Boosting career development at Anthemis

Case Study

Financial services investment and advisory firm, Anthemis, works with cutting-edge start-ups and financial services companies. Its people are vital to its success. Anthemis operates in the fast-moving world of fintech, which means it’s critical for Anthemis to to invest in finding and retaining the right people. It places its people at the heart of everything it does and COO Briana van Strijp has big ambitions for pioneering people-centric practices.

Anthemis currently invests in over 60 companies, including Atom BankSeedcamp and Brandwatch.


Anthemis’ challenge

Anthemis wants to help its people do their best work and be their best selves. However, their engagement survey indicated that people at Anthemis were craving more in terms of career development and learning.

Having previously attended one of GroHappy’s events, Anthemis were keen to explore how GroHappy could help them give employees the growth and development they need.

GroHappy ran a pilot with a group of employees across different levels and functions. This allowed Anthemis to determine whether GroHappy was a good fit for its employees and gather feedback to make the GroHappy platform even more valuable for Anthemis.

Taking a blended approach

Through a blend of online tools and in-person sessions, GroHappy delivered a 6 week programme with a select group of Anthemis employees. Each individual came from a different seniority level, function and had differing priorities and needs. Some wanted to find their career path, whilst others wanted more coaching or to learn how to support their team.

A personalised programme

GroHappy’s programme addressed individuals’ differing needs. Employees had access to personalised resources and self-reflection activities that enabled them to take a deeper look at their career and development. Activities included: getting clear on core career values, articulating their greatest strengths, and gaining clarity on the impact each person wanted to have.

Coaching sessions

Participants also had access to a GroHappy-affiliated coach who offered focused support. From these sessions, everyone was equipped with three actions to take, with feedback stating that the coaches were very inspirational.

Career conversations masterclass

A conversations masterclass was also held to help Anthemis have more effective career conversations – both as people being coached, and people coaching their peers and teams.

This masterclass covered:

  • Why honest career conversations can be hard
  • Responsibilities of a coach
  • How career conversations can help people manage the natural tension between individual needs and an organisation’s needs – finding a mutual win-win scenario
  • The power of asking the right questions
  • How effective peer-to-peer coaching can be, as illustrated through role-playing activities.

I liked that [the masterclass] felt like a very relaxed, easy-going session where everyone could participate.

– Anthemis employee

Key results and takeaways

The pilot uncovered a number of insights for Anthemis and GroHappy:


The value of peer-to-peer coaching

In small, fast-paced organisations such as Anthemis, there’s a real opportunity for everyone to coach others, regardless of their positions and seniority. Peer-to-peer coaching is a vital outlet for employees and allows everyone to display the qualities of a coach.

External support can be valuable

On some occasions, getting external support is the best move. Even organisations with a well-established internal coaching culture can benefit from the unbiased view of an external third party. At Anthemis, participants of the coaching sessions scored it 9.2 out of 10 for its usefulness and stated that they would value a follow-up session.

Technology can complement in-person coaching

Every participant said that using GroHappy’s platform to prepare for the coaching session beforehand enabled them to have a more effective in-person conversation with the coach. Increasingly companies, like Anthemis, use cost-effective online tools to boost the value of in-person interactions.

A personalised approach is key

A personalised approach to each individual’s career development is crucial. Everyone on the Anthemis pilot used the GroHappy tools and services in different ways, depending on their priorities and objectives. Some people invested heavily in online reflections, whilst others were more involved with the tailored learning resources to help them build specific knowledge areas. Finding tools that accommodate these different needs is important.

Participant feedback from the pilot found that it was a positive and challenging experience:

The whole process was amazing, it helped me sit and reflect around the moments in my life that had shaped me into who I am. This was really really useful!

– Anthemis employee

The pilot helped Anthemis recognise that need to bolster its coaching culture and are looking to complement online tools with additional training to build internal coaching capability. Meanwhile, Anthemis and GroHappy are discussing further stages of the project.

Want to hear how GroHappy might help your organisation? Click here to get in touch.

Header photo by Elijah Hiett on Unsplash

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