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Helping to invest in and retain your people

    Do you work at a charity in HR, Learning & Development or as a line manager responsible for recruiting, retaining, and developing your people – please read on because I would love to help you, and I have some thoughts about how I could do this.

    Let me start with some facts, build a case for change from the grassroots upwards

    Did you know?

    • 55% of all working days lost were due to work related ill-health because of stress, depression, or anxiety. This equates to 17 million days lost! 
    • Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety than men. This is important because about ⅔ of charity workforce identify as women. 
    • The number of people applying for each job in the charity sector has fallen from 100 in May 2020 to just 24 in July 2021. 

    You may know this picture of the workplace already, if not was it a surprise? 

    As we continue to navigate uncertain and changing times recruiting and retaining charity professionals will require innovation and an attention to motivation to prevent a churn that will jeopardise income and the life changing work of charities. 

    Are you are struggling with finding development opportunities for your people (or yourself) at a price that fits your budget, and supports individual wellbeing needs that have been highlighted in your staff surveys and appraisal programme?  

    The single solution mass participant training courses have their place as they help establish theory, open up new ways of thinking and take us out of the business as usual but they are mostly designed to appeal to a broad audience, so don’t allow for individual and organisational differences – in fact I felt happy if I took away one learning from a course which doesn’t seem a particularly good return on investment of money or time! 

    Invest in the individual! 

    Research has shown that the investment in recruiting a new member of the team is on average £30,000 when you consider the cost of hiring (money and staff time), on-boarding, training and loss in productivity as new team member settles into role. Wouldn’t it better to retain people, and where a new member of the team is what is needed most support them to perform at their best from day one? 

    Have you considered how coaching could support individual and team leadership. Or have you dismissed it because of what you think it would cost – I am here to get you thinking again, I hope! 

    The benefits of coaching are many, from impact on an individual’s wellbeing to the ripple effect this has across teams and organisations. Research has shown that 80% of people who receive coaching report increased self-confidence, and over 70% benefit from improved work performance, relationships, and more effective communication skills. 86% of organisations report that they recouped their investment on coaching and more. 

    The benefits of building self-confidence are clear because a mind free from doubt, acts rather than ruminates and procrastinates. This is important because feeling able to control own workload, build healthy relationships at work and have open communication however difficult it may feel are all cited as areas that lead to work-related stress, if they are not managed properly.  

    I invite you, to think again that investing in an individual’s development and wellbeing, one that understands how their experiences shape their actions, is a waste of money because the reality is that tailored investment brings better, faster and more impactful results.  

    Deloitte’s survey “Mental health and employers – The case for investment” revealed that organisations who invest in the mental health of their employees will see a return of £5.30 on average for every £1 invested, so putting wellbeing at the heart of organisations is self-evident for workplaces where people want to thrive, not just survive.  

    As a leader in the non-profit sector for the last 20 years, I have seen how people who choose this path are incredibly dedicated, working hard towards a cause they believe in, but this can come at a high cost when hard work slips in to overwhelm, stress and frustration, impacting on an individuals self-confidence and performance.  

    Overwhelm can affect our physical and mental health, as well as relationships at home and at work. It can lead to procrastination and increased anxiety as staff feel unable to make progress. I have seen the impact of staff pushing through to get things done to a standard that is unattainable and exhausting.  

    We must remember that leading from overwhelm can impact not just on the individual but their whole team, creating difficult and unhealthy working environments. Coaching can help reduce overwhelm by supporting individuals to:

    • explore the beliefs and emotions driving them 
    • set and maintain boundaries with confidence 
    • prioritise and plan work that together results in increased impact  
    • find greater comfort with taking risks to the place where innovation flourishes 

    Mental Health Foundation Coaching Programme

    When a Director at the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) I worked with the HR & Wellbeing team to introduce a coaching programme, to support and empower leaders to move to a new structure, new roles and drive forward the recently launched organisational strategy. The coaching was designed to help with typical issues such as feeling overwhelmed, managing change, emerging leaders, confidence, performance, relationships and returning to work. 

    One coachee said that they would recommend coaching:

    “… if feel as though you get pulled in lots of directions at work or are ‘wearing far too many hats’. If you feel you are stuck personally or professionally and aren’t sure why. If you feel your self-esteem could do with a boost.” 

    Why work with me? I have built my fundraising career in the charity sector over 30 years, the last 20 as a senior leader for charities such as WaterAid, Marie Curie Cancer Care and most recently as the Director, Fundraising and Communication at Mental Health Foundation. I am a coach, trainer, and fundraising specialist. But I don’t do this alone, I am part of the  Charity Coaches Collective  a group of independent coaches working collaboratively to support change, development, and growth in the charity sector.  

    “Friends, family and colleagues may have thought I was coping remarkably well when I started a new job, but it was only because Sarah gave me the space to reflect each week”

    Rosa – Previous Mentee

    Would you like some clarity on the first step to change?

    If you think I can help support you to retain and develop your people please get in touch at [email protected]. Maybe you would like to hear more about the coaching programme at MHF that went on to include one-to-one and group coaching, as well workshops on key areas of challenge that were to be recorded as part of ongoing development programme, or about how the Charity Coaching Collective could work together with you, jump right in to book at Discovery Call – it pops an hour in your diary, use it all or take some time back to rest before your next meeting.  

    P.S If you’re reading this thinking you yourself would like some support get in touch [email protected] or forward the above to your manager and tell them I will jump on a call to answer all their questions.

    My vision is to empower women to be confident leaders, to manage day to day stresses with ease to feel energised not exhausted, and I guide the male allies who want to know how they can help. To find out more about how I could help you, your team or organisation visit my Services page.

    Stats from range of sources including, Health and Safety Executive, Mental Health Foundation, TFN, Charity Digital, Deloitte, Clear Company, Bright HR and ICF.

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