What challenges have you encountered on your journey and how have you overcome them? Is this a common challenge in your industry? How can we tackle it?
One day we decided that this issue could no longer be ignored. We sat down and decided to incorporate AGILE methodology in our weekly workflow. We set up a Trello board (highly recommend it!) with the weekly tasks and goals and gave ourselves roles. I became the product owner (the person who decides on tasks and priorities) and Tom the scrum master (the person who organises the team). We would distribute the tasks amongst ourselves and have daily stand-ups in order to keep up with each other's progress.
I learned this process from Tom and it helped me and our business tremendously. If you're setting up a business and have a small team, I highly recommend you look into Agile methodology!
Now working in well-being my biggest challenge is helping companies to see that if they don't look after their people, their business will directly suffer. As it's not an easily measurable ROI, well-being is not well understood or misunderstood and seen as fluffy.
The more people who talk about their well-being challenges and the more employees who demand better well-being cultural practices from their employers, the more we will see a change from within.
Product packaging is a key area for the gift industry, and it's important to find your USP and make sure your packaging stands out from the crowd.
I found that the people that are still here truly believe in the positive impact, (the children that can navigate the internet more safely because of something we have taught them, for example.)
The biggest challenge for me has been to find the motivation to get up every day, be with people and head a company on its travel while never seeing myself represented. Not in boardrooms, not in IT, not in trying to find capital and not in the Games industry. No young women in positions of power, no women of colour, no young mothers, no women at all.
Over the last decade, I've seen small changes, especially in-house. I see more diversity, more inclusiveness, more representation. But when I venture out into the real world, the change comes too slow.
There is also the challenge of juggling all the different tasks that need to be done; finding, booking and preparing for events; social media content; marketing, promoting and selling; admin and accounts; recruiting, supporting and mentoring team members. One thing I haven’t tried yet, which should make things easier, is email marketing and sending out regular newsletters.
In regard to doing events, initially the challenge was getting people to try the products, as it was an unknown brand. However, now that the brand is bigger, the challenge is for people to buy from me and not from another distributor or from Head Office.
Since I started the business, a lot of people thought that it’s a pyramid scheme, and it’s been a challenge to convince them to try the products because of that reason. It is a common challenge in the industry. However, most companies are pyramid shaped in that there is a CEO at the top, then a few directors underneath, then a number of managers under them, and lastly mostly employees on the first rung of the ladder. The way that it can be tackled in the industry I am in is to have a fairer system, where it’s not just the executives that get given leads by Head Office. It would also be better if rewards were given in terms of longevity and other achievements, not just on sales and recruitment.
With the actual purpose of the forum, I think in the beginning there was some naivety to the extent of how uniform the industry is and many companies are still questioning the value of diversity. It’s not necessarily a challenge to overcome but it’s important for companies and individuals to come on this journey with us and be open to asking questions and understanding the benefits of a more diverse workforce.