​How my clients have shaped my year​

It's odd how you start your year with a business plan, only to discover it’s your clients who set the direction for you.

A key lesson for me from this year? No two employees face the same challenge. So, when heads of department and line managers recognise this and discuss it with HR and L&D (learning and development) teams, I get the call asking how I can best work with their employees.

Proud of HR and L&D purpose

I'm proud to say that all of my HR and L&D clients are determined to support their employees in the best ways they can. They feel they have a responsibility not only to reduce the risk of losing a great employee but also for that person’s overall welfare. And it shows.

Learn and develop

Over the past year, we’ve listened to our clients and added new business areas to really support employees. As a result, our Maternity and Return to Work Coaching services have blossomed.

Now we offer Parental Programmes, rather than simply Maternity Coaching.

There are two reasons for this:

We were asked to create an in-house workshop for a firm where several women were returning to work after maternity leave all around at the same time, so we created a programme for them.

To be inclusive and recognise diversity. We want to include new 'dads', who also need lots of support in those early weeks, and any family format, such as same-sex couples, and Trans parents. We also cater for different methods, such as adoption, egg donations and transfer.

Our new Return to Work Programme has given us more scope to support employees returning to work, after a longer absence. This might have been due to cancer, another illness or after a trauma.

Recruitment drive

We were asked to support a company’s recruitment drive to bring valuable experienced women back into the workplace after a career break, to increase diversity.

We’ve always offered this confidence-boosting service to private clients returning to work after a break, so it was a natural step to work with a company-wide scheme. We could help women be raring to go as they start internship programmes.

Grief & Bereavement

We also added a new area, sadly by a firm’s request: Grief & Bereavement Management Programme. This has two elements: how to support a colleague after a terminal illness announcement, and how to support the wider team.

Sadly, one of our Parental Programme clients suffered a stillbirth. We adapted our support immediately to help with this tragic bereavement, and to support her return to work several months later. We also worked with her colleagues to help them communicate thoughtfully with her when she came back.

Who knew what this year would bring?

I set up Confidence to Return to support employees through some of their biggest personal life challenges — often when going back to work was the last thing on their minds. I wanted to support them and enable them to get back on track with their careers, with passion and determination.

The results I’ve witnessed this year have kept my sense of purpose alight. I’m more determined than ever that, with the right support:

  • Your employees’ resilience and confidence can be rebuilt.
  • Your employees can discover they want to return to work and look forward to building their careers — especially if they know the support will continue in the workplace.
  • Teams can be helped to communicate better, even in the most upsetting circumstances. They can understand each other and create a workplace community.

Reflecting over my personal year, I’ve added training and facilitating to my coaching skills, and run Confidence to Return employee workshops and developed employee programmes.

Thanks from my customers in 2017.

‘Thank you for all your support. I don't believe I would have done it without you.’

 ‘Just so you are aware, I’ve really appreciated what you have been able to bring to the business.’

 ‘Your guidance on how to proceed was gratefully appreciated’ 

So, looking towards 2018, I can’t wait to see meet new firms and help new employees and discover how my business will develop in the coming year.

Get in touch and find out how Confidence to Return can help your business.

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas holiday and a happy and healthy 2018,

Sandie Dennis

Confidence to Return


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