PeopleUnboxed turns 5!

May 2018 was when our story started.

And our mission is the same today as it was back then – to make a difference to people’s lives, in the workplace and beyond.

We wouldn’t be able to bring this to life without the passion and dedication of our incredible team. Every one of them genuinely cares about the work they do, and they have all had their own triumphs through their time with us.

As we celebrate PeopleUnboxed’s 5th birthday, we spoke to our amazing team, who’ve been with us for all our major milestones, about their personal highlights. Plus we’ve added in a story or moment of when they made us proud, to celebrate them too…

Jo, Co-Founder and Director

“My absolute highlight across the five years has been watching the team grow, both in numbers and confidence. I love that as a team we share the same passion, purpose and values and I love seeing the team being recognised for their awesomeness! Their accomplishments, the fabulous feedback they get and the genuine difference they make for our clients is all the motivation I need!

Another milestone for me, was I remember seeing the first scribbled drawing of our logo that the very talented James Upright did, and I remember just thinking this is IT! It reflected everything we wanted to stand for from unboxing potential, opening doors and not ‘pigeon holing’ people. And still to this day I love how it represents ‘us’ and what our wonderful team do every day!”.

Original sketch of the PeopleUnboxed logo, drawn in pencil on a notepad with other scribblers surrounding it.
Original sketch of the PeopleUnboxed logo, drawn in pencil on a notepad with other scribbles surrounding it.

Jo delivered an inspiring, engaging and uplifting talk at Natwest’s Women in Business event. She empowered those in the room to reframe their negative self-talk and turn it into their superpower. We just wish we’d filmed it so we could share it with you!

Rich, Director of Learning Experience         

“Delivering my first ever mental health first aid course at Five Guys. After PeopleUnboxed invested in me to become our first qualified mental health first aid instructor, it was great to create and deliver a course which I knew could make a difference for so many people! It felt like a real watershed moment and has helped shaped where the organisation sits today”.

A copy of Rich's certificate that certifies him as a 'First Aid for Mental Health Instructor' accredited by Nuco Training.
A copy of Rich’s certificate that certifies him as a ‘First Aid for Mental Health Instructor’ accredited by Nuco Training.

Rich drove change and innovation in the mental health space, by pushing our Mental Health First Aid awarding body to adapt their accreditation sign-off process (for virtual delivery in 2020 during COVID), which at the time, no other awarding body had done. This resulted in us being able to deliver this training and put practical wellbeing support in place at a time when everyone needed some extra help.

Kate, Mental Health and Wellbeing Consultant

“My first highlight is how great the company have been when it comes to supporting the accommodations that I need. The conversations around my disability are always proactive, open and honest and changes have been swiftly put into place, sometimes with little notice, to support me. It’s such a weight off my shoulders, to be part of such a caring and thoughtful team.  

Secondly, was having the team get involved with a team activity of my choice – yoga! I know it wouldn’t have been the first choice for some of the team, but everyone got involved, got out of their comfort zone and perfected their poses! I love that the team are always up for trying different experiences and continue to be inclusive, by encouraging everyone to get involved with new ideas”.

7 of the PeopleUnboxed team striking a yoga pose outside on some grass.
Seven of the PeopleUnboxed team striking a yoga pose (hands together in a praying position and one foot on the opposite knee) outside on some grass.

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves than when This Can Happen shortlisted Kate in their 2023 ‘Most Inspiring Unsung Hero’ category for promoting positive mental wellbeing in the workplace. Kate is our inclusivity and accessibility champion internally, constantly challenging us to think beyond our own perspective!

Rachel, Brand Manager

“A term time contract outside of the educational sector is unheard of. But not to PeopleUnboxed! It was embraced with open arms here. This gives me the flexibility to discover and challenge myself so I can still have a career whilst also being able to be present for my children.

I’ve also really enjoyed the team days we have spent exploring our ProfilesUnboxed and PeopleUnboxed passports – where the whole team looks at our own communicator styles, motivators and values in a safe space to voice and discuss them. It’s helped us work on personal development, but also how it supports us to work more efficiently, creatively and productively together, whilst creating a positive strong team bond. It’s great to work somewhere that genuinely cares about individual growth as well as the company’s”.

Four wooden cubes, on a light purple background. They spell out the word team.
Four wooden cubes, on a light purple background. They spell out the word team. First cube has green letter T on one side and a green heart in hands. Second cube has a yellow E and lighting bolt with sparks. Third cube has a red A with times and arrow on centre of a round board. Fourth cube has a blue M and a clipboard and pen.

Rachel has taken our online presence from zero to over 1,400 followers, and has been solely responsible for getting the incredible achievements of our client programmes recognised in industry, seeing us shortlisted for 14 awards since 2021 and winning five with two still yet to be announced!

Arlene, Leadership and Training Consultant

“It’s so hard to pick one highlight… but what’s really important for me is I don’t feel like it’s a job; getting up every day and being able to help people and make a difference, whilst being paid for it, and having the flexibility to determine my own hours around my courses is amazing. 

Another would be passing my Mental Health First Aid Instructor course. It was a big change for me, studying for my Teaching qualification in the last six months alongside working. So, I’m proud to have completed both and grateful for being put through these qualifications.

Recording my first ever podcast was fun! It was very insightful and provided a great way of reflecting on my first year with PeopleUnboxed.

Plus, winning the McDonald’s Digital Guru Learning Excellence award was incredible!! After completing the programme, it just made it extra worthwhile, seeing the impact the webinars have had on the brand, customers and crew”.

The PeopleUnboxed and McDonald's team receiving their trophy on the LE Awards stage.
Tony and Arlene from PeopleUnboxed and the McDonald’s team receiving their trophy from host on the LE Awards stage. Tony is holding the trophy.

After successfully facilitating the Digital Guru webinars for McDonald’s in 2022, Arlene has now led the 2023 programme from start to finish, and all this amazing development has come within only one year of being with us! 

Westy, Digital Director        

“I am most proud about being brave enough to listen to user feedback and redesigning our spaced-repetition app from scratch. We have created a product, BentoBot, that has gained universal approval. It was a challenging process, but ultimately worth it to provide our users with a game changer product”.

7 phone screens all displaying different features of the BentoBot learning app.
Seven phone screens all displaying different features of the BentoBot learning app.

Westy launched our PeopleUnplugged podcast series in 2021, which has been hugely successful. He has discussed a whole variety of hot topics from within the L&D industry and secured engaging guest speakers, with a new episode launching every month! His favourite episodes are: “Magma, Lava or Chocolate? All things Al” with Donald Clark and “Managing bad habits, using BAD solutions” with Louisa O’Connell.

Lucy, Team Enabler

“The highlight from me is the Learning Excellence awards we attended in March, it was great to see the achievements of the whole team coming together and winning three awards!”

The PeopleUnboxed team on stage holding 3 Learning Excellence Awards trophies
The PeopleUnboxed team on stage at the LE Awards (from left-right: Westy, Arlene, Jo, Lucy, Richard, Rachel, Kate, Tony). Westy, Arlene and Jo are holding the three trophies won on the night.

As our newest member of the team, Lucy has shown a real thirst for taking on all the new challenges she’s been asked to complete, most recently she took a lead in the organisation of our stand at the Learning Technologies show – and it was a real success!

Tony, Co-Founder and Director

“It’s too hard to pick one, so instead I’ve gone for one from each year:

  • Year 1 – getting that first big contract (with TUI) after six months of almost no work!
  • Year 2 – winning a huge Five Guys contract to design and deliver their full management curriculum which resulted in hiring our first people. Plus exhibiting at Learning Technologies for the first time, having attended for many years previously as a delegate.
  • Year 3 – being shortlisted for best new start-up at the LPI Awards.
  • Year 4 – doubling revenue year on year and winning two awards including, Outstanding External Provider of the Year.
  • Year 5 – winning three awards for clients who we’ve developed great partnerships with.

Overall though, I’m proud to have the most fantastic team of individuals, who do the right things for our people and the business, staying true to their, and our, values”.

The team. stood on the PeopleUnboxed exhibition stand at Learning Technologies 2023.
The team (left to right: Jo, Dinesh, Tony, Richard and Westy), stood on the PeopleUnboxed exhibition stand at Learning Technologies 2023. You can see BentoBot displayed on a TV screen in the bottom right corner.

Tony was recently interviewed and featured in Go Solo, an entrepreneurial publication that looks to support and inspire ambitious solo entrepreneurs to turn “one day” into day one. This epitomises everything Tony does day-to-day – he fearlessly treads new paths and consistently finds new solutions to any challenges our clients are looking to solve, with his unwavering positive, ‘can-do’ approach!

Thank you

In the last five years we have developed strong relationships with clients and partners alike, who we absolutely love working with.

A big thank you, to all our clients, suppliers, partners, friends and family who have supported us and made it possible for us to have the success we have had, and to make a genuine difference to so many lives… here’s to the next five years and beyond!

The 4Ps of Candid Conversations


The “Four Ps” model can help us to plan for a difficult or candid conversation so that both parties find it beneficial.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn how to plan for a difficult or candid conversation so that both parties find it beneficial
  • Understand how to use the 4Ps to deliver a difficult message
  • Consider how this can help manage under-performance in a structured manner

Assertive Disagreement


When you disagree with someone, it is often best to be direct and clear, as it avoids an unfortunate misunderstanding. People can shy away from disagreement as it can sometimes feel confrontational. The assertive approach introduced in this module helps you to express your disagreement in a professional, constructive manner.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn what assertiveness is
  • Learn a process to put your case across without getting emotional
  • Provide context for how to use the model in a real-world environment

Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument


Because no two individuals have exactly the same expectations and desires, conflict is a natural part of our interactions with others. This self-test assessment will tell you more about your predominant style of handling conflict and what this means.

Learning Outcomes

  • Provide a starting point for your development
  • Identify your conflict handling style
  • Learn about the five conflict handling modes

AID Feedback Model


Providing feedback that encourages open dialogue and communication enhances your credibility as both a teammate and as a leader. AID is a simple feedback model that can be used for positive moments and those that need corrective action.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn a simple model for providing feedback
  • Identify your own role in each of the stages
  • Discover the benefits of creating a feedback culture

Action-Centred Leadership


Good managers and leaders should have full command of the three main areas of the Action-Centred Leadership model and should use each of the elements according to the situation.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discover John Adair’s action-centred leadership model
  • Learn how to adapt the model for your own work situation
  • Investigate the danger of becoming out of balance

Question Types


Asking the right question is at the heart of effective communication and information exchange. Using the right questions can improve a whole range of communication skills; the information we receive back (the answer) will depend very much on the type of question we ask.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn why asking the right question is at the heart of effective communication and information exchange
  • Discover why the right questions in a particular situation can improve a whole range of communication skills

Dr. Mehrabian’s Communication Model


We are always communicating, even when we are not speaking. Other factors communicate what we really think and feel, which can be explained by looking at Albert Mehrabian’s communication model.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn the impact of mixed messages when communicating
  • Understand that communication is a blend of words, body language and tone

Situational Leadership


Leaders need to tailor their approach based on the person they are coaching, their experience at the task and their level of enthusiasm for completing it.

The ability to adapt your leadership style to cater to different tasks and your people’s needs is called situational leadership.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand Hersey and Blanchard’s situational leadership model
  • Recognise directive and supportive behaviours
  • Understand the four leadership styles in line with situational leadership
  • Understand the development levels of team members, based on competence and commitment
  • Become confident with flexing your leadership style to the individual and the situation