Well, storm Emma certainly made things interesting last week and I hope people managed to enjoy the snow.

Clearly the severe weather had a big impact on businesses and it was good to follow the various stories on social media about how people adapted and responded to the conditions. From free pizzas for those who made it into offices to marathon treks through the snow to get to work and even impromptu outdoor table tennis in Old Town, there were some creative storm responses.

Having managed large teams in my career it was good to see the priority for everyone was the wellbeing of staff. Increasing numbers of people are able to work flexibly and so were able to stay at home while for those who couldn’t arrangements were sensibly put in place to change hours, close or provide travel support.

One event fell victim to the weather last week while one survived. Our event hosted by Rombourne scheduled for Thursday the 1st March had to be postponed and will now take place on the evening of the March 15. There is no need to register again; the agenda for the evening remains the same so I look forward to seeing people then.

Getting in just ahead of the weather, I was delighted to talk to members of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) last week. The topic was employee engagement and I shared what we had learned through Switch on to Swindon (SOTS) about how to engage people effectively, the role of ambassadors and creating advocacy.

A lot of our target audiences are the employees in our Swindon businesses and finding the best routes through to them is our challenge. There were some interesting ideas from the group about tailoring messages to suit different people and channels so that it is easy for businesses to share.

I was also taken with an idea about how to make being an ambassador more relevant to people. It was suggested that people may feel more motivated by being an ambassador for a particular geographical area in Swindon, a business sector or an area of interest. This is certainly something I’m going to pick up with the team and develop.

The week before last I spent a very enjoyable morning with some of the amazing women in our ambassador network talking about what is great about being a woman in business, some of the challenges and what advice they would pass on.

We’ll be releasing a short film featuring the conversations on Thursday to coincide with International Women’s Day. There are some fascinating insights so please do look out for the film on all of the Switch on to Swindon social media channels and join us in celebrating our Swindon business women.

To close I’d like to correct a couple of glaring omissions from last week when congratulating Swindon businesses who featured in the latest Times Top 100 companies to work for rankings.

Business West who have been keen supporters of the SOTS campaign from its inception feature in the top 100 ‘not for profit’ list. Royds Withy King, whose Swindon office have been SOTS ambassadors from early on, also ranked in the top 100. Congratulations to both and thank you for your ongoing support.