Our Team

Matthew Manners

Founder & CEO

Ruth Dance

Managing Director, IW Academy

Crispin Manners

Chairman

Matt was born into a half English/ half Irish media-obsessed family. A journalist grandfather, a grandmother who said he was blessed by the blarney and a father who led a top communications agency. So storytelling has always been very important to him.

He followed in his family’s footsteps for the first ten years of his career, living and working in London, Sydney and Boston helping organizations communicate with their customers. It was near the end of this period he began focusing on the CX and ultimately the number one influence on it…the employee experience.

The lack of appreciation of and investment in the EX by leaders and businesses drove Matt to invest all he had in the world to create The Employee Engagement Awards. To recognize and tell the stories of those that dared to try new things. Things that would enhance the people experience for the benefit of both them and the organization. Over five years The EE Awards expanded around the world and evolved into much more than just engagement and awards. Evolving into a global community, an academy, a content hub, events, a foundation and it also did awards.

So in 2020 it felt right to bring it all together in a new home called, Inspiring Workplaces. An organization that wants to change the world, with you, through the world of work.

  1. Who is your biggest inspiration?
    My wife, Ivy
  2. If I were a teacher, I’d teach…
    history. I still plan to one day.
  3. What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?
    Never pre-judge anyone for any reason. It has served me well and I plan to share this advice with my own children, like my father did with me.
  4. What do you think is the most important quality in a leader?
    The quality of wanting to become redundant. Not needed. To empower their people to become the best they can be and progress.
  5. What do you do to beat stress?
    I’ve not mastered that yet. Trying.
  6. What’s one song you have completely memorized?
    One of my major flaws is the inability to recall lyrics. I create new ones that make zero sense. The closest I probably come to knowing any song is Some Might Say by Oasis.
  7. When are you happiest?
    When I feel I’ve fulfilled my potential

Mywhy

About Ruth Dance

Ruth is Managing Director of The Employee Engagement Alliance. The membership organisation dedicated to helping the world create workplaces that people love. Through it’s global network, The EEA delivers learning events, conferences, training, content, awards and networking.

Prior to running The EEA, Ruth spent 14 years in learning and organisational development working as a trainer with Christie’s – the auction business, Mitie – the outsourcing company and News UK – publishers of The Times, The Sunday Times & The Sun.

Highly passionate about bringing like-minded people together to focus on the positive impact that employee engagement has on business success, Ruth is a conference host and speaker, qualified coach, Chairwoman of The PRCA’s Employee Engagement & Internal Comms group and mum to three young boys.

View Ruth’s profile on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ruth-dance-38402514

Crispin’s passion lies in helping people to realise their potential, and organisations to create inspiring workplaces.

He founded Onva, his consultancy, to help organisations achieve their goals by providing the leadership required to create a happy and productive workplace. As a result, he works closely with senior and team leaders to hone their leadership and communication skills and to give them the tools to be more effective and successful. His approach embraces proven neuroscience and behavioural profiling so that people can understand how to create a positive impact on those around them.  As a result, he is welcomed as an adviser, mentor and coach for senior leaders. He has over 30 years running both public and private businesses and leading Boards of membership organisations.

  1. Who is your biggest inspiration?
    My father – he showed you can achieve anything you commit to with the right encouragement, support, application and persistence.
  2.  If I were a teacher, I’d teach…
    people to be curious, to collaborate to create and to be accepting of the differences of others.
  3. What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?
    If you don’t value yourself, nobody else will understand the value you deliver. A young intern.
  4. What do you think is the most important quality in a leader?
    Listening and proving that you have listened. This lies at the heart of making people WANT to follow your lead.
  5. What do you do to beat stress?
    Never worry about things I can’t control.
  6. What do you do to turn things around when you’re having a bad day?
    Identify the positive things that have happened. Something good happens every day. (The only way to remove a negative thought is to replace it with a positive one)
  7. What’s one song you have completely memorized?
    Mark Knopfler – Are we in trouble now
  8. When are you happiest?
    When I make other people happy
  9. What’s something you’ve done, but will never do again?
    Eat oysters

Stefan Worburton

Content and Design

Aimee O’Leary

Community and Content

Stefan’s knack for high level problem solving can lead him to creating a script to automate the ebook creation process or optimising the best custom build for his level 19 archer!
His love for tech and design leads to creating new solutions within work and outside of it. At Inspiring Workplaces, Stefan is responsible for content creation and technical solutions – editing podcasts, videos as well as making sure technology runs smoothly. Outside of work, he can be found creating style guides for friend/family businesses or working on the most optimal formation for his 5-a-side football team.
  1. Who is your biggest inspiration?
    My godmother – good at what she does and lives life her own way
  2. If I were a teacher, I’d teach __________.
    Game theory
  3. What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?
    Shortcuts in the front end result in longcuts in the back end – Anon
  4. What do you think is the most important quality in a leader?
    Patience – be willing to allow people to work through mistakes
  5. What do you do to beat stress?
    Video games (specifically Super Smash Bros.)
  6. What do you do to turn things around when you’re having a bad day?
    Talking with friends about their bad day!
  7. What’s one song you have completely memorized?
    The Isley Brothers – Footsteps in the Dark Pt.1 & 2
  8. When are you happiest?
    Laughing with friends
  9. What’s one totally irrational fear that you have?
    Wet rubbish on the pavement :nauseated_face:
  10. What’s something you’ve done, but will never do again?
    Eating shark’s fin :face_vomiting:
As the daughter of an English/ Irish father and an Assyrian mother, Aimee has always been fascinated by culture and language and how that influences your outlook on the world. This has developed into a passion for learning peoples stories, backgrounds, passions, what makes them unique, and finding ways that they can bring that into the workplace. What drives and inspires Aimee is being a part of a world of work that celebrates differences.
At inspiring workplaces Aimee is responsible for the community and content, sharing the stories and connecting of the 1000’s of faces that believe in changing the world through the world of work.
  1. Who is your biggest inspiration?
    I don’t think I can whittle it down to just one person! My dad for his patience, strength and ability to stay calm in difficult times. My mum for her resilience, intelligence and open-mind. My sister for her kindness and ability to see the good in people no matter what. (I could go on but I’ll keep it to 3!)
  2. If I were a teacher, I’d teach __________.
    Yoga :woman_in_lotus_position::skin-tone-3:
  3. What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?
    Be kind no matter what. You never know what others are battling with – my mum.
  4. What do you think is the most important quality in a leader?
    Listening & Communication
  5. What do you do to beat stress?
    Breathe! Yes sometimes I forget to do that when I’m stressed… And go for a walk :slightly_smiling_face:
  6. What do you do to turn things around when you’re having a bad day?
    Talk to someone I love
  7. What’s one song you have completely memorized?
    Any pop/punk from the early 00’s. All the small things – Blink 182, Complicated – Avril Lavigne… you get the picture
  8. When are you happiest?
    In the sunshine with the people I love
  9. What’s one totally irrational fear that you have?
    Being trapped in small spaces! Although I think that’s completely rational…
  10. What’s something you’ve done, but will never do again?
    Hold a millipede… yuck :sweat_smile: