Kelly Swingler, an executive coach to CEOs and senior people leaders who want to lead from their core and change the world of work, was offered a ‘no-brainer’ opportunity.
She was asked by Matt Manners and Ruth Dance, co-founders for Inspiring Workplaces, if she would like to join them as a co-founder herself, work with Inspire: Cities and also be a judge for the Inspiring Workplaces Awards this year.
“I have known Matt for several years and our relationship is built totally on trust,” said Kelly. “The entire Inspiring Workplaces ethos is all about creating a local and global community of like-minded people, who want to inspire others to change the world of work for the better, so I didn’t hesitate for a second.”
Inspire: Cities is the local arm of the global movement from Inspiring Workplaces. Its aim is to change the world through the world of work: one workplace, city and community at a time.
Kelly, who was born in Bedford, but now lives and works in London and Peterborough feels honoured to be Inspire: London’s CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer).
She said: “Apart from London being the greatest city on earth, it is home to so many different beliefs, races, nationalities and opinions. An amazing melting pot for powerful stories to be shared and heard. To drive, change locally and globally.”
The Inspiring Workplace Awards 2021 (formerly Employee Engagement Awards) were established by Matt and Ruth in 2014 and have since recognised thousands of organisations all over the world, provided a platform to celebrate great places to work and shone the spotlight on Inspirers, who strive to deliver a better experience for their colleagues. There are 15 categories including Inspiring Workplace of the Year and Inspiring Wellbeing with finalists due to be announced at the end of this month.
In the post-pandemic working environment, Kelly is in no doubt that the priority this year has to be wellbeing – spiritual, emotional, mental, physical and financial wellbeing.
So, as a first-time judge for the Inspiring Workplace Awards, Kelly is looking forward to hearing about real examples of what it means to be a #PeopleFirst employer, where people are at the heart of everything; where ideas, innovation and creativity come from the people and where people matter, are valued and are heard.
She explained: “The most important quality for me in a leader or employer is the ability to listen. I don’t want to see organisations following trends of what they are told will improve the people experience. I want to hear that employers have listened to their people and improved the experience for their own people.”
Kelly has experienced at first-hand what it was like to work in a toxic environment where her ideas were not valued and her suggestions were not considered. She realised that a lot of the work she had been doing was totally against her values, and there was a lack of ethics in the way her team worked. She has now moved on from that and has her own business, The Chrysalis Crew that currently employs three full time staff and has five associates.
She said: “I am so thrilled to be working with Inspiring Workplaces, as their ethos fits totally with my values and beliefs encouraging positive change in workplaces and providing a source of inspiration for those who seek it.”