The Importance of Individuals Abigail Clayton

Abigail Clayton - May 2018

During the recent CIPD Learning and Development conference it was clear to me that it is not just the individual in work which contributes to how an organisation performs but how this impacts their entire existence. The importance of the health and happiness of the whole human system and the existence of mutually beneficial relationships in the world of work can impact organisational performance and human happiness.

When I asked my daughter Jessie this morning (aged 9) what she they want to be when she grew up and she said, without thinking, "be happy". It made me think about the importance of happiness and fulfilment in work as in our entire lives. Oh, to be 9 again!

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."

This quote from Writer Annie Dillard (The Writing Life) sums it up quite well as for most of us, a large portion of our adulthood days are spent at work. In fact, simple maths suggests that the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime.

The impact of work on quality of life and quality of life on work is huge. They are not mutually exclusive, they can not be separated, they are co-dependent.

Research published earlier this year by employee benefits provider Personal Group, shows that

56% of all people surveyed are not happy in the workplace and that only

1 in 4 UK employees can recall something from the last month that has made them feel more positive about their working life (which is a drop from 1 in 3 in 2017). Unsurprisingly according to their results, both efficiency and enthusiasm are also down.

This is a worrying trend, but one we can do something about! A considerable amount of forward thinking organisations are increasingly focusing on areas that impact workplace wellbeing. Two of key areas that we have been focusing here at Getfeedback recently (amongst others) are emotional intelligence, kindness in leadership. It's great to be working with some of our clients of these to really make a difference to their people as well as improving the performance of their organisations.

Emotional Intelligence

The concept of emotional intelligence has generated great interest in recent years and its impact on the performance of individuals and organisations. For an individual, understanding and then marshalling their feelings to best effect, impacts their own performance the ability to meet their organisational goals. When this approach is coupled with empathy for the feelings of others which leads to more successful relationships results in a massive impact on wellbeing AND performance.

"Change happens in the boiler room of our emotions--so find out how to light their fires." Jeff Dewar

Emotional Intelligence

"One way to boost our willpower and focus is to manage our distractions instead of letting them manage us." Daniel Goleman

We have been helping individuals and organisations understand and develop their Emotional Intelligence through coaching, self-awareness and the use of existing tools. To support this approach we have been doing further research with some established authors and now have some interesting and exciting new tools and methods to specifically combine information about an individual's emotional intelligence to the mutual benefit of themselves and their organisations.

We will be publishing our approach shortly but do get in touch if you would like to discuss your own or your organisations emotional intelligence in the meantime.

Kindness in leadership

Our director, Alison Gill has recently co-authored a book on Kindness in Leadership - it's a really good read, exploring both the concept and practice of kindness in leadership and considers them in different societal and organisational settings.

"Kindness in leaders is their strength and it has a direct bearing on the success of any pursuit." Deepak Chopra, Group CEO, Anand Group, India

"Kindness is not an optional. In a world that is getting more complex and digital every day, kindness is an indispensable component of successful leadership." Nadin Meloth, International Co-President, European Women's Development International Network (EWMD) and Business Coach

Great leaders are those that can blend the contribution of the individuals in a group so that they are greater than the sum of their own individual efforts. This research has shown that the relationship between kindness and leadership is a key area for our well-being as individuals, for the success of our organisations, and for the future of our global community.


We appear to be taking positive steps to move away from the question "Do you live to work or work to live?" any more but "How do you live and work to fulfil your ambitions" As leaders we can make a greater impact when we know our teams ambitions, their drivers and skills so that we can generate mutually beneficial working relationships that are driven by trust, honesty, respect, communication, independence and working partnerships.

At Getfeedback we are driven by helping people to be better at work. We do this by selecting the right individual for a position where they will thrive and flourish or by identifying a potential leader, highlighting their strengths and coaching them to be the best they can be.

People and behavioural change are my passion - really helping organisations make a difference to their bottom line AND the individuals that work within them.

If you have a people challenge or ambition you'd like to discuss please get in touch, I'd love to hear about it.