coaching in sports: autocratic, democratic and holistic. But does this naturally transfer to the business world? One thing is for certain – each style has its benefits and drawbacks and needs to be delivered in the right way to maximise impact.  Remember, for many, coaching and being coached is one of the most effective ways to improve and maintain performance.

The internet is awash with tips, cheats, techniques and methods to help someone become a coach, but we firmly believe that it’s the matching of the coach and coachee that is critical to the success of the process.  Get it wrong and it has the potential to damage relationships and negatively impact the department/business.

Here at Futureproof, we believe the process for matching a coach with a coachee should start with defining the reasons for engaging a coach – why is it needed? How will it add benefit and what would happen if it didn’t happen?  Once the reason has been identified, the search for a coach can begin.  The next step would be to provide the coachee with a few options – no need to bombard them, 2 or 3 is fine.  The coachee then meets the coaches and chooses the one that works for them – not the other way around, it’s not about what the coach gets out of it – here, the coachee is king.

Go through this process and most businesses will reap the rewards of introducing coaches and a coaching mentality throughout their business.  There are lots of ways it can benefit, but the key areas include – better management skills, improved productivity, increased confidence, heightened self-awareness and greater wellbeing.

Futureproof have a variety of courses and workshops on this subject but we believe our ILM Effective Coaching Programme – Level 3 Award offers an excellent foundation in the knowledge and practical application on workplace coaching. Contact one of our Programme Managers to learn more about it.  

Tel:  01623 409 824 Email:  Info@futureproof-training.co.uk

Presenting with impact

Anyone can present with varying levels of confidence, clarity and impact but high impact presenting is a specific skill. It’s not about being able to read a shiny, well animated slide deck – it’s about being able to get your message across in a way that engages your audience and keeps them hooked.

Whether you’re pitching to a new client, managing an existing one or simply trying to persuade your colleagues to buy into your idea, the key is impact and the steps below will help.

  1. Tell your story

No matter what industry you work in, you want your audience to leave understanding and supporting the ideas you’ve just delivered.  The art of storytelling will do just that and like any great book, it has a beginning, a middle and an end and more importantly, takes the audience on a journey.  A good story will enable you to present in a compelling way and bring the audience with you on that journey.

  • Become your audience

There’s a reason why you’ve been asked to present, it’s likely because of your knowledge, expertise and/or experience and the best way to convey that is to think about what you’d like to see and take away from someone presenting to you.  So, put yourself in your audience’s shoes.  A little research here goes a long way – think about how much knowledge they have (and don’t have in some cases) and what they will find the most interesting and useful.

  • Keep it simple

Yes, the content of what you are presenting is important and shouldn’t be ignored, but don’t forget, the audience (regardless of size) wants to listen to you and what you have to say.  Keep your slide deck punchy with bullet points and try not to overload the audience with pages of text.

  • Practice, Practice, Practice

A presentation that tells a story but is to the point, well thought through and rehearsed will have them hanging on your every word.  Don’t underestimate rehearsing your presentation and if you think you have it nailed, practice it again!

Here at Futureproof, we know how important this skill is and have lots of useful content in our courses on the subject.  Please talk to us about:

  • New Business Presentations – Pitching with Confidence
  • Presenting your Products & Services – Demonstrating Value-Based Propositions
  • Key Account Review Presentations 
  • Presenting to Key Stakeholders / Senior Colleagues – with Purpose & Poise
  • Effective Team Briefings & Project Reviews
  • Public Speaking Skills – Engaging an Audience

High Impact Presentation Skills – Example Course Outline

Building & maintaining resilience in uncertain times

The Oxford English dictionary defines resilience as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties” and as we enter into yet another period of uncertainty and anxiety due to the pandemic, that definition must ring true for many of us when we think about how we will try to move forward through these trying times. 

Many believe that it’s our resilience and capacity to recover that will be the key to living with the virus and provide a coping mechanism to get over the personal loss that many have faced, particularly throughout the festive period.

But we must not forget that being resilient at work will also play a huge role in managing our mental health.  Teams may be smaller than before, roles may have changed, communication styles will have shifted and we have all had to become adept at using different tech.  If we’re not resilient to change then we’re going to find ourselves in trouble when the next big change comes around.

Resilience at work looks different for us all.  For some, it might be changing the ways we speak to our colleagues or how we lead our teams.  For others, it could be the way we create a better working environment or looking at ways to change the businesses culture for the better.

Whatever it looks like to you, building your resilience is going to be key.  Building it might come in the form of working outside of your comfort zone, taking on a new project or simply challenging things when they don’t feel right.  One thing’s for sure, respect, honesty and the ability to communicate to those around us will help us adapt, flex and bounce-back during this time of adversity.

To help support you and your teams, please take a look at our full range of workshops which focus on employee well-being by clicking on the link below.

Employee Well-Being & Personal Development

The importance of good people management

Why is People Management one of the most important leadership skills? – it’s no secret that it influences productivity and has a significant impact on employee motivation and morale.  

‘People’ are the foundation of any organisation and too many businesses underestimate the power of managing people in driving forward company objectives. It is so important for organisations to always be assessing and improving their people management and leadership skills so that they can grow the business and increase productivity whilst also boosting their employees’ careers.

What effect does good people management have?  If employees are engaged, they are more likely to contribute to the organisation’s success and be more willing to go above and beyond to help the Company achieve its goals.

A good manager empowers their employees and creates an environment whereby staff are kept informed of business objectives, they should treat each person as unique and keep asking what they personally want from the organisation.  Use their ideas, keep communication open and invest in training for them to reassure them they have a promising future with the company.

Employees who are satisfied with their manager are much more likely to stay for the long haul and have confidence in the company’s future.

If you are looking to develop people managers in your business, we have various options available for:

  • New Managers
  • Team Leaders
  • First Line Managers
  • Department Managers
  • Senior Manager

Using a blend of different learning methodologies, our bespoke, structured development pathways are having real impact in the businesses we have partnered with. Follow the link below to see some of our example programmes.

People Management Development Pathways

To discuss your requirements in more detail with one of our programme managers please get in touch and we can explore the full range of options available.

01623 409824 or info@futureproof-training.co.uk