Woman Remote Working

One Year On As a Startup: 5 Powerful Lessons Every Entrepreneur Must Know

The number of new businesses across the UK have increased by 60% in the last 2 decades and new research shows that this trend isn’t stopping there – the number of new businesses launched in the UK at the start of 2022 have increased by 20% since the pandemic.

There’s no doubt that a global pandemic has sparked entrepreneurial spirit across the UK. Over the last 12 months, online searches for business start-ups have surged across the country:


  • 90% increase in online searches on Google for ‘business startup ideas’
  • 50% increase in online searches on Google for ‘business startup costs’
  • 23% increase in online searches on Google for ‘startup up a business’


However, starting a business is never easy – especially during a pandemic. In July 2021, brothers, Chris and Will Donnelly founded Lottie – a care home marketplace – aimed to transform the later life sector. Now valued at £45million and exactly one year on, the brothers have shared the powerful business lessons they learned during their time as a start-up.

“Over the last year, Lottie has gone from strength to strength: growing and dominating the later life sector, challenging the status quo of the long-standing care industry and helping thousands of families across England,” shares Co-Founder Will Donnelly.

“The care sector was heavily impacted by the pandemic, which made our mission to drive positive change that bit harder. One year on, Lottie is already driving positive change in the elderly care sector, but it wasn’t without a struggle. That’s why I’m keen to share the key lessons we’ve learned with entrepreneurs and the business community, so others can learn from our mistakes.”

Co-Founder Chris Donnelly also agrees: “Our achievements with Lottie haven’t come without challenges. From breaking through fierce competition in a saturated market to making Lottie a trusted and respected brand name, we’ve learnt a lot on the way. Lottie is fast becoming an industry leader and driver of change, and we’re fortunate to have stayed true to our mission to elevate later life”.


Here are 5 lessons to learn from a start-up during lockdown, according to Lottie’s Co-Founders Chris and Will Donnelly:


1. Start early and start with a purpose

When starting your own business, it’s important to begin early and to always have a purpose behind every decision you make – this has helped grow our success over the last year.

Lottie was born from our own personal struggles to find suitable care for our own family members, which drove our mission to transform the elderly care sector. Combined with Will’s expertise in later life, this purpose and insight has helped us to make the best business decisions for Lottie’s growth.

For instance, when hiring new team members or deciding how to scale up our business, we’ve been able to go back to the main reason we decided to start Lottie and evaluate how these decisions fit our business purpose and visions.


2. Think big

Whilst it’s important to set realistic goals, always try to challenge your expectations – this will help to drive growth.

In just under a year, Lottie grew from a team of 2 to 30, from a business idea to now having a portfolio of products in the elderly care sector and working with partners across the country.

Always believe in yourself and your business will follow.


3. Learn to adapt quickly

Business and markets are constantly changing, so it’s crucial to stay on top of industry trends and adapt to meet the changing needs of customers.

If you’re struggling to achieve a goal or experience a knock back – don’t see this as a failure. There’s no business that’s got everything perfect the first-time round. Learn from your experience and evaluate what you can do differently or what may need to change within your business. Being quick to adapt will help your startup to thrive.


4. Build a team of people that believe in your vision

Hiring people that believe in your purpose and goals is key to long term success. From strengthening your company culture to driving business growth, it’s important to build a team that can contribute towards your goals.

At Lottie, our team are at the heart of everything we do. Our aim is to connect families and their loved ones to the best care homes and at a fair price. Building a team of people that also share this vision has helped Lottie grow from strength to strength over the last year.


5. Never stop learning

There’s a new lesson to learn each day when running a business – no matter how established it may be. Take the time out of your day to reflect on your achievements, ambitions and any new experiences or challenges you can learn from.

Reflecting on the day-to-day operations of your business, not only allows you to track your progress and achievement but to identify any areas of growth. Learning from your business encourages originality and new ideas – helping to create new ways of thinking and drive market change with your business in the lead.

There’s no one way to start a business – this will be unique to you, your business idea, and the market. However, if there was one key piece of advice, I would share with someone looking to start a business, it would be to start now.

Run with your idea, explore opportunities, and take risks. Start to share your business content now – over time your support will grow, and you’ll attract people that think the same way you do. It’s absolutely worth the time and effort.

Gender Equality

Leading the Way to Gender Diversity

With over 18 years’ experience in finance and operations, Emma Charsley, Chief Operating Officer of management consultancy, Vendigital, has gained a wealth of expertise whilst supporting growing businesses in a variety of sectors.  It is no secret, however, that being female in a male-dominated profession brings its challenges, so how has she navigated her way to the top and what has she learned along the way? CEO Monthly spoke with Emma to find out more about how she is helping to promote diversity and inclusion in the professional services sector. 


Why did you choose a career in finance and operations?

I was fortunate to be the financial director of a Young Enterprise Company whilst doing my A-levels. I loved it and decided this was the career for me. After my degree, I gained an ACMA qualification and worked with several food businesses during the early part of my career, always with an emphasis on performance accounting. After working for a range of successful, fast-growth companies, it became clear that I thrived on introducing the right level of processes to drive effective business management and helping to solve challenges on a daily basis.


How was your role as COO evolved?

From the start, my role has spanned both finance and operations, very much focusing on driving business performance and increasing enterprise value. It is clear that the role of data has become increasingly critical to business performance – helping to set clear KPIs and report against them. As my career has evolved, fact-based decision making has changed the way Boards operate in a positive way. The breadth of management information that senior executives now have access to allows businesses to be more adaptable, as seen during the Covid-19 pandemic. At Vendigital, our adaptability allowed us to lead the business in a different way and adapt our practices when required.

While my career has involved working for businesses in many different sectors of industry, it is remarkable how many similarities there have been in terms of the challenges and opportunities they faced. It is interesting to see how transferable the skills are between professional services and consumer operations.


How important is it for professional services firms to promote gender diversity at all levels?

Promoting diversity and inclusion is important for every business, including professional services firms. As management consultants, the workforce at Vendigital is in a unique and privileged position; driving change and influencing the direction of businesses across multiple industry sectors. A diverse workforce makes room for more critical and creative thinking, leading to the better outcomes for clients. Project or business teams can get caught up in group thinking, missing a more holistic approach to problem solving. This is where a diverse workforce can help – different minds will pick up different details. Demonstrating leadership and taking on strategic roles are realistic goals for all, regardless of gender, ethnicity or socio-economic background. It has been great to see businesses start to realise the commercial value that comes from diverse teams.


Has being a female ever held you back in industry?

I have never considered gender an important factor in influencing the trajectory of my career. That said, it is hard not to notice if you are the only female in the room. Being the only woman can sometimes be intimidating, and with that comes an added pressure to continually prove yourself. Despite this, being different can be a positive – like having a superpower. I believe this has helped me to find innovative solutions to business problems and to challenge the binary thinking that comes from teams that lack diversity.


What advice would you give to young women pursuing a board-level career in finance or operations?

There are various avenues to explore and lots of opportunities available. Managing a company’s finance and operations is an exciting career path, which will suit people who have a natural curiosity and an in-built interest in capturing business data and using it to problem solve and create opportunities for growth. It is important to approach your career in the right way – I have found that having a structure is most valuable and helps provide a sense of progression. Qualifications provide the perfect building block for your career, and then, for business and finance roles, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) offers qualifications that provide a good grounding in finance and business management.


Can having gender role models or mentors help?

The old adage ‘if you can see it, you can be it’ definitely rings true. Mentors can help inspire and show the next generation of business leaders what is possible. It is important that when you are starting out, you can see somebody you admire – male or female – someone who is encouraging and recognises your potential. I enjoy and have found it rewarding to share my own experience with talented young people and support them on their career journey.


Any other words of advice for those starting out in their careers?

There are two pieces of advice that I have carried with me throughout my career. Firstly, someone always has to go first, if you cannot find a role model, be the trailblazer for other women in your position. Secondly, there is a big difference between taking a break and giving up, and don’t feel that you have do everything in a linear fashion. Young people should treat their career as a marathon, not a sprint – promoting wellbeing is an important part of succeeding at life and sometimes there is merit in taking a break to come back rejuvenated. Everybody’s journey should be unique and suit their individual circumstances, that way you will be successful both professionally and personally.

Business Coach

Finding the Right Coach as a CEO

With so many types of coached out there, it can be hard to know which is right for you. Coaching is a confidential resource for CEOs to be the best leaders they can be. Different types of coaches have strengths and proven techniques to help you grow in your life and profession. 

As a successful individual, you want a coach who is knowledgeable and experienced, using the right tools for your level of profession. This resource is the first step to help you find your ideal coach. It’s not as difficult as you might think!

There are 4 main types of coaches: business coach, career coach, life coach, and leadership coach. Within each type, there are niches. The coach may be focused on helping with specific goals or only people within your demographic. For example: a coach for CEOs who want to learn better communication with investors or a coach for women in leadership to find balance, and more!


Life Coach

A life coach helps you achieve your life goals. Their job is to guide you to achieve a sense of balance and fulfillment, a sense of meaning and purpose in life, as well as happiness and joy. Life coaching is based on the belief that each person has their own unique challenges and gifts to share with others. 

Working with a life coach is a process of self-discovery. One can learn more about themselves by exploring their values, strengths and weaknesses. Then use this knowledge to better align themselves with their true self. There are many benefits to a life coach for CEOS. Someone who is at peace with themselves personally is far more likely to achieve professionally – it’s a ripple effect.

As a person in leadership, healing within and attainging personal goals will only make you a better people manager, coonfident communicator, and authentic in your work. When looking for a life coach, consider the areas in your life where you need support or would like to achieve. There are niche coaches such as an intuitive eating coach for people who struggle with eating disorders or food guilt (something that can take up unnecessary brain space!), spiritual life coaches for people who feel lost in their purpose, fitness coaches for people looking to get back on track after years at a desk job, and so much more!


Business Coach

A business coach is great for entrepreneurs and business owners – the one making the high-level business decisions. Experience and knowledge in running a business is what makes these coaches unique. They will help you identify where your company needs improvement and develop a plan of action to improve our results. Your business coach is there for guidance when making decisions and facing challenges that may affect productivity levels or morale within your company.

A business coach helps you with how to work with the right people for marketing, finance, sales and operations. They can help you with business planning and strategy. They can also help you with team building and business growth. At the end of the day your state of being is a big part of what makes your business thrive. In that sense, they are also part life coach.


Career Coach

A career coach is the most common type of coach sought afer by CEOs. This is because they understand the corporate world in which executives, for the most part, work. Different from a business coach, a career coach is for the employee to thrive in their professional life (which often bleeds into improvements in their personal life!). 

A career coach can help you to understand the next steps in your career and build a plan of how to get there. If you are looking for career mobility, coaching can help you understand where your strengths lie and where they might lead. Or, through the work with your career coach you may determine that changing environments will be beneficial to your career.A good coach will also help if you’re on the job hunt with networking and finding the right company.

If you’re plan is to grow with the same company, they can also help build up your confidence levels so that when it comes time for a raise you’re ahead of the game!


Leadership Coach

A leadership coach is for people who want to work on their leadership skills. This is for CEOs who manage multiple teams at a high-level but also for middle managers with large teams of lower level employees. By working with a leadership coach, you will better understand your strengths and weaknesses, so that you can improve as a leader.

A good leadership coach will also help develop your communication skills. This is an important skill for any person in a management role. And different levels from specialist to CEO, require honing different communication skills. So if you’ve just got promoted to CEO this will be integral to your success. As communicating effectively with others is crucial for ensuring the success of an organization.

Finally, a good leadership coach may also be able to help you with other aspects of working life such as people management or personal development. Keeping your best leaders engaged and motivated is essentia to being a CEO – and a leadership coach could help with thisl.Just like the types of coaches, there are niches. 


Coach for Female Executives

There are coaches whose work branches across each type of coach we’ve surveyed above. These coaches are often unique to your demographic and life situation. For their audience type, these coaches provide a more holistic approach to professional and personal development. A great example of this are coaches for ambitious women in leadership roles like female CEOs.

Executive coaching for women provides an invaluable service by helping high-achieving women navigate the balancing act of life, career, purpose, and success. A female executive coach understand the challenges women in leadership face that differ from male executives. She will work with you to overcome your personalized challenges. They’re able to provide a different perspective, backed by knowledge and experience, because they are not part of your network (like a mentor might be). Female executive coaches will work with you on achieving a sense of fulfillment in personal and professional alike! The sessions are completely confidential and will help you feel fulfilled in life and achieve greater meaning and feelings of success at work.

This coaching model is an investment in your success as a leader and helps you create the life you want to live.


There is a right coach for your needs

When looking for a coach, you need to make sure that they are the right fit for your personality, demographic, and life situation. And, with the right experience as a coach for an executive or CEO. If you want help with a specific goal, such as building a “game plan” for long-term success, gain the skills to influence others more easily, improve to public speaking, or find true fulfillment, then finding a coach who specializes in that topic is important.



We hope that this blog post has helped you to get a better understanding of what coaching is all about. We also want you to feel confident in choosing the right coach for your needs, whether it be in your role as an executive or in your personal life. With so many different types of coaches out there offering their services, now is the perfect time to take control of your professional and personal development!

Market Research Executives

The CEO’s Guide to Hiring Market Research Executives: 8 Dos and Don’ts

Marketing researchers play an essential role in the business. They provide valuable data and information that validates offerings, provides a better understanding of customer behavior and preferences, and ensures that resources are allocated appropriately.

A Marketing Research Executive should have a balance of analytical decision-making skills and strong team management and interpersonal skills. Here’s a practical guide to help you hire the right market research executive for your firm.


Do Take Time to Clarify the Role

Take time to clarify the role and develop a job description that justifies the expense of hiring a market research executive. There are advantages and disadvantages to building an in-house market research team. It’s essential to analyze the costs of supporting an executive role against the expenses of outsourcing to a market research firm. It’s also important to clarify whether the in-house market research executive will have a budget to outsource certain tasks as needed.

Clarify the skills and qualifications you expect for the executive market research role. Some notable qualities include:

  • Project and team management
  • Budget management
  • Strong data analysis skills
  • Understanding of statistics and mathematics
  • Knowledge of sociology and psychology


Work with HR to translate these skills into educational and experience qualifications relevant to the field and your industry.


Don’t Forget to Look In-House

Don’t forget to look at your existing employees before starting the recruiting process. Talk to key stakeholders in the business to determine if anyone in your organization has the potential to fill the role. For example, a senior marketing employee with in-depth knowledge of your products, existing customer base, and brand could be well suited for promotion.

You may still decide to post the role internally and externally. However, promoting from within can reduce hiring costs and improve employee engagement, making it worthy of consideration.


Do Put the Right Panel in Place

Assemble a hiring panel to provide different perspectives and share the workload throughout the hiring process. The committee should consist of key business stakeholders adjacent to the market research role— yourself, the CFO, and the head of HR, for example. It’s also worth considering the value of working with an executive recruiting consultant to navigate the process.


Don’t Micromanage the Process

As market research plays such an imperative role in the business, it’s natural to fear a loss of control or wasted resources. Don’t let these concerns lead you to micromanage the hiring process. The value of having a hiring panel is to get perspectives that challenge your views. Trust the process and your team.


Do Take Your Time Deciding

While there might be a sense of urgency in filling the market research executive role, don’t let it lead to impulsivity. Take your time reviewing the candidates, weighing the pros and cons, and deciding who will be best for the role now and in the future. 

It’s also important not to rely solely on your first impressions or rapport with the individual. Marketers can be incredibly charismatic and engaging. While cultural fit should be a factor in the decision, it’s best to focus on the information collected through the recruitment and interview processes.


Don’t Hesitate with Follow-Up

Don’t hesitate to reach out to your top contenders after the initial interviews. A note from the CEO can help keep top talent engaged and interested in the role. This personal touch could be the factor that causes them to delay taking another offer while awaiting your decision.

Once a decision has been made, reach out as soon as possible with an offer. If you have a clear contender, offer them a generous salary rather than playing the negotiation game. 


Do Look for Tangible Results

A market researcher at an executive level should be able to share tangible outcomes of their efforts. Look for a candidate who can show data regarding their past work and how it influenced profits and growth. Ask about challenges past employers have faced and how their work provided impactful solutions.


Don’t Neglect Soft Skills

While tangible outcomes are paramount when vetting a market research executive, soft skills should also be considered. This role requires someone who can communicate well and navigate interpersonal relationships. 

This individual should be a storyteller who can translate numerical data into compelling marketing assets. They should be able to put people at ease and connect so they’ll feel comfortable sharing thoughts and opinions. The analytical skills matter, but they’re only a piece of the puzzle.


Hiring the right person for this role could drive your organization to new heights. Take your time and look for the individual with the right balance of skills and experience.

Dual Citizenship

Should CEOs Invest in Second Citizenship?

Citizenship by investment is a big business now. The citizenship concept is a fluid one, now more than ever. Going back 50 years, you’ll read how unusual it was for countries to offer a second passport to foreign citizens. Nowadays, dual citizenship is universal…well almost.  

According to the Swiss layer, Christian Kalin, citizenship by investment is a global industry worth around 20 billion dollars annually. It’s a rapidly growing market that helps wealthy individuals to expand their businesses overseas and get visa-free travel opportunities.

But do CEOs need to invest in second citizenship to facilitate the process of business expansion? Or conquering new ventures? Read along to learn the benefits of second citizenship and why CEOs should pursue it.


Why Should You Obtain a Second Passport?

Things weren’t always bright for investors when it came to citizenship since the traditional inheritance of the above-mentioned is already outdated. It’s one of the few things globally that’s tied to a bloodline or the place you’re born.

The citizenship by investment programs have allowed citizens a different type of commodity that also provides the biggest source of governments’ revenues. For example, Vanuatu has seen a great interest in the second citizenship trend. 

Many wealthy individuals invest in the country’s economy and enjoy the benefits that come with dual citizenship. The Vanuatu citizenship scheme is vital for making money and boosting the country’s economy.

There are many reasons why you should apply for a second passport. From living abroad in a more stable country to securing a better future for your family in terms of security, education, healthcare, and lifestyle.


How Much Does It Cost?

The application process is different in each country and it depends solely on the country’s laws and regulations. For example, obtaining a passport from Antigua and Barbuda will cost you a minimum of $100,000. St. Kitts and Nevis passport has minimal costs of $150,000 and above, while Portugal starts from $384,000.


The Benefits

Business people and entrepreneurs need to travel frequently. They need a passport that has visa-free traveling options worldwide so they can do business overseas. Not all countries have such conditions and most of them impose investment, tax, and business restrictions. Thus, many citizens, especially business owners and CEOs, decide to pursue a second passport and facilitate their traveling abroad.

Many countries welcome foreigners to hold dual nationality, however, they need to invest a certain amount in return. The benefits of holding a second passport include tax optimization, greater access to potential customers and market expansion, visa-free traveling, financial benefits, and a safer environment.


Tax Optimization

Dual citizenship can have multiple tax benefits, such as no taxes on capital gains, inheritance, wealth, or income generated abroad. Nevertheless, this will depend mainly on the country you originate from and the country of the second citizenship. 

Countries like the Caribbean, for example, offer many affordable solutions and lower tax rates compared to the rest of the world. Becoming a dual citizen allows for greater tax efficiency and tax optimization.


Financial Benefits

Why would CEOs invest in a second passport if they don’t have additional financial benefits? The second passport not only enables commercial access to the country but can open investment opportunities as well.

Bear in mind that some countries do not accept foreign investments, however, this rule applies only to certain countries. Moreover, if you are a crypto investor and you trade, sell or hold a variety of cryptocurrencies, you can have the assets protected from market devaluation. Additionally, there’s no tax on crypto gains!


Access to Business Opportunities

The main advantage when owning a second passport is the significant access to new business opportunities, a chance for global expansion, and outreach to new customers. This means, not only can you do business in the country, but also trade with countries that the second passport gives you access to. It’s the perfect getaway to the business world and its endless opportunities.


Travel Without a Visa

Another common benefit for dual nationals is the option to travel freely and increase the global mobility options. A second passport allows you to travel to more countries than your homeland passport allows you to. 

For example, the Dominican passport allows its citizens to travel visa-free to more than 120 countries, while the passport of Portugal gets you access to more than 175 countries. The Maltese passport facilitates the visa traveling process and enables its citizens to travel to more than 166 countries.


Get Your Passport Now!

There’s plenty to discuss yet, but we’ve covered the most important information on whether CEOs should invest in a second citizenship. The answer will always be yes, so before starting the application process, make sure you are well-informed and guided by an authorized entity.

Recruiting Employees

The Main Challenges CEOs Face When Recruiting Employees

When looking for a job, people do everything they can to put their best foot forward. They practice the interview, research the company, and even use effective CV templates to ensure their resume looks as good as possible.

Even still, many job seekers struggle to find positions due to a lot of competition and other potential issues. However, while many candidates face challenges to land their dream job, those doing the hiring also have their fair share of issues. CEOs and other executives will often face off against their own challenges when attempting to recruit people to their business.

With that in mind, this article is going to go over some of the main challenges that CEOs face when recruiting employees.


Getting the Wages Right

In the workforce, wages are rising quickly. People are expecting more in order to try and keep up with inflation. This can be difficult for CEOs as they need to juggle the importance of keeping their profit margins high vs. paying an adequate amount to attract the best candidates. If CEOs don’t get the wages right, it can be hard to hire and recruit in a similar manner to your competition.

As far as how much to offer, that depends. Some fields and positions pay way more than others, so it is important for businesses to research what is an appropriate wage for what they are asking for.


Trying to Maintain Flexibility

In today’s day and age, nearly all workers want a flexible work environment. Many prefer to work from home, or at least have some say in the hours they work instead of the same old 9 to 5 each and every day. If your business isn’t set up to offer flexibility in any way, you may struggle to recruit the quality of candidates you desire.

Even if you provide solid wages and decent benefits, many workers simply won’t consider working for somewhere that doesn’t offer up at least a little bit of flexibility. Unfortunately, as a CEO, implementing and maintaining a high level of flexibility can be challenging, as it can require a lot of work and changes within the organization.


Keeping Their Company Relevant

Another challenge that many CEOs face is finding ways to keep their company relevant. Many people (both candidates and recruiters) are using social media to learn and reach out.

People often want to know of or be familiar with the company they ultimately work for, so being a company that no one knows about or talks about can make it hard to excite the top level candidate.

A good way to stay relevant is by maintaining your social media profiles, keeping your website looking good, and finding ways to become involved with the community.


Unconscious Biases

Last but not least, there unconscious biases that a CEO has might also be a challenge in recruiting. These are biases we don’t think about or pay any mind to, but do exist and can influence how we make decisions and feel about people and situations.

These biases can, unfortunately, lead to CEOs making the wrong hire, or not seeing the true potential in someone due to the presence of these biases. As a CEO, always try your best to be as fair as possible, and not let any sort of biases hold you back from recruiting those who best fit your organization.


In conclusion, we hope this article has helped you learn a little more about some of the main challenges that CEOs face when recruiting new employees.

Business Team

Building A High-Performing Team: Goals, Roles, Trust, Respect and Communication

There are many factors that can help drive success into your business. Modern equipment will keep you in step with the times, an accommodating workplace will improve people’s overall well-being, and a wide client base will generate profit and enhance your reputation. However, the most valuable asset of a company is its employees. With great dedication, variegated knowledge, and sectorial competencies, talented workers can truly make a difference.

It is safe to say, though, that teams can make better decisions, solve more complex problems, and execute more quickly than single individuals. This is why it is always important to put specific conditions into place that can effectively aid team development. As a manager, it is your responsibility to instil a sense of belonging and proactiveness in your workers.

Ultimately, a high-performing team is likely to yield the results you are aiming for. But how can you mould a cohesive group to benefit the efficiency of your business? Here, we explore how to shape a successful squad by focusing on targets, trust, communication, and encouragement.


1. Set clear roles and priorities

First things first, it is essential to ensure that each member of your team knows what their duties are. Defining everybody’s responsibilities will help your employees understand what is expected from them and deliver accordingly to the best of their abilities. In fact, any ambiguity or confusion at an individual level can hinder their own productivity, while also having a detrimental impact on the team as a whole.

Moreover, it is wise to assign roles and tasks in line with people’s qualities. Are they good with numbers? Allow them to deal with stats and numerical data. Are they technically gifted? Software and computer-related duties will suit them best. Handing clear and tailored roles to your employees will harness their real potential and maximise your team’s performance.

That said, if you want to nurture your squad and broaden their skillsets, consider investing in continual learning and development. High-performing teams tend to be curious and will welcome the opportunity to explore new paths and constantly build on their knowledge.


2. Embed trust and respect

A team in which members both trust and respect one another is more likely to efficiently work in unison. Making sure that people value each other – and feel valued in return – will increase cooperation and spark appreciation towards their colleagues’ strengths.

Therefore, creating a culture of trust is essential, and should be put into practice as soon as a new mind joins the business. In fact, it has been found that a pleasant onboarding experience lowers turnover figures by 157%. What’s more, it increases employees’ dedication and interest in the role by 54%.

As a manager, you need to take steps to ensure that you are trusted too. The truth is that humans tend to trust people that they like, so building positive relationships with your team members can generate sentiments of respect. Get to know them and check on their feelings from time to time. This shows that you care about them not only professionally, but on a personal level too.  

Consistency is also important, as walking the walk makes you a manager that your fellow workers can rely on. Have you promised to carry out something? Have you organised a meeting? Follow through with your appointments, or your team’s drive may soon start to fade.


3. Communication is key

There is no hiding that communication is the magic glue that keeps teams united. Indeed, from mitigating conflicts to solidifying team building, it conceals an array of crucial benefits. To nurture a close-knit, high-performing team, try to promote interaction at all times. Why should employees keep innovative thoughts to themselves? Why should they not share ingenious solutions with their colleagues? Saying things out loud and discussing specific ideas collectively can help teams work towards the same goal in an effective manner.   

In this respect, make space for thinking time and creativity sessions. Allowing your employees to spend time consulting each other will favour decision-making processes, helping them tackle any challenges with confidence and originality.

Furthermore, you should consider cultivating a transparent feedback culture. Sometimes, giving unsolicited feedback can lead to awkward situations. In fact, people may feel uncomfortable sharing their advice, and the recipient may not accept it gladly. However, providing constructive feedback can nip potential issues in the bud, and therefore enhance group performance. Normalise this process and encourage team members to frequently offer advice to one another.

Also, don’t shy away from praising hard-working employees. Everyone appreciates some well-deserved recognition from time to time, and it will work wonders on their motivation levels too!


4. Create sense of purpose

Finally, it is vital to instil a sense of purpose inside your team. Employees will feel more connected with their squad, as well as with the business on the whole, if they are presented with a common goal. What are the company’s targets? What should your staff be aiming for as a group?

With clear directions and well-defined ambitions in mind, your team can truly thrive. Working towards shared, key objectives is what a team needs to optimise their productivity. Hence, to raise a group of high-performing people make sure to set out a well-organised itinerary for them to follow. You will be delighted with the end result!


So, what will be your next steps? From establishing clear roles and building trust to outlining common goals and valuing communication, you will be providing your team of employees with the tools they need to excel.  

Employee Growth

Unlocking Human Potential in the Workplace: How to Help Your Team Shine

Having a stimulating, rewarding occupation is an essential prerogative for most employees. It drives motivation and satisfaction in the workplace and encourages workers to unlock their talent in an effective manner.

As a manager or business owner, ensuring that your team members have the chance to unleash their potential is crucial. Not only will it benefit the well-being of your hard-working employees, but it will also boost the productivity and efficiency of your organization.

Here, with Dominic Fitch, Head of Creative Change at Impact International, we take a look at some tips that will allow you to maximise people’s skills and qualities, helping and educating companies that are truly want to make their workers shine.


What are we doing wrong?

In 2021, 48% of American employees were actively job-hunting and keeping an eye open for more engaging opportunities. In May alone, about 3.6 million US workers resigned, registering a record-high number of unfilled roles. Disengagement, as well as people’s inability to showcase their true worth, were – and still are – among the driving factors of this daunting trend.

So, how are businesses failing to unleash human potential? Firstly, it is important to highlight that most people crave goals and purpose. If employees are working in an organization that does not provide them with personal missions and targets, they are bound to lose interest in the (not so) long run. What this also means is that, if your team is not dedicated and lacks motivation, there is a good chance it will not operate to its full potential.

Moreover, being constantly on the receiving end of decisions, processes, and assignments can repress people’s creativity. Of course, it is normal for managers and business owners to instruct their employees on specific tasks to carry out. However, depriving them on a regular basis of some much-needed autonomy can be detrimental, and hinder workers’ personal qualities.

Another mistake that organizations tend to make is to neglect training and development opportunities for their people. Who knows what incentives a learning course in digital software or proofreading can spur in your employees? Failing to nurture your team’s hidden skills can limit both your workers’ and company’s ambitions.  


Unchaining your team’s potential

It is fair to say that managers and directors should always proivde guidance and support, so that their employees can perform their duties in an adequate way. Therefore, if you are hoping to get the most out of your skilled workers, you may have to consider a leadership transformation. What can you do to favour and unlock your workforce’s talent?


Explain the reasoning behind tasks

There is no hiding that, from time to time, your team will have to deal with uninspiring assignments. It is likely that your employees will act professionally and complete the task without complaining, but there is a chance that they will struggle to find the motivation to perform the job with creativity and enthusiasm.

Make sure to set aside some time to explain and guide your people through tasks, highlighting the reasoning and usefulness of specific assignments. Not only will it provide them with a clear goal and objective, but it will also shine a light on the importance of their contribution. Furthermore, it will offer you the opportunity to reinforce the organization’s mission and vision and help your employee feel like they are a fundamental part of the company’s ambitions.


Nurture relationships and schedule one-to-one meetings

How can you unleash a person’s potential if you do not know ‘what they’re all about’? Some may have a soft spot for writing, while others could have a strong interest in computing or maths. Ultimately, the best way to discover your employees’ hidden skills is to get to know them personally.

Regular one-to-one meetings, for instance, could serve your purpose just right. They offer the perfect platform to provide feedback on their overall performance, strengthen your personal and professional relationship, and learn more about their passions. As a result, you can confidently assign the right tasks, goals, and incentives to the best-suited worker.

Furthermore, advocating for social relations within your organization is an excellent move to help everyone embark on a shared and common project. You can enhance your team’s sense of belonging and improve both their proactivity and creativity.


Compliment and reward

If a team member has achieved a remarkable result or has exceeded their personal target and your expectations, make sure their success is celebrated. It only takes an acknowledgement, a pat on the back, or some words of appreciation to boost your skilful employee’s morale.

If you would really like to reward your deserving employee, you could also repay their efforts with some exclusive incentives. Do they like soccer? Offer them a ticket for an upcoming match. Are they into plays and theater? Treat them to a seat in the auditorium.  

Compliments and recognition can stimulate people to keep up the good work and incite them to showcase their full potential.


Train your workers and create internal opportunities

As previously mentioned, overlooking people’s professional development will hinder both their career and the company’s progress. Training is a vital tool to further employees’ knowledge, enlarge their skillsets, and reveal undetected qualities. Gaining new competencies makes jobs feel more worthwhile, and prepares workers for higher achievements and greater performance.

What’s more, as your team members absorb new notions and professional tools, they may seek to tackle diverse challenges. Why should a talented employee be blocked within the limits of their role description? You may want to consider offering unusual, interesting assignments from time to time to satiate their curiosity and versatility. More often than not, people put a lot of effort and dedication into tasks that appeal to them. Providing them with enticing assignments can actively unchain their creativity.


Everyone has an array of skills and qualities that can drive their career in the right direction. How can you make the most of people’s true potential? From training and curating relationships to pinpointing objectives and acknowledging success, you can unleash your team’s talent and benefit the productivity of your business.

CEO relaxing

Why Leaders Need to Take Holidays for Personal and Professional Benefits 

Why do holidays exist?  Traditionally – people took holidays to celebrate events of religious or cultural significance, and they were seen as an opportunity to connect us more closely to our family and community.

Today taking our annual summer holidays can give us time to relax, get away from our normal working environment and have a change of scene. Yet many leaders are reluctant to take a prolonged period away from work and find themselves checking emails by the pool or taking a call whilst they are wandering round a shopping mall with their family. This means they never properly switch off and relax to allow their brain to recuperate and get away from the ongoing stresses of a day job.


Changing perspective can encourage creativity

When we take the opportunity to have a change of scene it gives the brain a chance to be creative. Some say that’s why they do their best thinking whilst taking a shower. When we are relaxed, with no problem to focus on, we can allow our natural creativity to emerge, and allow our brain to make connections that we were not aware of before.

Businessman Nick Woodman decided to go on holiday to get away from it all after his business failed, with the hope that it would give him inspiration as to what to do next. It was doing the activity he loved that gave him the idea for his next venture when he realised, he wanted a wrist held camera to capture his surfing exploits.  That idea eventually turned into Go Pro.


Enabling others to step up

Stepping away from the helm for a period, gives others in the team a chance to step up and gain valuable experience. It’s worthwhile particularly when planned well in advance because it may be that there are elements of a leader’s role that subordinates can take on, without the full-blown responsibility of the entire job. With some preparation beforehand, and reflection time afterwards, a forward-thinking leader can help guide a high-potential employee to use the experience to advance their decision-making capabilities, and gain insights into senior leadership.

Sometimes leaders are reluctant to do this because they are fearful that it will reveal their own inadequacies or put talented individuals into the spotlight.  It takes a strong confident leader, to have one eye on succession planning and to build a team around them that have the potential to ultimately take over at a senior level. However, ultimately that will build a more sustainable future for the business.


Building stronger bonds and connectedness

Finally, many leaders use holidays as a time to relax with family and friends. Creating these shared experiences is a wonderful way to build stronger bonds and connections with loved ones. It’s important to be able to be ‘present’ and to taste the food you are eating, listen to what others are saying, and to see a holiday as a chance for an adventure. Many older people reminisce about trips they took with their family when they were younger, and these shared times together are meaningful. Rather like saving money in a bank account, investing time with people you trust and enjoy the company of, can bring a positive return when there are times of stress later in life. It’s those folks that are more likely to reach out to help or provide support if a leader finds themselves in need.  Friendships and family time can be priceless.


Sue Stockdale is an executive coach supporting CEOs and senior leaders in some of the world’s top companies, and author of EXPLORE: A Life of Adventure. For more info www.suestockdale.com

Business Success

San Diego-based Jason Hughes Reveals Secrets to Senior Brokers’ Success

San Diego executive Jason Hughes co-owns one of the most sought-after tenant representation companies in the nation. He says a major force behind its success is the commitment from his team, especially his brokers.

With more than 30 years of industry experience, the San Diego-based businessman says he’s been fortunate enough to work with the best brokers in his field. He says that the average broker at his firm generates more than $1.9 million per year, which is nearly 20 times higher than industry counterparts.

Jason Hughes states all of the brokers that join his team end up seeing his company as a beacon of light in an otherwise challenging industry.

“Brokers who have joined our company from other firms in the industry universally say that our company is beyond what they could have ever had hoped for,” he reveals. “That’s extremely fulfilling for us because it’s proof that we are changing the industry. We’ve created an amazing company for brokers to excel beyond their wildest dreams without the drama and internal competitiveness seen at most companies, while also taking tremendous care of their clients in the process.”


Why Company Values Matter in San Diego and Beyond

Jason Hughes believes in his brand’s core values, which he helped craft with his original team during a meeting in San Diego. Building lasting relationships based on trust, pursuing growth and learning, and maintaining proactive communication are just a few of the values that made the list.

Jason Hughes frequently addresses what’s most important to the team at meetings, and core values consistently come up.

“I’ve often been asked what the secret is to success in the brokerage business,” Jason Hughes says. “The obvious answers are intelligence, ambition, charisma, and work ethic.”

Jason Hughes acknowledges that it takes more than that to get to the next level. He says it takes innovative thinking — and a common mistake senior brokers make is a lack of innovation. Many times, senior brokers fail to empower up-and-coming brokers — supporting the antiquated thinking that younger brokers have to “pay their dues” before success — and it can create a negative vibe in a company. At his San Diego headquarters, he asserts that keeping team members motivated is always a priority.

“To those highly talented freshmen brokers, I say: Don’t let the seniors hold you down,” Jason Hughes suggests. “If your current company doesn’t embrace your enthusiasm and energy to reap large financial rewards, penalize them by going somewhere else.”

Jason Hughes notes that it’s essential for senior brokers to avoid getting a sense of entitlement after spending years in the industry, and that they shouldn’t equate tenure with industry superiority.

The San Diego CEO adds age shouldn’t even play a factor in a broker’s success.


Jason Hughes Reveals How Senior Brokers Can Remain Relevant

The San Diego leader declares that mentorship is paramount. Jason Hughes recalls the mentorship he received when he was younger that made a huge impact on his career. When he was in the ninth grade, he was paired with a commercial property broker for an interactive career day of sorts. After touring various buildings with him, Hughes admits he was immediately attracted to the field. It ultimately inspired him to go into the industry full-time after graduating college.

He also lives by the quote: “Success is not an entitlement. You need to earn it every day.” His company’s meetings end with this adage, which he got from one of his business heroes, former (and now returning!) Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Hughes has read all of the billionaire’s books, and he and his family had the opportunity to meet the storied entrepreneur in person for a private two-hour meeting at the coffee giant’s Seattle roastery.

The meeting led to him receiving life-changing advice on proceeding with company decisions after asking the simple question: “Will this make my team proud?”

Jason Hughes is extremely proud of his team and refers to them as “the secret sauce” in what has made his firm extraordinary. During team meetings, which he opts to hold in an office living room or at a giant farm table in lieu of a traditional conference room, he likes to ask his team members what they’re most excited about or what’s energizing them at that moment. Ensuring his team feels supported in pursuit of personal growth is another core value of his mission.

As Jason Hughes continues to take his brand, which started in San Diego, onward, he remains focused on reminding senior brokers not to get complacent and that a strong work ethic is still the driving force behind every successful broker.

“There is no free lunch in this business, regardless of how long you’ve paid your dues,” he says. “The top talent is embracing innovation. Without it, the end is near.”

Electricity Solutions

The Transformation of Electricity

Bawan Engineering the holding company for UTEC and USSG companies provides an integrated, state-of-the-art range of electricity distribution and control solutions across Saudi, GCC, Middle East & Africa. Wael Gad, Bawan Engineering CEO, has recently been recognised as CEO of the Year, 2021 – Saudi Arabia and here he explains in-depth the soul and innovation behind the Bawan Engineering reputation. 

Bawan Engineering was founded in 1980 in Riyadh, KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), with a vision to provide state-of-the-art range of electricity distribution and control solutions. It is a holding company with several companies operating in manufacturing of Distribution Transformers (UTEC), Substations, and Switchgears (USSG). It aims to serve utilities, renewable energy developments, and private sector infrastructure developers across Saudi, GCC, Middle East & Africa.

Using a fully controlled ERP & CRM process, projects are closely monitored and reviewed internally as well as with the clients to guarantee continuous customers satisfaction.

Wael Gad, CEO of Bawan Engineering, explains, “We believe that power empowers a better life for cities and communities, and that is why we are committed to developing smarter and sustainable products and solutions. Likewise, we want to empower the lives of our communities, partners, employees and customers.” To achieve this vision, Bawan invests heavily in R&D, product innovation, and the development of its people. In addition, Wael explains, “We work closely with both our customers and partners to deliver on all their current and future needs.” 

Being a part of a large, publicly listed conglomerate, ‘Bawan Group’, gives the company a lot of strength in partnering with the best suppliers and getting the best services from them, which in turn is reflected into excellent services for clients. 

Wael states, “Our company is reputed to deliver the best quality products and services in the market thanks to the strict execution of our processes, handpicked best in class employees and our continuous commitment to delivery excellence. We are also one of the few players in our industry that possesses the capabilities and skills to execute mega and complex projects fulfilling the complete electrification scope for any development due to the full portfolio of products and services that we are offering.” 

As mentioned earlier, Bawan Engineering is directly correlated to the infrastructure developments across the region, with a particular focus on the KSA. As Megaprojects evolve across Saudi and as renewable energy developments continue to advance throughout the region, we envision the potential in different product segments within the industry. 

We asked Wael about the trends influencing the industry, he said, “the primary trend influencing the industry is adopting innovative smart grid solutions with increasing needs for IoT and digitalisation features, allowing better connectivity, predictability, and serviceability of the full electrification and energy products, this is what Bawan Engineering calls Electricity 4.0”.

Wael explains, “We all know that climate change is the biggest challenge of our generation, and to best tackle it, the world is re-thinking its relationship with energy, which is responsible for over 80 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions. With Electricity 4.0, we can power the New Electric World through more sustainable and more resilient solutions. We firmly believe that a sustainable solution is having a world that is more electricity digitized since electricity is the fastest route to cleaner, smarter, more efficient energy.” 

In a race against time, electricity offers the fastest, safest, and most cost-effective way to decarbonise societies. Electricity is the most efficient energy, proven to be three to five times more efficient than other sources, and the best decarbonisation vector. Bawan Engineering expects to see six times more electricity coming from renewables globally by 2040, from six percent today to more than 40 percent within the next 20 years.

Wael added, “During this transformation of energy generation, we foresee two other positive outcomes. Firstly, fewer energy transmission losses since renewables provide energy in a much more decentralised way, at any scale and in closer proximity to their point of use. Secondly, a shift toward renewables will help people worldwide access energy, whether that be in already developed or developing countries. 

Wael also explains, “To keep contributing to the advances in smart grids solutions, we employ large R&D, engineering and design teams equipped with the latest design tools and testing labs. In addition to this, we have developed a wide range of partnerships across different business aspects where we share the latest developments in product innovation, smart energy solutions, design optimisation and manufacturing advancements. Furthermore, we invest heavily in developing our people and exposing them to the latest trends in the industry.” 

Bawan Engineering has a highly diversified culture that promotes innovation, continuous development, inclusion, and cross-functional collaboration, with its focus solely and primarily remaining on its clients. Wael states, “We have different employee development programs emphasising our business ethics, core values and exceeding our clients’ expectations. We continuously measure the satisfaction of our clients (NPS) and make sure that we are rectifying any deficiencies and always striving to satisfy our clients.” 

For Bawan Engineering, being an ‘employer of choice’ is a crucial objective continuously being worked on. This overall aim is met starting from the employee selection process, which includes technical testing, personality testing and cultural fit reviews and goes through onboarding procedures, people development and career progression planning. Throughout this process, Bawan Engineering makes sure that it attracts and retains the best-in-class talents within the industry. 

Wael also commented,” we foresee continuous pressure on pricing as products are commoditised where only companies with efficient manufacturing and continuous optimisation on engineering and design can continue being competitive, also the continuous adaptation of renewable energy generation, smart grids, and smart connected solutions (IoT) will shape how companies will develop their products, services and the way they do business.

For further information, please visit www.bawan.com.sa

Workplace burnout

How to Avoid Burnout at the Workplace

Burnout because of stress in the workplace is now a diagnosable syndrome, as classed by the World Health Organisation in 2019. Research shows that nearly a quarter of the workforce suffer from burnout on a regular basis.

Symptoms of workplace burnout include stress, depression, low energy, feeling cynical about working conditions and colleagues, and physiological issues such as headaches, stomach aches, and intestinal problems. The inflation and the job market saturation are putting pressure on employees and employers alike to overwork themselves.

If you notice your employees have any of those symptoms, they’re likely suffering from burnout. This can significantly affect their well-being and productivity and result in absence from work.

Here is how to manage stress in the workplace, helping your business thrive.


Manage the volume of work

According to a survey conducted by CIPD, 59% of the respondents have identified volume of work as the top stress factor.

This doesn’t mean you have to drastically reduce it, as the low workload can lead to reduced alertness, lack of attention to detail, and boredom. Overload, on the other hand, can result in slower task performance and errors.

As an optimum solution, delegate the workload fairly across all team members. If there is too much work but not enough people, consider hiring more. To tackle a low workload, you can introduce more tasks and merge or expand job roles.


Up your management style game

The manager within a team is much more than someone who oversees workload and performance. They’re the closest point of contact and support.

This includes personal well-being and dealing with stress in the workplace. They should be able to help employees facilitate their journey through overcoming stress-related issues.

Moreover, the manager is also responsible for boosting the team spirit and reinforcing unity and equality in the workplace. For example, if the job role entails an appropriate business dress code, the manager should ensure its adherence. This helps position all employees on the same level. Shirt and business trousers matched with formal shoes can go a long way in promoting unity and fairness.

Failing to adhere to the dress code can result in the opposite effect. It can hint at superiority, which can then raise equality issues. An adept management style can help with that.

According to the CIPD survey, 32% of respondents reported that management style impacts their health and well-being. Whether it’s you in a managerial role or someone else, make sure that adequate management training is provided.


Offer personal help

Not all stress that employees experience is work-related. The CIPD survey shows that relationships and family issues can trigger 25% of the respondents, while illness or health issues were a cause of stress for 22%.

While it’s not your responsibility to deal directly with employees’ personal issues, they can significantly impact their performance and your business. What you can do is support them by offering psychologist sessions and employee assistance programmes.


Develop a good company culture

Good company culture is at the heart of any successful business. It entails initiatives and benefits that promote employees’ well-being and foster relationships at work. The CIPD survey shows that relationships at work can cause stress for 20% of the respondents.

From yoga classes to a book club, you can introduce a range of out-of-work activities to your staff. A dedicated break room, social rooms with games and a welcoming interior design can also help staff unwind, recharge, and bond with each other.

Taking the right steps to reduce stress in the workplace and facilitate a healthy work environment is critical to avoiding staff burnout. You want to work in an environment that’s stimulating and enjoyable, and these tips will help you achieve that.