So how’s it going?

Of course, there’s less money around today; customers just don’t spend like they used to. Budgets are being squeezed all round, and the private sector and the public sector must do more with less.

So we’re all feeling the results. Less money and fewer contracts coming in, branches and offices closing down, workforces downsizing. Whether it’s called staff redundancies, early retirement or voluntary severance, employers must face up to the reality that they are going to have to say goodbye to good people to survive.

How do we cope with all this?

Employers and managers who had good business relationships with their staff, guiding their careers and helping them to flourish, are now charged with giving bad news, helping colleagues come to terms with the inevitable – and guiding them out.

What are the effects on the company, its managers and employees? The inevitable distress at having to be the bearer of bad news, coupled with feelings of guilt and embarrassment over failure, the possibility of confrontations, reprisals and financial payouts plus the loss of trained, experienced staff to rival companies can all be difficult to deal with. And how many employees are left dealing with victim feelings of disbelief, denial, anger and helplessness, with no support or guidance? In this climate, isn’t it best to preserve a positive, supportive relationship, ending the association on a high note, not with a slammed door?

Any employer has a final duty and responsibility to help staff make the decision that’s right for them, giving support and training to help with an informed decision into the future. That might involve providing a package to help build confidence, carry out a personal skills audit and to write that fresh and punchy new CV, possibly for the first time in years. It could include developing new interpersonal, self-presentation and public speaking skills to launch them onto the job interview market. It could bring in financial planning and raising awareness of the importance of emotional and physical well-being.

My background – I’ve been there

Until October 2010 I worked in two worlds.

Working with the Home Office, I developed strong investigative interviewing, credibility analysis and interpersonal skills. As a CIPD-qualified professional trainer I then worked as a Home Office Learning and Development Officer, winning the Plain English Campaign’s Inside Write award for my article on dealing with nerves in public speaking.

In addition to my work training legislation and procedure, management, presentation and investigative interview skills, I travelled to many countries, visiting the Middle East, the former Soviet Union, Africa and the USA, training airline, police and border control staff on visa and security issues and the detection of passport forgery.

And I created a UK-wide training team charged with training Keeping Children Safe issues to front-line officers combating the trafficking of children into the UK for forced labour, organ theft and prostitution.

In parallel to my Home Office career, I was also working as an actor and voice artist, winning some great reviews for my work as an actor from the national press [“Hammond excels … **** …. brilliant talent … “ The Scotsman].

Drawing on my professional experience both as a trainer and as an actor I then set up my own business, Speaking Well In Public, delivering a portfolio of public speaking courses to corporate, public sector and private clients.

Over the last few years as great changes came to the Home Office I became involved in change management; cross-training the new UK Border Agency’s Customs and Immigration Officers in each others’ fields. These were difficult times and I dealt with frequently resentful and angry audiences, wary and fearful over the enormity of changes over which they had little control, guiding them to cope with new ways of thinking and working.

Then in 2010, the Spending Review led to massive cuts in the UKBA’s budget, and staff were faced with the emotional, financial and personal roller-coaster of considering accepting a flexible early severance package from a career they’d thought they had for life.

And as developing my existing business was now my main goal, I accepted the offer.

How can I help you achieve your goals?

Are these challenges affecting your company? Are your employees going through this right now? Do you need to guide your staff through the minefield of skills-auditing, CV-writing and confidence-building, leading to the right decisions for their future?

I have a unique combination of experience and skills: I’ve first hand experience of life working in a tough law enforcement field; the UK Border Agency; combating illegal immigration and child-trafficking, developing strong interview skills for information and intelligence-gathering, working in passport counter-fraud, delivering practical training in a wide range of legislation and procedure, and as a trainer, manager and coach, persuading, convincing and guiding colleagues through difficult times where trust has been a major issue.

In parallel, my work as an actor developed my artistic, creative and expressive abilities, emotional intelligence and practical knowledge of dealing with nerves, confidence-building, self-presentation, vocal and stage presence.

I offer a variety of practical corporate outplacement and 1-1 career development services.

Group training and one-to-one coaching at realistic rates

Core skills

Inspirational speaking from experience on ‘making the decision to go’, personal skills-auditing and writing the punchy CV

Confidence-building and personal image-management training for the future

A portfolio of Public Speaking Skills, Leadership and Management Skills and Career/Personal Brand training for all levels

Contact us and we’ll be pleased to discuss your needs.


For further information, discussions and bookings

Philippa Hammond

Back to What we do