Managers enter the age of influencers

Our Chief Client Success Officer, Ailis McSweeney, explores the potential that managers have to set the tone and culture in teams. We share some tips and ideas on how they can influence team interaction with a more human approach, driving performance through authentic connection.

Being a leader or manager isn’t easy. Workplaces are demanding that their employees do more with less and the same is true of those in management roles. How then does a busy manager find time to actually lead, to connect with the team, to be empathetic, to work on being comfortable and open to 360 degree feedback - all those things required for teams to truly function as high performance.

We all rely on formats and tools to make some aspects of our job manageable and to deliver consistently. You may not have thought that empathetic leadership is one of those areas, but we beg to differ – and so do our clients.

PepTalk’s digital toolkit allows people leaders to bring competitive advantage to teams by setting aside just 10 minutes a month. The ask of people leaders is to consistently bolt-on 10 minutes to an existing team meeting or huddle for a wellbeing focus. In turn, PepTalk provides a digital toolkit around that month’s wellbeing theme - with 'content of the month' downloads to watch together, games & team discussion guidelines and recognition templates.

The beauty of the toolkit is that it works for both those leaders who are passionate and gung-ho about team connection on another level, as well as those who find it difficult or are that bit more reluctant and need more guidance and support.

So, let’s get into the ‘why’ of embedding cultural change through people leaders & the topic of wellbeing:

Last Friday, at the latest morning in our Client Community series, we got right into the thick of this topic with our employee engagement and HR leaders. The group spanned all types of industries and demographics. Yet, the experience and practice of a manager passionate about using wellbeing as a tool to connect with his team and enhance his own leadership skills brought the room together in an incredibly powerful way.

Ger O'Connor, KCI and Aishling Jennings, PepTalk (AKA Miriam O’Callaghan) in action last week

Ger O’Connor manages the Manual Disposables unit at KCI Manufacturing (an Acelity company) in Athlone. His team of 90 work in a clean-room environment and are laser-focused on targets and weekly KPIs. Ger shared his experience of bringing a different conversation to those KPI meetings using our wellbeing toolkit. We learned that Ger’s experience of using wellbeing as a tool to connect with his team has been transformative. And, in telling his story, he had that same impact on people leaders and their understanding of how this can work in their organisation.

Ger shared with the group how having different conversations with his team gave him a new dynamic as a leader, opening both himself and his team up to better feedback loops with a tangible impact on team results. The improved wellbeing and connection of the people on Ger’s team has made for a friendlier and more fun work environment – who wouldn’t want that? And of course, the stories - stories from employees around feedback from their families on their mood or energy and their own feelings around their work performance truly give Ger back a sense of what his empathy has meant for the team both personally and professionally.

According to Ger these are the main benefits he see's for his team :

With inspiration from Ger, the PepTalk Community brainstormed on effectively using People Leader toolkits across their organisations.

We’re happy to share these real-life insights here :

We’re more than a platform at PepTalk Yet, in order to be a game-changing solution for organisations’ culture, our digital tools, communication support and client service must make it easy to wellbeing to life on a daily basis within organisations. The People Leader toolkit is a perfect example of how we help organisations embed a culture of wellbeing in their organisations, enhancing both leadership skills and employee engagement in just 10 minutes a month!

Oh and here's our clients' quick 'cheat sheet' on how they will implement :

Interested in this topic? read more

Read more from Aishling Jennings on the role our wider Ambassador group and PepTalk CEO James Brogan’s views on the role of empathy in leadership.

Ailis McSweeney

Chief of client success @ PepTalk

Let's make work better …

At PepTalk, engagement is at the heart of all our wellbeing platform. Our platform is about energy, passion and fun while being grounded in key business outcomes.

To find out more about this area and our wider PepTalk offering book a demonstration at or email

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