The Festive season is upon us

A warm welcome to you all,

Welcome all to the final post of 2023! A magical season is upon us and we want everyone to have that feeling of ‘joy’ as we come into a time where we feel we tend to express it most.

Although, we do acknowledge this time of year can be harder for some than others, for a multidate of reasons. This is what makes working with people so complex and diverse, that not one person experiences the same event in the same way.

We work with some clients where their industries go into sleep mode and there are mandatory Christmas leave days, Out of Offices turned on and a few Christmas celebrations throughout December to enjoy. Others where their business peaks, anyone in the world of hospitality or construction can share the same headaches of rosters and staffing and they have their eye on motivating and rallying teams together, to get through those few days of madness!

It is a time for joy and togetherness, there are many Christmas Ad’s reminding us where to spend our money and suggestions on what to wear and eat whilst enjoying ourselves…but at P&M we are a little more in support of Iceland’s approach, of reinvesting in £20m of price reductions and the Northern Ireland pub who highlights the loneliness of the festive period.

“There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t yet met.”

Please remember this season to take the time to invest in yourself and step back and enjoy what this time of year can be all about – giving, compassion, family, friends and recuperation.

The Pinch of Christmas

It would be of no surprise to anyone if we mention that coming into the festive season many people start to become just a little bit more financially aware than usual. If we’re not being enticed to spend money on gifts for loved ones, then we’re getting party ready or even planning the ultimate food shop to see the year out. 

Cost of living increase and the general state of affairs may put additional pressure on this year’s festivities and just because your staff aren’t talking about it, doesn’t mean the money troubles aren’t there. 

Bippit is the UK and Ireland’s leading financial coaching platform for employees and they kindly contributed to the Espresso discussion around Financial Wellbeing in 2022. 

Bippit was designed and built over 2 years to solve a fundamental problem that existed even before Covid and the cost-of-living crisis. There is a stigma around speaking around finances and they are here to break that stigma.  Financial education simply isn’t taught in schools and professional support has previously been reserved for only the wealthy.

Bippet is here to support every worker no matter their situation or background.  They aim to ensure that every employee can get help for free in a safe confidential space as a company benefit.  Bippit has made financial coaching one of the most sought-after benefits, and at the same time businesses are benefiting from a happier, healthier, and more secure work force.

Did you know?

  • 1 in 8 workers are already classed as living in poverty
  • 9 out of 10 employees want expert financial advice 
  • 1 in 10 employees actually have access to any support

As we head into 2024, perhaps P&M can help you begin these conversations around incorporating financial education into your benefits portfolio, review what you already offer and see how we can support your people to have more financial freedom. 

The lonely game of business

It’s the time of year when many people might have that hint of loneliness a little more than for the rest of the year.

The festive period very much focuses on celebration and togetherness but not everyone has the luxury of being surrounded by or near their loved ones.

Many entrepreneurs have persevered to set up a business with the determination to make it a success, but there are some compromises and sacrifices that are made to get where you want to be. There is little luxury of holiday pay and for many leaders, especially in starts up’s they remain constantly ‘on call’. 

If you find yourself in this category, show compassion to yourself, take the time to make the most of some of the festive fun where you can. 

Be aware that your team may be going through something similar, so check in with them and have open, honest communications that make work a safe space.

Mental health may feel like a minefield to negotiate through but often, it’s just starts with a conversation.

If you’d like to gain more knowledge into Mental Health and other aspects that may lead to feeling isolated, we explore these in detail in our HR podcast Playing with Hire.

Thank you – P&M Team

We don’t set New Year resolutions at P&M, we set intentions.

This years was to find a ‘sense of stillness’ which we hoped reflected in the way we grew, how we worked with our clients and the partners we love being aligned with. We feel very fortunate to work with some amazing clients and their people.

There have been some remarkable months, and because we don’t measure our success on how many clients we have gained, or turnover, let’s highlight a few which things which we do value. People!

We measure success on the trusted relationships and those who impacted P&M this year.

Working with Managed by Mandy and the team has been a game changer, they organise behind the scenes at P&M seamlessly. I also couldn’t do year end without my Accountant, Jacqui, her advice and guidance throughout the year is always invaluable.

Working in collaboration with both Kate Marston and Hannah Grinsted has been a dream, likeminded cheerleaders who support each other, our businesses and it is always fun.

Having become part of the CIPD Hertfordshire Branch Committee group, we are surrounded by experienced and skilled HR professionals who are always ready to support.

Finally, an unexpected twist in the P&M plan this year was adding in the study time to become an Accredited Intuitive Psychology Coach, being the first cohort at IPA is such a privilege, the people, the experience is all incredible.

We look forward to enhancing P&M, our ethos and passion as we continue to support you and your people in 2024.


The gorgeous festive season is nearly upon us and I wish you all the most wonderful time this Christmas and New year.

We will be working up to 22nd December and will be back again on 4th January… however, if you need us with a SOS Christmas mishap, as always, happy to support!



Peony & Magnolia