Soldier On! Organisation Development
Supporting your organisation's efforts to increase individual well-being, leadership, resilience and motivation, through improved self-awareness which can enhance engagement, productivity, attraction and retention.
We offer courses for organisations to purchase for several reasons . To help prevent people from suffering needlessly through unhappiness at work. To increase resilience, interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence amongst employees, to improve the career prospects of disadvantaged people in work, and to provide our charity with a sustainable and mutually benefitting income stream.
Our work is underpinned by a person-centred approach aimed at engendering self-management and owner-led development. Unlike computer based personality assessments , our approach is more personal and results in a deeper and more genuine understanding of one's personality.
100%of the revenue is used to run the charitable activities to support vulnerable, disadvantaged, and marginalised people to secure self-sufficient and happier futures through securing gainful employment.
How do you measure the success of your Diversity & Inclusion agenda? In addition to reviewing your recruitment processes, one approach is to look at the gap between recruitment and retention, as well as analysing how happy employees from diverse backgrounds are within your organisation.
Recruitment: Successful companies know the value of employing people who represent a diverse customer base and some deeply believe in the moral duty to provide opportunities for people who are often overlooked in the recruitment process. But it’s often in that process that the first barriers to employment exist. On-line application processes, are by their very nature, process-driven and their aim is to put people in boxes to judge their potential suitability to a role. So immediately there exists a problem for someone who is perceived to be ‘different‘. For they are not easily ‘boxed‘ and as a result, they remain within the margins of suitability.
Additionally, despite huge progress being made to offer people from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to ‘shine’ through open days, guaranteed interviews and collaborative working with charities etc, if they have not been helped to identify their value, worth, potential and suitability, they are often being set up to fail.
Post-Recruitment: It is important to recognise that ‘reasonable adjustments‘ to working environments should not be limited to physical structures. There is often a wide gap between the number of people from diverse backgrounds who are employed, and who remain happily employed for a decent amount of time. Often this occurs due to the fact that a high number of people, from diverse backgrounds, are employed due to their situation and their authentic capabilities and personal ambitions are often overlooked. This is due to both parties failing to recognise the skills, talents and motivations of the employee.
Our two-day workshop, or one-to-one coaching, helps both job-seekers and recently employed staff to realise their true capabilities, to see the value their life experiences can give their employer and to visualise their career goals. We equip individuals with an ability to critically analyse and understand their motivations, behaviours, values, blind spots, strengths, weaknesses, and any factors that are preventing them from achieving more, which raises confidence levels and self-esteem.
Our one-day workshop helps organisations to review their recruitment practices and make recommendations that can help enhance their potential to employ, and retain, talent from diverse backgrounds.
Previous clients have noticed:
Improved performance and career success
Improved recruitment processes
Reduced turnover of staff
Increased loyalty to an employer
Enhanced personal branding
More effective Leadership
Better relationship management amongst colleagues, clients and senior staff
We are experts in helping service-leavers and former members of the armed forces to settle into a new career.
Businesses are increasingly turning to former service personnel as a relatively untapped pool of talent. There is however a risk to long-term career satisfaction and productivity due to the way personnel are being presented as all being, loyal, trustworthy, great timekeepers and leaders who operate in highly pressurised environments. This generic view of them as a group of people prevents both employer and employee from gaining insight into their authentic and individual traits, strengths, weaknesses, values, behaviour, goals and overall personality. As a result, many former service personnel are motivated by their inherent discipline to perform their duty rather than being driven by occupying a role that has real meaning and fulfilment for them.
Our workshop, delivered at a location of your choosing, will help employees from a military background discover who they really are, what they really want out of a career and life in general, and how this can be achieved. This person-centred approach to career development can see an increase in confidence, resilience, happiness and productivity.
A former army officer – “Nicholas offers a remarkable service to those leaving the military. He offers a truly personal service, based on his own rigorous methodology and coupled with a willingness to challenge your assumptions . Ensuring you leave with a deep understanding of your motivation, talents, and transferable skills as well as a better understanding of roles outside the more well-travelled ex-military career paths. Most importantly he understands the military psyche and the unique challenge of finding the right role after a highly rewarding military career.”
Student Career Advice
Without a doubt, schools and universities have, in recent years, been updating their careers advisory offerings. If you want to know about specific roles and sectors there are now some fantastic resources available. However, I work with lots of students who say to me there are still two areas of careers advice that they feel are still not being addressed.
“I don’t know what I want to do!”
“I still don’t know how to sell myself to a potential employer.”
Only half of UK students end up working in a field related to their degree, so there is a real need to help students find out what they really want to do. Within their first 10 years at work, it is expected that people entering the world of work now will change jobs at least four times. They won’t just be changing jobs either, many will be transitioning into entirely different sectors.
One of the biggest complaints made to us by student clients is that they feel that no one is listening to them. They feel that their parents in particular have a life-plan for them and they find it really hard to persuade other people to recognise that they might have their own ideas!
So if we genuinely wish to see students start to flourish and ‘reach their potential’, phrases that are used in almost every school, university and business school literature, then it is really important that students are equipped with the tools needed to plan and manage their careers for themselves.
We work with students, either on a one-to-one basis, or in small groups, to pass on a methodology that allows them to understand things like what authentic capabilities they possess, what their values, goals, preferred working environments, and skills are. We then start to unravel possible career options and find out how to ‘network‘ and ‘research‘ within our chosen areas of interest. We then look at how we can secure a meaningful first step on the career path. This ensures students have direction, high levels of self-esteem and resilience, an ability to present themselves on paper, orally and on-line, and know what they want to do!
We don’t use psychometric tests to understand a client’s personality, for two main reasons. Firstly, students have enough exams going on and computer-based assessments can feel like just another ‘test’ and secondly, what employers are looking for is someone who can articulate their value to that employer, someone who can tell a story to get across their capabilities, and someone who can stand out from the crowd. Organisations who have met our clients tell us that our clients were the one they remembered as being different, authentic, confident, and able to demonstrate their potential. Guess who was given a second interview?!
A father – “My son Charlie (18) was at a crossroads after not getting the results he’d hoped for in his A-Levels. Nicholas was recommended to me by a family friend and spent two days with Charlie. The results were really impressive. Charlie now knows what he wants to do. Nicholas helped him to find direction and focus when he was really struggling.”
Progressive organisations invest heavily in delivering pathways to help staff find alternative employment when necessary. It makes complete sense to support such people, not only to thank them for their service to your organisation, but also to maintain morale levels amongst those who remain.
There was a time when outplacement services were becoming something really progressive but sadly, like so many things within the professional development world clients were beguiled by cheap and quick-fix solutions. Not long ago we spoke to an outplacement company about our services only for them to say, “If someone comes to us on Friday afternoon, we’ll have them in a job interview by Monday!” That’s quite a claim for a high-street recruiter to make, but for an outplacement professional to say it filled us with dread!
If you want someone to understand who they really are, to know what capabilities they possess and to realise from where comes their intrinsic motivations and how they affect behaviour, you cannot manage all that and have them ready for an interview in 48 hours!
We work with organisations to ensure those people who have to leave your employment, are looked after during a highly stressful period and feel that they are still valued by you. More practically, we will help them to believe in themselves, to prepare for their next steps along the employment journey, and to make a plan that gives them a sense of control. They become the architects of their own futures and start to feel hope for the future.
The two-day course, following the three steps of Self-Awareness, Self-Direction and Self-Presentation, can really help people in this situation. If people need additional help, we can come back and deliver follow-up sessions on a one-to-one basis.
If you need a totally different outplacement service then give us a call and we can have a discreet conversation to establish your needs.
Mid-Senior Executive Coaching & MBA Programmes
Do you remember your Maslow’s ‘The Hierarchy of Needs’? By the time you have reached your mid-career, anytime from your 40’s onwards, you will more than likely have achieved the basic needs in life. But for many people doubt starts to creep in, and thoughts leap into one’s mind such as: “Am I living the life I was supposed to, or the one I truly want to?” “What has it all been for?” “Is there more to life than this?” “The children have grown up, is it now time for me?”
Having these thoughts is completely normal, but if you don’t pause for a moment and give yourself time to reflect and ‘permission’ to ask these questions, that’s when things can become difficult.
I work with such clients usually on a one-to-one basis, in an informal, relaxed and completely confidential setting. During our time together, we can start to think about your motivations, behaviours, and think about talents and values that may, due to work commitments, have slipped off the priority list. It’s a time to think about who you really are, as opposed to who you have become through a continued process of conditioning. Often started at birth conditioning can continue throughout your life. Some clients have said to me, “I looked in the mirror one day, wondering who I had become…”
Through conversation, we re-evaluate what matters and help you to unravel that mental ball of string so you can prioritise and identify what makes you, as well as those close to you, happier.
A FTSE 100 Divisional Director –“I engaged with Nicholas to help me clarify and define my personal statement through looking in detail at my values, talents and skills. The two-day, one-to-one workshop was outstanding and really helped me open my eyes to understand my core strengths and desires and define my values to an employer or business. Nicholas has a very relaxed yet encouraging approach that, combined with his experience and knowledge, made me feel comfortable to really open up, enabling the true ‘me’ to be unravelled. – Fantastic coach, I would recommend Nicholas for his approach, manner and course content.”
Is it possible to add anything to this heavily discussed area? Yes, we think so…
Every time leadership is written about or lectured on, the connection is made between the leader and whom they are leading. Rarely is the subject of ‘Leadership of the Self’ looked at.
Despite its direct and researched link with happiness and performance, the development of accurate self-assessment and awareness is rare, with only 10% of mid to senior executives mastering this skill. Where personal insight is developed, there are many benefits for both employers and across the holistic spectrum of an individual’s life, such as improved:
- Happiness, confidence, self-worth - Emotional intelligence
- Relationship management - Intrinsic motivation
- Meaning and purpose to life and work - Clarity of life/career goals
- Performance and career success - Personal branding
- Effective Leadership - Resilience
Our course takes a holistic and person-centred approach to understanding why and how we do things and identifies improvements, rather than simply analysing past performance or relying on psychometric testing, approaches that are seen by many experts as being ineffective approaches to increasing authentic self-awareness.
We provide an approach that combines real-life experience, psychology, and philosophy and is delivered either one-to-one or in small groups. We equip individuals with an ability to critically analyse and understand their motivations, behaviours, values, blind spots, strengths, weaknesses, and any factors that are preventing them from achieving more. He helps them recognise the full picture, the why and how of being happier and more successful, and not just the desired outcome, the what.
We created this approach to guard against the common pitfalls of traditional executive coaching and ensure that organisations see a positive return on the investment they are making in their people. Rather than subjecting clients to quick-fix, generic process-driven approaches that dictate, we takes clients on their own personal journey where they discover things for themselves, securing meaning to what they do and finding authentic insight.
Having established a deeper sense of who people are, organisations can then align how tasks are carried out, and how personal development is delivered, to an individual’s real values and purpose. This approach can significantly improve individual engagement and performance, enhance the ability to inspire others and generate wider life satisfaction, personal well-being and organisational positivity.