Many organisations discuss gender equality and promoting women, particularly older and more experienced women. But what does this look like in practice? What are the practical steps to supporting older women in the workplace, and how can barriers to success be overcome?

One highly effective strategy is making your organisation menopause friendly. Older women are one of the fastest growing in today’s workplace, and research has shown that nearly two-thirds of women have taken time off work due to their symptoms, with some even leaving their jobs due to not being supported in their workplace.

In this webinar, VinciWorks compliance experts will take you through the steps your organisation can take to become menopause friendly. From implementing a menopause leave policy to environmental factors affecting a workplace, this session will inform you on why making your organisation menopause friendly is a cost-effective, impactful and necessary initiative.

The webinar featured an interview with Dr Rebecca Lewis from the highly respected Newson Health Menopause and Wellbeing Centre.

This session covered:

  • The basics of menopause as a diversity and inclusion issue
  • Building a coalition for progressive menopause change in an organisation
  • Countering common myths, stigmas and stereotypes
  • Top tips for implementing a menopause leave policy
  • Tackling environmental, organisational and cultural factors on menopause

Watch on-demand

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January is a tough month for many; the combination of dreary weather, failing New Year’s resolutions, the post-Christmas diet and the financial worries of trying to stretch that early December paycheck to the end of January – there’s no shortage of reasons why people might feel down and lack motivation this month.

It’s no surprise then that January is also the UK’s peak time for sickness absence and stress in the workplace, meaning that staff morale and general productivity will be at an all-time low.

Whilst there is no simple answer or a one-size fits all solution to help your staff beat the blues this January, employers can consider small actions to help improve staff wellbeing and positivity which can benefit both employees and businesses alike.

Focus on employee engagement

Communication and involvement are key to making employees feel like they are an important part of the organisation. If they don’t understand what the business is trying to achieve this year or they don’t feel valued themselves, why would they feel motivated or inspired to work hard all year round?

Take time to discuss personal and professional plans for the year and help to set some achievable goals to help drive motivation.

Recognise the successes of the previous year

Recognising the successes of 2022 is a great way to keep your employees motivated throughout January.

More frequent employee feedback and praise as and when appropriate can also help people feel appreciated and valued. If a staff member does a good job, tell them, if they are always performing at a consistently high level, acknowledge this to ensure they know that their efforts are not overlooked but are seen and appreciated.

Practice sensitivity

We are all individuals and what works for one person may not work for another. The reasons why a person may be feeling down, disengaged or fed up will also differ. Some may have more deep-rooted reasons behind their behaviour and/or feelings.

Try and spot signs that someone is unhappy and talk to them about it. Ask if there is anything that can be done to provide support and assistance. If they don’t want to talk about it, don’t push the point. However, look to revisit the conversation again later to see if there is an opportunity to help. In the meantime, make them aware of any employee assistance programmes you may have in place, where they can discuss issues in confidence.

If you feel that a person has more substantial issues than just feeling a bit fed up because it’s January, signpost them to mental health first aiders or external support and counselling services. Depending on the situation, reasonable adjustments may need to be considered and specific advice should be taken on how best to manage and support these individuals on a case-by-case basis.

Lead by example

Just as negativity within a team can spread, so can positivity.

Even if managers business leaders don’t feel entirely upbeat themselves, if they communicate positive messages to their teams, praise and give positive feedback to individuals, this can help their workforce to feel more positive and that, in turn, may assist leaders in feeling more positive also.

Small gestures reap big rewards

Ask employees what changes can be made to help them through January – for some this may be additional team engagement (especially if staff are working remotely), for others it may be biscuits or healthy snacks in the break room, or a care package to remote workers.

The changes need not necessarily be high financial value, but they could result in large gains in productivity, employee engagement and a better, more positive working environment for all.

Encourage a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise

During the dark winter months, it’s not always easy to see daylight during the working day which can be detrimental to a person’s health and wellbeing. Encouraging staff take regular breaks away from their desks and getting out in the fresh air at lunchtime to see natural daylight, can prevent energy levels from slumping and help stabilise mood boosting hormones.

Plan for time off

There is no better way to lift the January blues than booking a holiday in a sunnier climate. Employers should ensure that holiday calendars are up and running and employees are clear of their remaining holiday entitlements for the year ahead and whether carrying over of untaken holiday from the previous year is permitted under your policy.  A simple reminder of your holiday request procedure, together with any restrictions on taking holidays during peak times such as the school holiday period, should help prompt staff in the midst of winter to look forward to better and more warmer things to come.

Whilst the above measures can minimise the prospect of employees feeling the January Blues at work, it is important to recognise that mental health is an issue that employers should be supporting all year round. The HSE recently revealed that 30.8 million working days were lost to work related ill health in 2021/22, showing that stress, depression and anxiety is far from being confined to January.

Anyone can experience mental health difficulties at any stage of their life. Historically mental health has been something that many people don’t feel able to openly acknowledge or discuss, which means problems all too often don’t get resolved and only escalate.

Our wellbeing training courses aim to change that by giving staff a practical understanding of mental health, anxiety and depression and stress awareness. Equally as importantly, though, they provide them with guidance on how they can help colleagues with their wellbeing and create an inclusive and supportive workplace culture.

Courses include:


To view our full range of wellbeing courses, click here.

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Terrorist financing involves the collection, movement, and disguising of money in order to finance terrorist operations.

Terrorist activities can be financed from both legal and illegal sources – from political donations, to trading digital currencies, to proceeds of crime, e.g., kidnapping for ransom and fraud, and terrorist financiers often exploit intermediaries in the legitimate economy to hide their illicit activities (think financial institutions, charities, religious organisations, and other shell companies).

Because terrorist financing can be hard to detect, and money can pass through many hands and several territories before reaching its final destination, it’s important that organisations train their employees on how to spot signs of potential terrorist financing and also how to report any suspicious activity they come across whilst being vigilant.

Anti-terrorist financing procedures are often thought-of alongside anti-money laundering practices since the techniques used by terrorist financers to disguise and move money around are closely related to money laundering techniques and sometimes involve actual money laundering.

The signs and red flags for terrorist financing therefore overlap with money laundering red flags, so it’s important to offer training to employees in both subjects alongside your anti-money laundering modules.

What constitutes a terrorist financing offence?

Terrorist financing is any form of financial support for terrorism, terrorist organisations, or anyone encouraging acts of terrorism. This includes direct funding as well as the processing of funds intended to facilitate terrorist operations.

Regulations and legislation criminalise the direct funding of terrorism, as well as activities that can contribute to terrorist financing. While specific definitions of terrorist financing offences vary by jurisdiction, they generally include:

  1. Knowing or having a reasonable suspicion that fundraising money or property may be used for terrorism. This may include making payments, giving loans, inviting others to make payments, or receiving payments that may be used to fund terrorism.
  2. Using or acquiring money or other property for terrorist purposes or with reasonable suspicion that it will be used for terrorist purposes.
  3. Entering into an agreement intended to make money or other property available to another person if it will or may be used for terrorist purposes.
  4. Facilitating retention or control of terrorist property in any way. This might be on behalf of another person, by concealment, through moving it out of the jurisdiction, or via transfer.
  5. Failing to report red flags, suspicions, or knowledge of terrorist financing activity.
  6. Alerting a person or organisation that they are under suspicion or investigation for terrorism-related activities. This is known as tipping off.

The importance of due diligence

Client/customer due diligence (CDD) is a key element of the anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing regime.

Performing proper due diligence should uncover any stakeholder who has a controlling influence on a customer or supplier and who benefits from that account or organisation. These stakeholders are known as ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs).

Since those involved in terrorist financing may not be known to authorities or belong to a terrorist organisation, and since UBOs may not be listed as a legal owner and may be hidden behind layers of ownership, terrorist financers often channel money to hidden UBOs who turn out to be terrorists or other sanctioned entities.

This is exactly why the importance of customer and supplier due diligence checks is emphasised in the fight against terror.

The three component parts of customer/supplier due diligence are as follows:

  • Identifying the client or supplier, unless the identity of that client/supplier is already known to you and has been verified by you
  • Verifying that identity (unless the client’s/supplier’s identity has already been verified by you)
  • Assessing and (where appropriate)gathering more information on the purpose and intended nature of the business relationship or occasional transaction

Due diligence is required whenever a new business relationship is established or where organisations carry out odd/occasional transactions.

It is also good practice to carry out additional due diligence (and report!) if you suspect money laundering or terrorist financing is taking place, or if you doubt the veracity or adequacy of documents or information previously obtained for the purposes of identification or verification

Find out more about due diligence.

Red flags of potential terrorist financing activity

Being able to spot and report warning signs of potential terrorist financing activity is an essential component in stopping the flow of terrorist funds, protecting your organisation, and maintaining national security.

In order to remain compliant with anti-terrorist directives, employees should look out for the following red flags:

  • Unknown source of funds
  • Funds transferred from a jurisdiction subject to sanctions or increased monitoring
  • New accounts with more than one signatory in different locations and there is no apparent connection between the signatories
  • Address changes, particularly involving a sanctioned jurisdiction
  • Transactions do not match the wealth of the account holder
  • High volumes of low-value cash transactions or ATM withdrawals
  • Transfer destination in a jurisdiction subject to sanctions or increased monitoring
  • Evasiveness, e.g., reluctance to provide information when requested or provision of vague or unsatisfactory explanation for unusual account activity
  • Suspicious purchases, including purchase of weapons or materials that may be repurposed to build weapons, sudden trade in high-risk assets such as gems, precious metals, or high volumes of cash, or other uncharacteristic high-risk purchases
  • Inaccurate or incomplete information and documentation
  • Inconsistencies in information, including seemingly innocent typos
  • Inconsistent or insufficient due diligence on suppliers farther upstream in the supply chain
  • Negative media exposure that suggests links to terrorism Negative media exposure that suggests links to money laundering or other financial crime
  • Customer or supplier screening result suggesting a link to terrorism or financial crime

International sanctions

Terrorists and terrorist organisations are often subject to international sanctions. Sanctions are restrictions imposed on individuals or legal entities (otherwise known as targets) to restrict access to financial services, funds, or economic resources. For example, terrorist organisations such as Al-Qaeda as well as individual Al-Qaeda operatives appear on international sanctions lists.

Different jurisdictions maintain their own sanctions lists. It is therefore important to screen customers and suppliers against your organisation’s consolidated list, which will include sanctioned entities from all jurisdictions where you operate.

How to report suspicious or unusual activity

Your organisation should have a procedure for internal reporting of red flags and other suspicious activity. These reports are commonly known as suspicious activity reports (SARs), suspicious transaction reports (STRs), or unusual activity reports (UARs).

It’s the Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO)’s – or other nominated officer’s – responsibility to determine whether further action is required and whether the report is escalated to the authorities.

Some organisations have a special form to fill in for reporting suspicious activity, whilst others permit reports to take any form such as an email, a phone call, or a face-to-face meeting. Always use the method required by your organisation (and if more than one is offered, choose whichever you are most comfortable with).

Regardless of the format, reporting suspicious activity is a confidential process. Only share report details with colleagues who need the information to do their job, and never tip off a customer or supplier that a report has been submitted about them – this is a criminal offense!

If you are ever unsure how to report a suspicion or whether an activity is suspicious, seek advice from your manager. Your organisation’s nominated officer or MLRO can also advise whether a report is needed.

The important thing to remember is that failure to report a red flag or other suspicious activity is illegal, so you must never ignore it. If something doesn’t seem right, seek additional information, get advice, or submit a report.

Need more information?

We hope this article has helped our readers understand what terrorist financing is and how to help prevent it taking place at your organisation. If you need help training your employees on anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing best practices, feel free to drop our friendly team a line via email or on 01509 611019. We’re a friendly bunch and would be more than happy to help!

Click here to view our updated for 2022 anti-money laundering collection of eLearning courses!

All business interactions require thorough and effective due diligence in order to confirm that customers and suppliers are who they say they are.

This involves conducting checks at the initial onboarding stage, at ongoing regular intervals thereafter, and if any change in circumstance should trigger concern (e.g., if someone has lost their job but appears to have a lot of newly acquired funds – as this could be perceived as a red flag).

The aim of due diligence is to detect, deter, and prohibit money laundering and associated terrorist financing activity from taking place, and it’s important that everyone at your organisation understands the role they play in mitigating these risks.

It is estimated that money laundering activities in the UK equate to approximately 2-5% of GDP. This means that between £36-90 billion of criminal finances are laundered through the UK economy annually (and that’s a prudent estimate!).

People who commit financial crimes are not always easy to spot; they often distance themselves from suspicious activity by using third parties, moving money around different jurisdictions, or hiding behind shell (false) companies.

There are signs and risk factors that indicate that a link to money laundering could be likely, however – and this is exactly why knowing your customer and performing effective due diligence for each client, supplier, and transaction is an essential part of anti-money laundering compliance.

Put simply, due diligence helps organisations tackle financial crimes and ensures your assets and your customers’ assets stay safe.

Know your customer

Standard due diligence involves a process called ‘know your customer’ or ‘KYC’. This process is designed to protect organisations against types of fraud, corruption, money laundering, and terrorist financing and involves three steps:

  1. Establishing customers/suppliers’ identity (in The UK, for example, this commonly involves checking that the individual is on the electoral register and asking them to provide a current passport, driving license, or birth certificate, as well as a utility bill, council tax bill, or mortgage statement as proof of address).
  2. Understanding the nature of the customer/suppliers’ activities and checking the source of their funds is legitimate (this may also include checking the person is not politically exposed and is not on any sanction lists, such as the one published by The International Criminal Police Organisation, Interpol).
  3. Performing continuous monitoring (this process ensures that business relationships and transactions are consistent and that no unusual activity, or ‘red flags’, appear once the relationship is established).

Recently banks and other regulators have indicated that a move towards standardised KYC requirements would be beneficial. After all, having common internal processes across the board would remove any ambiguity about KYC procedures and ensure everyone – no matter the size of their company or the industry in which they operate – performs these checks to a universally accepted, basic level.

Unfortunately, there is still a way to go before we achieve this, and a number of global and local initiatives to collaborate on this and set standarised KYC checks have failed to stick.

With this is mind, it’s more important than ever that each organisation take responsibility for performing their own KYC to a high standard, training employees on its importance, and ensuring appropriate steps are in place to protect individuals and the company alike.

Enhanced due diligence

For some customers and suppliers understood to be ‘high risk’, standard due diligence is not enough.

In fact, in order to mitigate the risk of financial crime effectively, it’s imperative that organisations make additional, in-depth background checks on certain people. This is known as ‘enhanced due diligence’ or ‘EDD’.

EDD is essentially a risk-based approach; it doesn’t automatically suggest wrongdoing by anyone, rather it’s a way of ensuring protections against financial crime remain effective.

High risk clients or suppliers who necessitate EDD might include:

  • Politically exposed persons (PEPs), in other words people with high-profile political roles or who perform prominent public functions (this also includes the family members and close associates of PEPs).
  • Special interest persons (SIPs), in other words those who have a known history of involvement with financial crimes. Remember, a person doesn’t have to have been convicted to be considered an SIP. They could have been previously accused of financial crimes or be currently facing court proceedings.
  • Anyone with sanctions against them.
  • People who have had negative media reports made against them.
  • People with a high-net worth.
  • Clients who are involved in unusual, complex, or seemingly purposeless transactions (these can be large amounts of money or very tiny transactions).

There are other geographical factors considered high-risk and that would necessitate EDD too, these include people with links to:

  • Countries that have sanctions or embargoes against them
  • Countries on the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) list of Other Monitored Jurisdictions (greylist)
  • Countries on the FATF list of Call for Action Jurisdictions (blacklist)
  • High-risk third countries
  • Countries containing proscribed terrorist organisations (including the UK)

Additionally, any person using private, offshore, or correspondence banking may be considered high risk (particularly if they have no family or business ties to where their bank is geographically located). The high-levels of confidentiality that private banks offer make them much more likely to be involved with money laundering and clients of these organisations are therefore subject to additional EDD checks.

What does enhanced due diligence involve?

Enhanced due diligence involves requesting additional identity documents in order to verify that customers are who they say they are and often includes more in-depth background checks and additional investigations.

When performing enhanced due diligence it’s important to:

1. Establish the origin and ultimate beneficial ownership (UBO) of funds

This means obtaining proof to indicate the origin of wealth and ensure its legitimacy.

Organisations may also compare the value of a person’s financial and non-financial assets with that of their real assets to ensure the numbers add-up and seem viable. Inconsistencies between net-worth, source of wealth, and earnings should be cause for suspicion and trigger further investigation work to take place.

If the person owns an organisation, it will also be important to establish who benefits financially from the ownership and to thoroughly verify this identity.

2. Track ongoing transactions

Organisations will need to keep a close eye on the transaction history of their client or supplier, including that of any interested stakeholders, persons, or organisations, and analyse the purpose and nature of these transactions.

In particular, be on the lookout for inconsistencies between the projected value of goods and services and the amount paid or received. Again, any inconsistencies should trigger alarm bells and will require a valid explanation.

3. Check for adverse media coverage

Negative news reports about your client or supplier should be a red flag, as these speak to the track record and public reputation of the person or entity you’re about to enter into business with.

Any past accusations of financial crime – even if charges were dropped – will be cause for enhanced monitoring and investigation and, of course, established involvement with financial crime indicates a very high risk indeed.

4. Conduct an onsite visit

You may wish to visit your client or supplier at their physical business address to verify their place of work and to verify they are the person they claim to be.

This is also an opportunity to check that the operation address matches the address on any documentation they have provided (e.g., invoices). If these addresses do not match, or the organisation you find is not what you expected based on the information your customer presented to you, this is cause for concern.

An on-site visit may also be vital to obtain physical verification documents that cannot be sourced digitally.

5. Create a further investigation plan

After you’ve conducted all the above processes and determined that the client in question isn’t too high-risk for you to continue working with them, you’ll need to create a report outlining your EDD plans for monitoring your client in the future.

A timetable should be included in this report, detailing when certain monitoring actions will be carried out. Your report, along with all of the information you’ve acquired up to this point, should be kept in a secure location.

6. Develop an ongoing monitoring strategy

Make a plan to keep track of your client’s progress in the future. This should be done alongside a thorough review of the information they’ve already provided. Certain transactions may not appear suspicious in isolation, but they may be part of a larger pattern of activities that point to illegal activity.

Can we help?

Did you know, getting your employees up to speed on the latest AML regulations, including the importance of due diligence checks, is one of the most effective ways to protect your company and its assets from illegal activity?

We hope this article has helped our readers understand the importance of due diligence and what it means for your organisation. However, if there’s anything we can help you with, please do get in touch via email or on 01509 611019.

Check out our freshly updated, all new, anti money laundering collection including short courses on Due Diligence and Enhanced Due Diligence.

According to the NHS, adults should do one type of physical activity every day. Adults should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity a week. Adults should also spread exercise evenly over 4-5 days a week or every day, reduce time spent sitting or lying down, and break up long periods of not moving with some activity.

Spending prolonged periods sitting down during the day isn’t good for your health, yet, with many of us having desk-based roles, 7-8 hours a day disappear sitting just at work. Unfortunately, with the average person spending 12 hours a day sitting down, physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. So, exercising moderately to vigorously during the week is critical to combat ‘sitting disease’.

Exercise can be a love-hate relationship for many people. Even though it can be hard to motivate yourself to go for a walk or run (especially when it’s cold and raining), regular physical activity does reduce your risk of various health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, depression, and dementia.

Since the start of the pandemic, lots of people have been working remotely, reducing their chances of exercising on the commute to work, e.g., walking, cycling. So, it’s necessary to consider how much exercise you actually do during the day.

A great way to monitor your activity is by using a wearable fitness tracker. Wearable fitness trackers not only count your steps but can measure heart rate and track if you’re doing a vigorous workout such as running.

Benefits of exercising

One of the advantages of exercising is that it boosts our ability to fight infections. Through working out, we encourage blood to circulate our body, which improves oxygen intake.

Being regularly physically active can help your general physical health. It:

  • Supports stronger bones, muscles and joints
  • Manages weight better
  • Lowers blood cholesterol levels
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces risk of a heart attack
  • Lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers
  • Feels better, with more energy and healthier sleep

Exercise can help improve mental health:

  • It increases hormones linked to happiness, such as endorphins and serotonin.
  • Even low-intensity exercise can significantly reduce the symptoms of depression by boosting the production of a hormone called norepinephrine.

Types of exercise

Taking part in daily exercise is vital for a healthy lifestyle and choosing a physical activity that raises your heart rate is ideal. However, it’s important to remember that whichever type of exercise you do is good for you. It doesn’t matter if you can’t run, but if you prefer to do Yoga or Pilates because you enjoy it, then do it. The important thing is you do what works for you. Exercise is not a one size fits all. Small amounts of exercise each day, even if that’s a leisurely walk, can be a great place to start to improve your physical and mental health.

With moderate exercise, most people need between 150 and 300 minutes of it per week. This includes:

  • Brisk walking until you can’t talk without being out of breath
  • Cycling at a leisurely pace
  • Dancing until you sweat
  • Hiking
  • Swimming at a leisurely pace

With vigorous exercise, you should generally aim for between 75 and 150 minutes of it per week. This includes:

  • Running
  • Martial arts
  • Aerobics
  • Skipping with a rope
  • Swimming at a fast pace

When it comes to reaching your weekly targets for fitness, remember that the more vigorous the activity you do, the less time you will need to spend doing it each week. If you try fast-paced sports with friends such as football or netball, you will notice your speed slowly start to improve as your fitness gets better. However, doing a mix of both moderate and vigorous activities during the week is an easier way to ensure you hit your exercise targets, meaning you’re less likely to burn out.

Start exercising

Before you start thinking about what exercise routine you’d like to do during the week, ensure you check any health conditions you have with your doctor to ensure you don’t take part in anything you shouldn’t be doing, e.g., further damaging your back.

Make a list of activities you’d like to participate in and figure out if they are moderate or vigorous activities, so you can get a rough understanding of how long you’d need to spend doing each activity each week to hit your weekly target. If you’re considering doing brisk walking, as it’s a moderate activity, you will need to do a minimum of 150 mins a week. So, if you spread this out across five days, that’s simply 30 mins a day. The next step is then to find a time that works for you to fit in your exercise. 30 mins of brisk walking a day could be done before work, during your lunch break, or even after your evening dinner.

Time poor

One of the biggest challenges many people face is finding the time and effort to fit exercise into their daily routine. However, when you know the benefits of exercising, treating it as a priority becomes invaluable. If you’re able to, perhaps try a vigorous activity as you only need to do a minimum of 75 mins to hit your weekly target. Doing two x 40 mins vigorous workout such as running, or aerobics is all you need.

Who says exercising is expensive?

Not everyone can afford to pay for a gym membership, especially when you struggle to find the time during the week to go. Throughout the lockdown, people across the country found innovative ways to exercise at home. You can go for a walk, run, watch a YouTube video or join online classes for aerobics, Zumba or yoga.

Exercise with a friend

When people quit exercising, lacking the motivation to do it or finding the activity boring tend to be the reason. Well, try exercising with a friend or family member, or doing a group sport such as football where your presence is required. Working out with somebody else makes the activity more enjoyable, and you can also encourage each other to do it.

If you’re interested in improving your healthy lifestyle through exercise, then look at our latest course as well as the rest of our wellbeing collection to improve how you and your employees feel.

Work-related stress can lead to many health problems. It is one of the leading causes of absence from work and long-term sick leave for employees. When our stress is allowed to continue unchecked, it can lead to depression and anxiety, which can have devastating effects. According to HSE’s Labour Force Survey, 17.9 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression, or anxiety in 2019/2020, this equated to an average of 21.6 days lost per person suffering.

Controlling work-related stress is a shared responsibility between employers and employees themselves. It can help employees cope if they know how to recognise the signs of stress in themselves and the steps they can take to control it.

What is stress?

HSE defines stress as ‘the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them’. Employees feel stress when they can’t cope with pressures and other issues.

Symptoms of stress

Everyone experiences stress differently, but when it starts to affect your health and wellbeing, you must learn how to manage it.

  • Feelings of constant worry or anxiety
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood swings or changes in your mood
  • Irritability or having a short temper
  • Difficulty relaxing
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Eating more or less than usual
  • Changes in your sleeping habits
  • Using alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs to relax
  • Aches and pains, particularly muscle tension
  • Diarrhoea and constipation
  • Feelings of nausea or dizziness
  • Loss of sex drive

Here are some ways you can manage personal stress:

1 – Understand the root cause of stress

Stop and think about the real reason why you feel stressed. Do you have little time to complete a project ahead of a deadline? Was this passed onto you with little to short notice? Then there are two issues here: one is time management – feeling stressed because you know it might be difficult to complete the task within the deadline, and the second is communication – being given a task to complete within an unrealistic timeframe and at short notice with no prior heads-up.

2 – Reduce unnecessary stress

  • Learn to say no

We often want to be ‘yes’ people both professionally and personally because it’s human nature to want to be liked or help one another. But you can only bite off as much as you can chew. Understand how much time a task will take and whether the workload is feasible. If not, simply say you won’t be able to do it within that given timeframe and ask for an extension or find out if somebody else on the team has the availability to do it instead.

  • Review your to-do list

If you have too much on, work with your line manager to review your to-do list. Analyse your deadlines and how long each task will take and prioritise them in order of urgency.

  • Learn to control the situation

Figure out if you can reduce the stress in a particular situation. For example, if you constantly get stuck in traffic and worry about getting to work on time, then work backwards. Wake up earlier to make sure you leave the house earlier, allowing time for any traffic on the journey and still making it to work on time.

3 – Develop your coping strategies

  • Exercise

Regularly exercising, even just going for a walk, is a great way to relax your body and take your mind off things. Allowing oxygen to flow into your body will help improve your mood.

  • Relax your muscles

When you’re stressed, it’s normal for muscles to tense up, leading to aches and pains. Consider loosening up the muscles by doing yoga (stretching muscles), having a massage, or even relaxing in a hot bath.

  • Deep breathing exercises

When you suffer from stress or even anxiety attacks, deep breathing exercises work well to help reduce the tension and improve the mood. Try playing mindfulness music in the background and learn to take slow deep breaths in and out.

  • Eat healthier

Eating a well-balanced diet should be a staple requirement in our daily lives. Although we may enjoy indulging in fast food, as long as it’s not a regular occurrence, then it should be fine. Your meals should consist of a good variety of fruit and vegetables since eating better can help reduce stress. Your body will also feel better in itself; more alert and full of energy.

  • Take a break

Your body can only go so fast before it crashes. Schedule some regular breaks for your body to rest and be still. This can involve going for a slow walk in nature, reading a book in the park, or even doing yoga.

  • Make some time to do an activity

It’s important to schedule some ‘you’ time and take part in activities you enjoy to relieve stress. Try playing a team sport such as football or tennis, or release stress through a martial art such as kickboxing. It could even be a solo activity such as solving puzzles such as sudoku or doing some painting.

  • Talk to someone about your worries

One of the most important ways to manage and reduce your stress is by talking to someone. Often, by bottling in problems, they seem worse than they are, but talking to someone allows us to voice those concerns. Speak with someone you feel comfortable with, whether it’s a manager, a colleague, family, friends or seek professional help with a therapist.

While these are some ways to manage your stress, check out our course on Stress Management for Individuals and our Managing Personal Stress Challenge to help guide the way. Remember to remain positive, talk to someone and get professional help from a doctor if stress is causing constant issues and worries. Have a look at the rest of the courses offered in our wellbeing collection for other courses.

Business culture is changing.

Workplace culture has always been thought of as the true reflection of a business and its people. Historically it has been left to its own devices, to develop organically.

The world is becoming more conscious. Employees want to know more about the company they work for and are demanding more from their working environment, and consumers now care more about the morals and actions of the companies they buy from. It is too risky to long term success to leave business culture to shape itself.

What shapes business culture today?

Business culture is intangible. Its very existence derives from the culmination of traits of the people the business employs. It has historically been placed into the following three categories – Beliefs and Behaviours, Satisfaction and Engagement.

However today, there are only two components that shape how a business’s culture develops.

  1. Beliefs and Behaviours – how a company handles external transactions.
  2. Wellbeing – how a business engages with their employees, aims to satisfy their requirements, and how they look after them.

What does a culture of wellbeing actually look like?

Contrary to popular belief, a culture of wellbeing is not just employee perk packages, away days, and 6 monthly pay reviews. While these things certainly contribute to increased wellbeing, a business needs to invest in their wellbeing infrastructure.


The term ‘wellbeing infrastructure’ refers to a business investing in long term structures that create a humanistic environment. For example, a manufacturing company investing in the health and safety of their employees. Meaning they feel less at risk, less stressed about coming to work, and therefore feel happier and in theory are more productive.

Another example may be a call centre implementing a walking meetings policy. Where employees have the option to take their meetings as a walking-meeting outside the office to increase physical activity levels and combat the affects of their sedentary working environment. A wellbeing infrastructure is seen and experienced by all employees daily. Impacting their health, happiness, and productivity. Organisations that only invest in perks, such as money off vouchers, tickets to events and so on, can feel as though the company’s wellbeing policy doesn’t extend past the writing on their contract. This can leave employees feeling disengaged and can cause the companies culture to suffer.

A culture of wellbeing – does it really matter?

Having high-levels of staff wellbeing means that employees are happier, that they have a better work-life balance, and they are generally healthier. It would be nice to believe that every business would invest in the wellbeing of their workforce because of these reasons! However, the vast majority are more concerned with the financial implications of investing in wellbeing measures, e.g.,does it create a return on investment?

The short answer is yes. It does indeed create a return on investment. In fact, there are numerous benefits to the business of having healthy and happy employees …

Attracting the right talent to an organisation

A business is only as good as its employees. The CIPD state that company culture is one of the top considerations for candidates when looking for a new job. If an organisation’swellbeing infrastructure is robust enough and deeply engrained , it is more likely to attract a higher calibre of candidate. After all, high-quality candidates will have more market-value and this includes the ability to choose an employer that benefits them as much as they benefit the business.

Less turnover

An engaged and supported employee who is enjoying their work is much less likely to look for another job. Lower labour turnover means less client disruption, less internal disruption, and no negative press associated with high numbers of staff leaving the business; it also means lower recruitment and training costs. All these factors can be shown as a financial return on investment and can save business expenditure.

Increased productivity

Increased wellbeing at work does more than just make your employees happy. By promoting healthy lifestyles as part of a company’s wellbeing infrastructure it makes them more productive, too. Businesses that promote health and wellbeing regularly have been proven to out perform those that don’t (6Q), which in turn increases profitability and is proven indicator that the return on investment for wellbeing infrastructure can be very profitable.

How do you improve wellbeing, and business culture in your workplace?

We know that a good business culture that embraces wellbeing can be profitable, but how can business leaders instigate change and improve wellbeing within the workforce? The nature of wellbeing is that the needs and circumstances of everyone in the business is different, so it is not good enough to let wellbeing develop organically. It has to be managed.

Step 1 – Invest in your businesses knowledge infrastructure

In order to achieve good wellbeing the workforce needs to be given knowledge about their part to play in creating this positive business culture. Our Wellbeing eLearning Collection covers all the areas that a business needs to positively change organisational culture. It provides understanding on how employees can live a healthier lifestyle, how to support mental health, how to recognise signs of alcohol or drug addiction, and how to prevent illness spreading within an organisation, plus much more.


A business cannot create an atmosphere of understanding and support around wellbeing without the whole workforce being educated on best practice. You can see a full list of our Wellbeing courses here.

Step 2 – Communicate with employees about business performance

Transparency is key to trust in any relationship, and the working relationship between employer and employee is no different. Ensure all employees are kept up to date with performance. Let them know when the business is doing well, or when it’s not doing so well.

This helps employees feel ‘seen’. It makes them feel like they are part of the business and allows them to see the fruits of their labour. They are more likely to be motivated to stay and work harder to help the business in tough times should there a history of transparency.

Step 3 – Listen to your employees

Sometimes people just need to be heard, and this is the case in the workplace too. It is so important to give employees a route to communicate easily with their employer. Not only does it make them feel valid and boosts mental wellbeing, it can also help uncover better ways of working, further improving business performance.

Step 4 – Invest in business infrastructure

Providing a safe, secure and well-equipped workspace makes employees feel valued, secure and safe while at work. If they have the equipment, or the working environment that empowers them to do their job to the best of their ability then they will feel happy at work, and be more productive.

Step 5 – Go beyond your workforce

At first this may seem counter intuitive, but as an employer it is important to understand that your employees care about more than just work. Employees value seeing their employer lead by example and engage with the local community and doing charitable work. This helps to develop business culture, and makes employees feel like part of something bigger.

DeltaNet wellbeing eLearning collection

Here are DeltaNet we have been hard at work developing our Wellbeing Collection. Designed to provide businesses with an all-in-one eLearning package to help drive positive physical and mental wellbeing changes in their business. We have worked alongside subject matter experts in mental health and wellbeing to ensure that the contents of the courses provide expert information.

To discover more about the Wellbeing Collection or to book free course demos click here.

DeltaNet International, a global eLearning provider of compliance and performance management training solutions, has today announced the availability of its Mental Health and Wellbeing collection of eLearning courses. The collection is designed to help organisations support their workforce with mental health awareness training and is the latest addition to the Performance suite, with a comprehensive collection of 19 courses.

Taking a holistic approach to its wellbeing offering, DeltaNet International tackles the most common issues facing workers’ mental and physical wellbeing. Created with the support of industry experts, the Mental Health and Wellbeing collection is a complete suite featuring all the engaging wellbeing courses in one set, with regular updates and automatic access to new courses as they are released. Organisations that look to get up to speed with just a few courses, will also have the option to ‘pick and mix’ between the courses offered. The new list of courses include:

Healthy Lifestyle
Leading a healthy lifestyle is crucial to maximising an individual’s wellbeing. DeltaNet’s selection of Healthy Lifestyle courses are broken down into four simple categories to help the learner understand how to make healthier choices.

  • Sleep
  • Food
  • Drink
  • Exercise

Mental Health

Mental Health issues are common in the workplace, so recognising the signs of mental health is the first step in getting support. DeltaNet’s selection of Mental Health courses highlights the importance of creating a workplace culture that promotes mental health and how to recognise the common signs that an individual or a colleague may need support with.

  • Supporting Mental Health at Work
  • Recognising Anxiety and Depression
  • What is Mental Health?
  • Spotting Mental Health Red Flags
  • Supporting your Colleagues’ Mental Health

General Wellbeing

The General Wellbeing courses introduce learners to the main concepts of online wellbeing and how they can better manage their online activity to reduce its impact on their wellbeing. The course on Resilience is ideal for learners to understand how to maintain emotional wellbeing and workplace performance. Drug and Alcohol addiction is also a complex issue, the courses on Drug and Alcohol Awareness support individuals in identifying and tackling the behaviour.

  • Drug and Alcohol Awareness
  • Online Wellbeing
  • Resilience

These courses will add onto the following pre-existing courses that have been updated to reflect changes in society:

  • Preventing the Spread of Infection
  • Managing Your Personal Stress
  • Managing Stress in Your Team
  • Managing Personal Stress Challenge
  • Managing Stress in Your Team Challenge
  • Identifying Stress in Your Team
  • Remote Working

“Physical and mental health issues are critical in the workplace. If business leaders don’t take these issues seriously, then it will not just impact productivity, but also the workforce in its entirety,” says Darren Hockley, Managing Director at DeltaNet International. “We are excited to launch our Mental Health and Wellbeing collection as part of our Performance eLearning courses to better support organisations to benefit from a happier, more productive workforce. Addressing mental health issues is necessary, and employees recognise and appreciate the organisations that offer them that support.”

For more information on DeltaNet’s Mental Health and Wellbeing collection, please visit: For more information on DeltaNet’s performance eLearning suite, please visit: