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As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it’s important to acknowledge the challenges that women still face in the business world. Despite progress towards gender equality, only one in three entrepreneurs in the UK are female. Additionally, research shows that female-led businesses are, on average, around 25% smaller than those led by men.

However, it’s also important to recognise the potential for positive change. Research conducted by McKinsey & Co has found that companies with greater diversity in their executive teams are more likely to outperform their peers on profitability and create superior value. This highlights the importance of ensuring that women have equal opportunities and representation in leadership positions.

As a female business owner and entrepreneur, I know first-hand the dedication and challenging work required to sustain a business. I’m sharing some of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt (sometimes I’ve had to learn the hard way) that have really helped me. I hope they help any female business owners, entrepreneurs or those aspiring to be too.

• Believe in yourself: Work on your mindset and your confidence in your abilities and believe that you can achieve your dreams. Don’t let self-doubt hold you back.

• Seek out mentors: Find mentors who can offer guidance and support as you navigate the business world. Look for women who have experience in your industry and can offer advice and help you make connections.

• Build a strong network: Attend events, join groups and organisations, and connect with other women in your industry.

• Embrace failure: Failure is part of the journey to success. Don’t be afraid to take risks and learn from your mistakes.

• Prioritise self-care: Running a business can be stressful and demanding. It’s important to prioritise self-care to avoid burnout and maintain your physical and mental health.

• Advocate for yourself: Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and ask for what you deserve. Whether it’s negotiating a contract or asking for funding, advocating for yourself is essential to achieving your dreams and goals.

On this International Women’s Day, let us celebrate the achievements of women, but also continue to work towards a more equitable and inclusive future for all.

Lema Redjep | Founder / Head of Wellbeing / Internal Coach


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I think we all know that we are in a global recession, so, any strategy — including a people strategy — won’t have the budgets they did when the economy was growing. BUT, that doesn’t mean you have to ignore a people strategy; it requires creativity to develop and implement. Here are some of my ideas/advice to consider this year…

Defer Cash Incentives…
During a downturn, keeping your cash flow healthy is essential for businesses. That often means you’ll have to find a creative alternative to cash bonuses.
Offering shares in the company is one way to delay cash bonuses until the economy rebounds and can work depending on the company’s structure.
For smaller companies, there’s the option to barter with other small companies to replace cash incentives.
The cheapest incentive that could be considered would be to offer additional paid time off.

Consider Making Remote Work Global…
During recessions, you want to offer other incentives that could make up for not being able to offer top talent, industry-leading remuneration.
For most employees, irrespective of their role, working remote in this new way of working, is enough of a benefit that a cut in compensation may be tolerable. You can add to that benefit by enabling talent to work abroad, provided they’re in the same time zone or meet certain KPIs. In addition, expanding your talent search across the globe can often make compensation more attractive.

Know Your Cash Peaks and Troughs…
Many businesses have cash flow seasons (us included), even if they aren’t in seasonal industries! Understanding your cash flow trends can give HR the ability to build projects around the influx and prepare for the slumps.

Match People Goals to Business Goals…
Rather than have your HR goals and projects separate from your business goals, ensure they are both entwined and support the other.
If your goals are to reduce expenses, consider implementing a strategy that identifies and supports your top performers, as that’s often where you can draw the most value without additional expense.

The most important aspect of developing a people strategy during an economic downturn is to communicate financial constraints to your HR teams.
Instead of instructing HR on what to cut, allow the team to be creative and utilise their expertise to meet the targets that you set.
People are most firm’s biggest asset. Identifying the right people to get on the bus is obviously key, but not only keeping them on the bus but continuing to engage and get the best out of them is vital to drive success through and out the other side of this downturn.
If you want some advice or to explore any of the key points raised here, please do reach out and book a time to chat.

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Every business wants a productive employee, as one high-performing employee can deliver 400 per cent more work than the average worker. Unfortunately, for many UK businesses, recent data suggests one-third of all employees are quiet quitting.

Quiet quitting, a type of employment activism that originated in China with the “Tang Ping” or “lying flat” movement, has gained popularity abroad. The movement’s growth is linked to social media like TikTok.

What is Quiet Quitting?

Quitting is associated with resigning and ceasing to show up for work at a predetermined date. Disengaging from work responsibilities in this way enables employers to find other talent to fill in the gap.

But quiet quitting is neither resigning nor going AWOL. Instead, quiet quitting is a movement that sees workers refuse to do more than the bare minimum required of their job.

In such a situation, employees are otherwise disengaged from their jobs and are comfortable completing roughly 10 per cent of the work their more engaged or higher-performing colleagues complete.

Rather than resign due to dissatisfaction, these workers understand the importance of job security and have resorted to simply showing up and doing the bare minimum to avoid repercussions.

The Effect of Quiet Quitting on Businesses

Dealing with an “average” performer is a standard part of business. But quiet quitters can drain a company’s financial well-being and is detrimental to the current economic climate.

Quiet quitters often lead a company to bloat their workforce, can impact top performers’ work and can infect the morale of a team with their negative disposition.

Identifying them is also far more complicated

Reengaging Quiet Quitters

All hope isn’t lost; you can reignite quiet quitters, preventing the drain on your bottom line. Many quiet quitters have engaged in the movement because of burnout, a lack of recognition, and poor workplace culture.

Most of this can be resolved by training managers and leaders to be more engaged, empathetic, and encouraging self-sufficiency.
In smaller businesses, managers and leaders should be encouraged to conduct well-being check-ups on their teams, staff should be allotted mental health days above their typical leave, and good work should be recognized and rewarded.

These changes ensure apathy doesn’t take root in the work environment. While they may seem cost-prohibitive, they can help your business avoid falling victim to the £143 billion lost each year to a lack of productivity.

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A great way to do this is to either visualise the life you want to create for yourself in the coming year. Get really detailed about everything that matters to you—from your relationships to your health, career, lifestyle, and finances. Or, if you prefer, you can write it all out instead.

Once you have your vision, you can set specific goals in the areas of your life that are most important to you. Then ask yourself: What are the most important actions that I need to accomplish in each of these areas to make this vision real?

So, for example, if you have decided you want to save more money in 2023, think about why. What will those additional savings provide for you? Maybe it will give you security, which may be one of your values. Maybe it’s to travel to see family abroad more often —which helps support values like family and connection. Whatever your motivation is, it’s never just about the money itself.  The underlying priorities, like in this case, being able to feel more secure, or being able to spend more time with family can keep you motivated to take the steps you need—like reducing your spending, or taking on additional work for extra income—to be able to set more money aside.

  1. Create an action plan

One reason that resolutions often fail is because they’re too vague or aren’t accompanied by a specific timeline or an action plan to achieve them.

Use a SMART goal-setting approach that is: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

So, for example, instead of just resolving to lose weight, set a specific and realistic weight loss goal over a certain period of time. Or break it down into smaller targets like pounds lost per month and then outline the actions you’ll take to reach them—whether it’s committing to exercising daily or making specific changes to your diet, or both.

Also, look at what’s already working and then build on that.  So, for example, if you’ve already started taking regular walks, increasing their duration or frequency is an easy way to burn more calories and help you reach a weight loss goal.

  1. Get yourself an accountability partner

Various studies show that having someone who will help hold you accountable can make a significant difference. So, ask a friend, or family member if you can share your weekly progress.

  1. Celebrate small wins

Finally, don’t forget to celebrate any small wins or victories.  The journey to accomplishing our goals is not always an easy one and it can be easy to focus on all the things that aren’t going well when we’re having an off day which can lead to feeling down and demotivated.

Celebrating small wins can help give you more energy, boost motivation, and may also give you more confidence and help with coping during tough times.

Hopefully, this has given you some motivation to look at new year’s resolutions and goal setting differently. I’d love to know whether you’ll be implementing any of these tips.

For additional support, feel free to get in contact to find out the many ways you can work with me.

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We’re running an exciting survey right now in partnership with Unissu looking at global innovators in real estate.

With the deadline to complete the survey looming on Friday April 8, I wanted you to have a chance to take part before it’s too late. Please click this link. It only takes around seven minutes to complete.


Working on this project set me thinking about innovation and technology in the global real estate sector and wondering about the other factors that will be the drivers for change and improvement in future.

Industries as diverse as finance, logistics and retail are implementing technology at an accelerating rate, driven by the epic impact of the pandemic on workplaces and buying habits.

Why then have the real estate and construction industries been slow in comparison to adopt new technologies?  One reason is that the property sector has been buoyant, and there are traditionalists in many boardrooms who still think if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

But that is changing. The pandemic has literally transformed the way businesses work from Zoom meetings to hybrid offices and automation. Seeing the changes around them, senior people in real estate firms are increasingly interested in the potential of PropTech and other technologies to effect change.

For real estate, as with businesses everywhere, getting the right tech stack in place looks crucial to keeping up with competitors and gaining those vital per centages that may give you the edge.

And there is a huge variety of tech for the real estate market. It includes AI, CRM systems, property or project management systems, finance tools, search platforms, drone technology, virtual reality, asset utilisation, 24/7 insights, communication tools, data collection, digital contracting and automation of paperwork.

Choosing the right tech partners and driving adoption with the right people are both going to be game changers, which leads me to the other major factor for success in future – talent.

Without the right people in place, businesses will miss growth targets and fall behind competitors who are better able to hire and retain the best people.

We believe that technology and talent already go hand in hand and that will be increasingly true in the property and construction industries. Our survey is designed to uncover the extent to which businesses are buying into people who are driving innovation through technology.

Competition for those people is likely to become intense. Across job titles, it is already a candidates’ market with talented candidates having unprecedented choice of new roles and the biggest salary inflation I have seen since I began working in recruitment.

But money isn’t everything. Talented people are also looking for excellent benefits packages, and they put remote, hybrid or flexible working as one of their top three factors when choosing which role to accept.

The last two years have also seen a lot of change at Cherry Pick People as they have for our clients. We have adopted a hybrid working model in consultation with our staff. We have also embedded three new pieces of technology, and we are reviewing others with a view to implementing several of them in the coming months.

So, technology is a fundamental factor in the future of real estate. That is why the innovators who are driving digital transformation are going to be at the forefront of the best global real estate firms over the next decade.

Getting the right people in place to champion change will be vital. It’s about more than hiring people who are tech-savvy. Firms will need teams of people across the business who will utilise technology, learn it, train people in it and push it internally.

I would love to hear your views. What are you seeing out there?

If you are a leader or innovator driving digital transformation in your business, please input into our survey. Remember that the closing date is Friday April 8 so please take part today.


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As featured on Design & Build UK

Real estate managers with responsibility for PropTech have until Friday April 8 to take part in a landmark study.

PropTech specialists at CBRE, JLL and BNP Paribas are among well over 100 who have already contributed to the Innovators in Real Estate survey, which aims to establish for the first time how effectively the industry is deploying new technology.

Organised by recruitment specialist Cherry Pick People in partnership with PropTech procurement platform Unissu, the online survey is aimed at heads of digital transformation and innovation, and those in similar roles, as well as their line managers.

It is available to complete at

Participants are asked to give their insight into the sector’s relationship with technology and to identify the challenges facing managers leading innovation within their companies. The survey also looks at different organisational, team and individual roles and responsibilities for PropTech within real estate firms.

This is believed to be the first attempt to understand these dynamics, and to provide benchmarking data and perceptions to help innovators understand their current position in the industry and their future prospects.

Alex Wiffen, Managing Director at Cherry Pick People, said: “We firmly believe that people leading innovation strategies are going to play an increasingly important role in the real estate industry. By providing insight, our study will help them to manage their careers and encourage more people to take this journey.”

The survey findings will be presented at conferences across Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific in the coming months with a detailed report published to coincide with the beginning of the conference season.

All participants will receive a free copy of the report.

About Unissu and Cherry Pick People

Unissu is a PropTech procurement platform, helping innovators in real estate find and select the best PropTech companies from more than 10,000 suppliers worldwide.

Cherry Pick People is a talent and recruitment consultancy specialising in real estate and PropTech with a mission to help drive the digitisation of the global real estate sector.