How to develop a continuous learning culture in the workplace:

By Rhiannon

In last month’s blog post we explored the personal benefits of continuous learning to individuals.  

But it doesn’t stop there!

There are real, tangible benefits to be achieved in business and organisations too; namely increased turnover and staff retention!  

Reports show organisations that sacrifice staff development and learning in pursuit of never-ending deadlines and short-term wins experience: 

– decreased turnover

– less proactive, less disciplined, less satisfied staff

– inharmonious teams

Sound familiar? 

Meanwhile, your competitors that do prioritise and invest in their staff through innovative learning and development programmes are experiencing ever greater success! 

So we’ve established it’s at very least worth considering…. but where do you start? Here are a few tips to help you and your workforce on your continuous learning journey: 

– Align business and employee Interests and goals: 

When you as a business owner or manager think about training your team, your mind probably goes straight to whatever your employee’s work entails and how to make them better at specific tasks. This is your first mistake. People are not machines. Talk to your employees, do some research, the results may surprise you. Increasingly popular areas of learning and development are in interpersonal/ soft skills and achieving better mental health and stress management. These are great areas for ongoing learning and increased personal motivation because they directly benefit both the individual and the company! 

Another important factor is considering individuals’ career goals and looking at how you can link learning with promotion. Staff need to understand that training is a facet of successful work performance and that their careers can be boosted through being proactive about their own learning as well as having a positive impact on the company’s success and competitiveness as a whole.  Check out our blog on encouraging reflection in a team for tips on coaching, improving management and staff relationships and implementing development plans.  

– Learning should be encouraged at all levels not just for managers: 

Mentally resilient, engaged, positive staff with more initiative and increased performance are qualities that transcend all working sectors and roles. This is what a successful, competitive business is made up of. Providing and encouraging easily accessible learning opportunities to all staff members is the most straightforward way of achieving this.

– Use continuous learning as an opportunity to assess employees’ skills set and competencies: 

On paper, an individual might look like the perfect addition to your team with all the right qualifications and experience but the reality can be very different. Poor interpersonal skills especially can be one of the most overlooked factors in a demotivated and underperforming team. Managers can be left feeling confused and unsure of how to proceed with a team member who is technically hitting targets but not working at peak efficiency or worse having a negative impact on others. Instead of ignoring the problem and ultimately losing a valuable employee, consider another way. Personal development training may be the solution! You can also check out our top tips on giving critical feedback here. 

– Be the change you want to see: 

Take ownership of your own learning and be a positive role model! 

Note: This is a simplified guide to get you thinking but it’s important to bear in mind that there is not an ultimate learning culture template that you can model exactly from. To create and promote your own successful continuous learning culture you need to consider your organisation’s specific needs and goals and tailor accordingly. 

So what’s stopping you? 

The most common hurdles to implementing a continuous learning culture according to is budget and proving a return on training investment. Thinking about how you will measure this can be a vital part of the continuation of the organisations learning culture:

1. Decide what you’re measuring: Number of trained employees? Skills? Revenue? 

2. How will you measure it: What are your strategic business objectives? Use these as a guide to set measures, for example: Were staff engaged in the learning process and did they enjoy it? What did they learn? Can this knowledge be applied to the workplace? Can it be tested? Does it benefit the business?  

Without such measures, in place it can be hard to convince senior executives of the importance and intrinsic value of continuous learning for the organisation. 

At Empower- Be The Change we do some of the work for you! All participants complete an ILM accredited measure at the beginning and end of all our programmes, generating their own personal development report. By completing an ILM accredited qualification with Empower- Be The Change participants have the opportunity to learn vital team member skills or gain coaching, mentoring and leadership skills that are relevant in community, education and employment settings.  

Our courses are proven to make a real and measurable difference. We really do empower people to achieve their potential, realise their self- worth and build positive mental resilience. 

For more information on how we can empower your organisation get in touch here!

How to invest in the wellbeing of employees and why it’s vital.

By Rhiannon

According to recent research (performed by multinational professional services network Deloitte) the financial impact to UK employers of employee poor mental health is significant, rising by 16% since 2017 and costing up to £45 billion. In comparison, employers who have already begun investing in their workforce’s mental wellbeing are seeing an average £5 return for every £1 spent! 

‘Thriving at work’ The Stevenson/ Farmer independent review of mental health and employers, commissioned by the Government, also revealed the knock-on impact, not only for the economy but for society and Government; “Employers are losing billions of pounds because employers are less productive, less effective, or off sick.” 

The key is to both invest in improving employees’ mental health and reduce stigma, creating an open and inclusive culture of support and wellbeing. Sounds great in theory but how, as an employer or manager, do you put this into practice?

1. A solid first step is looking up online training and mentoring services. This will:

  • Clearly demonstrate to your team that you care about them on a human level, helping them feel valued and supported. Team building days and material incentives can be great, but without a more holistic approach, it can feel like a very empty gesture. 
  •  Shows your team you recognise their hard work and are willing to reward it in a significant way. Feeling recognised and appreciated leads to increasing levels of commitment from employees.
  • Personal and professional training and mentoring encourage staff to be reflective and self-aware. They will learn how to ‘check in’ on themselves so they can recognise and address issues early before they become problematic. 
  • Help staff spot signs of mental ill‐health in others and feel secure and confident enough to reach out to team members who may need some extra support.
  • Help managers and team members alike learn how to build up their own and others’ resilience, mental toughness and confidence.

2. Align company values and goals with individuals: 

  • What are your team’s individual goals, aspirations and motivators? Have you ever sat down with them in a one-to-one session to find out? Open communication and regular checking in is key. 
  • Consider investing in other forms of training and professional development to create a culture of continuous learning. Check out our blog on developing a learning culture in the workplace and its benefits here.
  • This will help employees develop their continuing professional and personal development and build a CPD portfolio.

3. Ensure strong positive leadership is in place and managers are well trained: 

According to ADP (one of FORTUNE Magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies) 2018 research:

  • Getting to the root of this issue by providing managers with relevant training and mentoring creates resilient, self-aware leaders who inspire confidence in their teams.
  • ​​Resilient, self-aware individuals with coaching, leadership and mentoring skills are able to bring out the best in themselves and others!

4. Practice transparency around internal decisions:

  • Staff who feel that they are working in a socially responsible organisation that listens to their feedback communicates decision-making clearly and values the security of its employees have much higher staff retention rates and are more likely to attract a better quality of future applicants through good reputation. 

5. Keep technology efficient and updated plus provide training to use it: 

  • Investing in easy-to-use, smooth-running technology and digital training, will help your employees feel less frustrated and inhibited in their tasks. 
  • According to Jeff Phipps, managing director of ADP UK “Processes, systems and technology must also be updated regularly, with the input of frontline staff, to ensure they are consistently helping them to work in the best – and most productive – way possible.”

At Empower – Be The Change we can do some of this work for you through our online mentoring programme and online ILM-accredited Empowered Team Member course! All participants complete a ILM accredited measure at the beginning and end of all our programmes, generating their own personal development report. By completing an ILM accredited qualification with Empower – Be The Change, participants have the opportunity to learn vital team member skills or gain coaching, mentoring and leadership skills that are relevant in community, education and employment settings. 

Our courses are proven to make a real and measurable difference. We really do empower people to achieve their potential, realise their self- worth and build positive mental resilience. 

For more information on how we can empower your organisation get in touch here.

Check out our blog on achieving a motivated team here!

Embrace continuous learning and enjoy all the benefits!

By Jo and Rhiannon

What is continuous learning: The life-long development and expansion of our minds through gathering new information, knowledge and skills from the world around us, society, work and formal education and courses. We are constantly learning from birth to old age and it does not begin and end in a school classroom! 

To really benefit from continuous learning though, you’ll need to be prepared for challenges and put some time and effort in, especially from a business and education perspective. If that sounds off-putting don’t worry! Here are 4 top benefits to get you motivated! 

There are BIG benefits to embracing continuous learning: 

1. Build resilience and perseverance: Life throws us curveballs constantly and this can sometimes leave us feeling like we’re at the end of our tether and can’t cope… yet we keep on coping! Human beings are amazingly tough, yet many of us silently beat ourselves up and feel like we’re just not good enough or not doing well enough. By actively taking charge of your own learning (and especially if you combine this with a balanced diet, enough sleep and exercise) you will come to realise just how very strong and resilient you are and even find solutions to many of life’s challenges. 

If you’d like to read more on becoming mentally tough click here

2. Develop vital critical thinking skills: The more open you are to learning, the more likely you’ll be able to take an objective and balanced approach to challenges instead of reacting in a subjective, emotional and instinctive way which so often closes doors to further learning opportunities, professional and personal opportunities and can damage relationships, self-esteem and mental health. 

3. Fuel creativity and innovation: As mentioned in point 1, taking charge of your learning is fantastic for developing problem-solving skills. In this increasingly digital and automated world, individuals who can think up creative solutions and ideas are sought after. The age of characterless CVs and uncomfortable stuffy interviews is coming to an end. Dynamic, staff-orientated employers increasingly look to take on people with the right attitude and outlook to active learning, regardless of whether they have any previous experience in the role applied for. 

4. Adaptability: So life’s thrown you yet another curveball or maybe you absolutely rocked that job interview but now you’ve got to do the work and you have no experience! Time to flex those continuous learning muscles again! This may mean hitting the internet, reading books, signing up to courses or even going to college or university but the first port of call is most likely asking colleagues, friends and family for help and feedback. This might be easy or daunting, depending on you as an individual, but it will most certainly add to your learning and may even strengthen existing relationships or help you connect with brand new people. Human beings by our very nature learn and adapt from each other before anything else and countless studies show that individuals with strong support networks are overall happier, healthier and more adaptable to challenges and change. This is also true for organisations! Businesses that invest in their team and their learning have greater staff retention and are more successful in the long run, even in the face of recessions and set backs. 

 Here’s Jo’s personal reflection on what continuous learning means to her and the journey she’s taken in the past year: 

Empower- Be The Change courses are fun, relaxed and informal. Lots of learning takes place but there are no exams or assignments. We are also offering online personal development mentoring. We feel it is more important than ever to help people feel mentally prepared. Over the coming weeks and months, more of us will be asked to work from home and make significant changes to our daily lives. Many of us will find this challenging as we struggle to adapt to new routines and systems. Get in touch here and find out how we can aid you or your organisation!

Can anyone learn mental resilience or toughness? (Part 2)

By Rhiannon

Well the short answer is.. Yes! Absolutely! Here are a few tips to help you on the way:

3. Give yourself a break from over-thinking.

Worry drains brain power that could otherwise be used for problem-solving, completing tasks, getting creative and setting goals. By practising self-awareness and a neutral, detached perspective on your emotions, body and surroundings you will be able to recognise when you’re entering a negative spiralling mental state and refocus your attention on what is in your control in the moment. Eventually, this will become a habit and paralysing demotivating over-thinking can (for the most part) be a thing of the past.

Talk to yourself like a Navy SEAL:

How on earth do Navy SEALs cope under so much intense pressure? It’s probably not what you think:

– They talk to themselves in a positive and optimistic way.

– They don’t take setbacks personally but instead see them as lessons and opportunities to grow and become stronger. ‘Tomorrow I will do better’.

– They remember that moments in time are temporary. ‘This challenge won’t last forever.’

– They keep perspective, taking challenges as they come, with specific causes and reasons that are not necessarily linked to every other problem experienced.

4. Don’t be a people pleaser:

For many of us, it’s all too easy to get into the habit of putting our own needs last. You go through life exhausted, unfulfilled, feeling out of control and unhappy. If you’re this type of individual, resisting ‘people-pleasing’ is an exercise in discomfort endurance in itself, but it is a particularly worthwhile one! Make sure to leave space in your time management plan for ‘you time’. It might even be a good idea to make a list of conditions and boundaries you need in order to keep mentally tough, happy and productive. 

Here’s a personal example:

– I must have some alone time. I need this to stop feeling overwhelmed by the day and prepare myself for the next day. I might have a bath, play on a video game/ app, read a book, do some drawing, listen to HeadSpace and try some meditation techniques or play with my dogs. It’s a little bit of quality time with myself to decompress and relax without anyone else wanting anything from me.

– Taking educational opportunities, whether through work or in my own time. There is never a point at which we stop learning and learning is never useless. It’s also never too late to achieve learning goals and qualifications. Anyone telling you otherwise is wrong, plain and simple.

– Making time for fun, alternative pursuits and developing hobbies. For me that’s illustration, going on adventures with my dogs and catching up with friends and family in the pub! These things are hugely important for my mental health and I notice a real decline if I don’t make enough time for them.

Ultimately achieving and maintaining mental resilience is an ongoing process. You’ll have good and bad days, you’ll make mistakes. Sometimes it will feel impossible. But there is always tomorrow. The more you can practice these four top tips the better:

– Engaged and positive you will feel about your life and choices

– You will perform tasks- with up to 25% improvement

– You’ll be able to handle stress more effectively

By completing a qualification with Empower- Be The Change you will have the opportunity to learn in more detail about mental toughness, discover how resilient you are, and learn how to apply useful techniques to day-to-day life from working successfully in a team to taking a leadership role.

You will have the opportunity to complete up to two AQR psychometric measures for insight into your skills and style as a leader:

  • MTQ48 (Mental Toughness) – Builds knowledge and awareness of own mental toughness and how to use and develop this skill as a team leader.
  • ILM72 (Integrated Leadership Measure) – assesses your current and preferred leadership style across settings and how to change and adapt your style to bring out the best in yourself and the team.

+ Receive a 75 min 1-1 coaching session with one of our professional accredited coaches.


Peter Clough, Doug Strycharczyk and John Perry (2021) Developing Mental Toughness: Strategies to Improve Performance, Resilience and Wellbeing in Individuals and Organizations’ Kogan Page Ltd.

Taking a break and the Four Dimensions of Renewal

By Jo Clay 

All too often we hear people say they are too busy. Too busy to take a break, too busy to plan, too busy to think about things….. but do we ever ask ourselves if  we are just busy being busy or actually being productive? 

I’m a huge fan of the late Stephen Covey, an American educator, author,  businessman and keynote speaker.  In his book “The 7 habits of Highly  Effective People”  Covey reiterates time and time again the importance of  looking after ourselves and in his words taking time to “sharpen the  saw”. 

“What are you doing?” 

“Can’t you see?” Comes the impatient reply. “I’m sawing down the tree” 

“You look exhausted” you exclaim. “How long you been at it?” 

“Over five hours he returns and I’m beat! This is hard work!” 

“Well why don’t you take a break for a few minutes and sharpen that saw?  I’m sure it would go a lot faster.” 

“I don’t have time to sharpen the saw, I’m too busy sawing!” 

This simple metaphor describes how many of us feel and act every day but  Covey argues that by taking some simple measures to “sharpen the saw” we  can become much more effective, everyday! 

This practice works on the basis that every day we make time to take positive actions in each of these four areas and over time these become habits which lead to a happier, healthier and more productive you. 

As a team and as individuals we each work hard to make sure we have a balance across these areas and through effective time management, mainly prioritising what is important rather than just being busy, we have  become a lot more effective.  Both in and out of work. 

To do this as individuals is really important but it’s just as critical that we do this as a team.  At Empower- Be The Change we always make time to get together for regular team briefs. A great example of this was when the board and staff came together for an afternoon led by one of our directors for a  strategy session.  Over 4 hours we reviewed what’s gone well and what we should keep doing more of, things that aren’t working, our “time wasters” and things to stop doing, the strong partnerships we have and those that we could build, reaffirmed our values and focus as a  social enterprise and created a 90 day focused action plan. 

It was a simple exercise but one that could so easily have been pushed off the to-do list as unimportant, seen as something we didn’t have time for.  But four hours spent sharpening the saw has now bought us back so much more time, energy and resource for our next round of course delivery and business activities. 

Another great example of this is our strategy around quieter summer months. As a team, we decided to put a hold on course delivery over the month of August to take a much-needed break to sharpen the saw. In between pockets of annual leave, we will still be in work but you’re more likely to see us in a café, walking or working from home as we mix up our working habits to truly “sharpen the saw” and feed our creativity to make our next round of programmes even more empowering for our participants. 

If you want to know more about how you can “sharpen the saw” and embed these simple habits check out our range of courses here.

David Roberts, Welsh Rugby Union, Game Changer North

Can anyone learn mental resilience or toughness? (Part 1)

1. Endurance and perseverance. I bet you think you don’t have that much…

Childbirth, writing a dissertation, moving house, passing your driving test, getting tattoos, completing an exam, getting into shape, attending an interview… Have you experienced one or more of these? Then you have the vital ingredients for mental toughness; You can endure high levels of discomfort. In the face of a difficult challenge and in spite of pain, anxiety, fear and doubt you persevered.

Being mentally strong doesn’t mean you don’t experience pain or emotions. Instead, it’s about not letting them control you. That’s not to say you should bury and ignore them because they are important. True resilience is when you can become aware of your emotions, analyse them and make an informed choice on how to act.

It takes a little practice applying your superhuman power to everyday life, but the more you can push your endurance the more opportunities you will seek, the more challenges you will conquer and you will achieve your potential! 

2. Personal time management

This one seems obvious but few of us really think about it. We’re all too busy, life is so hectic and there seems never to be enough time! But taking a moment out to stop and plan can reap huge rewards for your personal and professional life in the long run and it’s a crucial tool for maintaining mental resilience.

There are many ways you can do this. You might keep a physical diary or purchase a wall planner or calendar. You might use your computer or phone calendar, create a timetable or simply make a list of low, medium and high priorities. Whatever your chosen method, benefits include: 

  • Gaining a healthy work/ life balance
  • Gain a sense of focus, organisation and flexible structure 
  • Be able to set realistic goals and strategies to achieve them
  • Gain a sense of your capabilities and become more self-aware
  • Avoid mistakes and affecting others negatively
  • Ultimately become more productive and less stressed. 
  • Improved self-esteem

3. Give yourself a break from over-thinking

Watch this short video on keeping priorities straight:

How we can help

By completing a qualification with Empower – Be The Change, you will have the opportunity to learn in more detail about mental resilience, discover how resilient you are and learn how to apply useful techniques to day-to-day life from working successfully in a team to taking a leadership role.

You can see what courses and qualifications we have coming up in our Course Calendar or, if you are interested in any of our courses which are not listed there (because dates are yet to be announced), please contact us with your requirements.

Up next: ‘Can just anyone learn to become mentally resilient’ PART 2:

Four things you can do today to achieve a truly motivated team

Motivation can be broken down into three components that when combined, help us achieve our goals: 

Do you, like many organisation or team leaders, reach for seemingly quick and easy motivational incentives? Extrinsic rewards like team experiences, trips, bonuses or fun treats are a brilliant and vital part of the company’s positive work culture, but do they address these three key components and do they actually make a team more motivated? Are you overlooking intrinsic motivators, perhaps because you feel like you don’t know where to start, you don’t see how they can be sustained or perhaps you simply believe they’re not all that important? 

Here are four tips for truly and sustainably motivated teams:

1. Recognition

Everyone wants and needs recognition for their hard work, not just so they maintain current standards but for positive self-esteem, a sense of belonging in a team and ultimately so they feel encouraged to strive to do even better! Try to remove or decrease unhelpful hierarchal and bureaucratic systems, instead encourage a culture of openness, ideas sharing and stronger employee investment, by recognising the vital contribution everyone in the team makes. Not only will you have a more dedicated staff base, but you will also gain more honest insight into the success of the organisation. 

How to implement: One-to-one sessions with individual team members is probably the most obvious answer but you can also express recognition regularly in your emails, in team meetings (encouraging them to praise and recognise each other’s hard work too) award ceremonies, or you can show your appreciation by investing in individuals and teams through opportunities to improve themselves and their skills by going on accredited training courses and workshops.

2. What are the organisation’s (and team members) core values, vision and objectives? 

Your organisation and everyone in it should be clear on what the core values are, how they serve the organisation, what problems they help to solve and most importantly, what vision for the future they envisage and support. Without an inspiring vision for everyone to get behind, team and organisation objectives will never be realised or realistically achieved. It’s also a good idea to spend some time learning what drives an individual’s values and goals. Are they motivated by their own continuous learning? promotion? or are they just in it for the money? Do they align with the organisation’s vision? Taking the time to find out can prove invaluable. 

How to implement: Try making a visual reminder of the organisation’s core values and vision. At Empower- Be The Change we dedicate time during team meetings to Orbit planning. Encourage your team to take some ownership of the plan and feel free to discuss ideas and add to it to help keep the big values and visions in mind. 

3. Time management

Values and vision are all well and good, but putting them into practice can be daunting. Never underestimate the power of time management; taking time to plan and set short and medium-term S.M.A.R.T goals and big long terms goals both for the organisation and team members. This is such an overlooked but vital aspect of success. Reward the achievement of these goals both intrinsically and extrinsically, give recognition where it’s due, keep the long-term vision clearly in sight and you’ve got a seriously motivated workforce! 

How to implement: Try the S.M.A.R.T goals way:

Specific: Clear and well-defined goal

Measurable: Measure your progress towards accomplishing the goal

Achievable: Make sure it’s attainable

Realistic: Realistically attainable and relevant to you as an individual 

Timeline: A clear and specific timeline with a beginning and end.

4. Create leaders and lead well

Individuals who feel they have a valued voice in the organisation and know that they make a meaningful difference are more likely to implement their words and ideas into actions. Individuals who are invested in, given opportunities to gain qualifications and relevant experience are much more likely to secure team leadership roles and progress in their career. Resilient, self-aware individuals have much greater choice, opportunities and control in the decisions they make meaning they make better, clearer choices. Individuals with coaching, leadership and mentoring skills are able to bring out the best in themselves and others leading to a sustainably productive and motivated workforce. At Empower- Be The Change we’ve invested £4000 in training this year, not including all of the free training opportunities we’ve taken advantage of! 

How to implement: The quickest and most effective way to develop leaders is to invest in their continuous learning. 

At Empower- Be The Change we do some of the work for you! All course participants complete a ILM accredited measure at the beginning and end of all our programmes, generating their own personal development report. By completing an ILM accredited qualification with Empower- Be The Change participants have the opportunity to learn vital team member, coaching, mentoring and leadership skills that are relevant in all employment settings as well as community, education.  

Our courses are proven to make a real and measurable difference. 

For more information on how we can empower your organisation get in touch here:

Why is an empowered team important to your organisation?

Good question! 

The word ’empowerment’ in relation to a working team might fill a manager with some trepidation. Empowerment is historically associated with authority, confidence and power, and if you’re already struggling to keep everybody on track and in check, you might feel that these qualities are the very last thing you need in your workforce! You might well be envisaging clashes of wills, reams of missed deadlines, emotions boiling to the surface and general ensuing chaos, all ultimately leading to yet more work, stress and overtime on your already overloaded plate.

You’ll be surprised to hear then that an empowered team is the direct opposite of all your fears, and is proven to lead to a smoother running and more productive workforce!

  • Do you want your team to become more efficient and effective?
  • Do you want to increase your teams skills?

Organisations that adopt an empowering style of leadership replace their emphasis of ‘management’ and ‘managing people’ with a strong culture of shared goals, responsibilities, active listening, reinforced mental toughness and continuing professional development instead. Efficient task completion and organisation meet creative confident modes of thinking, resulting in maximum efficiency and productivity for the organisation as a whole!

Did you know?

Empowered leaders and team members with the skills and knowledge to manage and improve their mental toughness and resilience are:

  • More engaged and positive.
  • Perform up to 25% better both as individuals and teams.
  • Experience an increase in motivation.
  • Are more cohesive.
  • Can handle stress more effectively and seek opportunities to achieve their goals and potential.
  • Bring out the best in themselves and others.
  • Improve initiative and decision making.
  • Are better time management and organisation.

This is what an empowered team REALLY looks like.

Talk about a dream team!

We know this because it’s what we specialise in. At Empower-Be The Change we’ve made it our mission to impart these vital skills to everyone, from third and public sector orgs to private businesses. Our ILM accredited and Institute of Leadership approved soft skills qualifications, mentoring and coaching are proven to make a real and measurable difference. We really do empower people and teams to achieve their potential, realise their self worth and build positive mental resilience. 

For more information on our products and how we can empower you or your organisation click here!

In the meantime check out 4 of our top tips to a more empowered and productive workforce:

Written by Rhiannon: Communication and Engagement Lead for Empower- Be The Change.

Reflection in a team. Is it really all that important?

13th September 2021

In our blog post do’s and don’ts of giving critical feedbackwe looked at ensuring team members have the best chance of hearing what you have to say, taking it on board and applying it to their work. 

But in a leadership role it’s just as important to listen, especially in an empathetic way, if your aim is to help people develop and learn. We explore a range of ways leaders, managers and mentors can bring out the very best in their teams in the following online virtual courses:

For me one coaching model stuck out in particular and that was the OSCAR approach. In fact practicing it with a fellow course participant has gone on to improve a situation I was struggling with significantly! Working through each of the steps outlined below in a one to one sounds simple enough, but it’s harder than you might think to not interrupt and share your opinions or judgement. 

This methodology of team management is a hugely effective way of encouraging personal growth, achieving potential, realising self worth and building mental resilience and toughness in a team. It’s also a great way of developing a solid positive relationship between managers and team members. Teams that go through this reflective process feel empowered and valued because they feel they’re in control of their own growth and know they are being supported. So long as managers and team leaders are consistent, the result will ultimately be a more motivated team, delivering more efficient results. 

Benefits of a reflective leadership approach:

  • Performance improves.
  • Teams and staff members become more efficient.
  • Increased motivation.
  • More effective and cohesive.
  • Higher performing.
  • Team members manage stress more effectively.

Another great way to support reflection in individuals is a development plan. There are lots of templates and examples you can find on the internet but the basic components are:

Personal Development Plan: 

  1. Objectives: What do I want to be able to do better?
  2. Success Criteria: How will I recognise success? How will I review and measure my improvement?
  3. Implementation: How will I practice and apply what I learn? 

So give it a go. You’ll be surprised at the results! 

By  completing an ILM accredited qualification with Empower- Be The Change  you will have the opportunity to learn vital team member skills or gain  coaching, mentoring and leadership skills that are relevant in employment, education and community settings.  

Our  courses are proven to make a real and measurable difference. We really  do empower people to achieve their potential, realise their self worth  and build positive mental resilience. 

For more information on how we can empower your organisation get in touch here

By Rhiannon, updated Monday 13th September 2021

What is a social business and why ?

10 September 2019

After a break in August from course delivery and taking some time to ‘sharpen the saw’ – see previous blog on ‘taking a break’ its been straight back to it in September.

We were welcomed back with some great news that for the second year running EBTC have been shortlisted for the Social Business Wales Awards in the Education, Training and Employment category. This is entirely down to the huge amount of work and commitment Rhiannon and Dawn have put into the EBTC since they joined last June.

As part of the shortlisting we were asked to be filmed to showcase in 90 seconds what we do and the impact we have. Two important questions were asked.

1. What is a social business?

2. Why did you set up Empower

Put simply a social business is like any other business that sells and trades to make money. The distinction is in how it uses its income and what the company’s overall purpose is. A social business is wholly interested in creating a more equitable and sustainable society that is fair for everyone. To achieve this aim social businesses will re-invest its income directly into the business and into social projects and causes.

Empower was set up off the back of two and half years I spent in India volunteering and working on various community projects. Part of this work saw me set up an international volunteer programme for 18-25 year olds who would never have had the opportunity to travel overseas to support community projects. The other part was helping set up a social enterprise with two local women. The two went hand in hand and the transformation in both the volunteers and local communities was astounding. This provided the inspiration to bring this back to Wales to set up a company that positively disrupts the social norm to enable people to realise their potential.

For the first few years every penny of income has been used to build the company, increase our staff base and delivery more programmes in more communities. To date we have proudly empowered over 400 people in 3 years.

I was keen that through EBTC we retained links with India. I’ve gained so much from the experience out there and it only seems fitting that EBTC now uses its resources to empower and support the great work that was initiated by all the volunteers who took part in placements. I was delighted that this year (in the last couple of months) EBTC have invested £500 directly into a community project delivered by the social enterprise I helped establish. Raisa who is the enterprise lead has been running CYDF for the last few years and the money invested is helping to increase the range of organic value added products it can sell to the local community. In doing so CYDF aims to eradicate malnutrition, provide high quality education and sustain the environment.

You can read more here.

Social businesses work to both improve society through their day to day work and also seek out opportunities to support other organisations/companies do to the same through financial investment, mentoring and pro-bono support. Over the coming years, as our income increases we plan to invest more funding to help empower more individuals in India.

In December myself, Dawn and family are visiting Raisa and her project to offer support and also learn about things that we can do to further empower people in Wales.

By Jo Clay 10th September 2019