NAME: Lorna King
INSTAGRAM HANDLE: @lornakingcoaching
JOB TITLE: Senior Marketing and Communications Manager
MOVED TO THE UAE IN: 2012
Lorna is a healthcare marketing and communications professional, specialising in employee well-being, and a Co-Active Professional Certified Coach. In 2014, She joined Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi in the pre-opening phase and stayed for six years, which gave her the opportunity to build her first team. Digital marketing was Lorna's first love but coaching people and making workplaces great places, emerged as her passion. She decided to certify as a professional coach and took a step towards a career in HR. Lorna took a role at ADNOC that bridged her skillsets, managing the employer brand before moving briefly into HR strategy.
Ten years working for semi-governmental organisations taught her a lot, but she felt like it was time to take a leap into something new. Six months ago, Lorna moved to Dubai and now works for a fast-scaling employee wellbeing start-up called VIWELL.
Here’s a look at a typical day.
7 AM: After coffee, I roll out of bed, and I usually try to go for a walk. Even a little bit
of movement and the chance to feel the sun on my skin really clears my head in the
morning. My husband gets our six-year-old son ready for school, and our three-year-
old daughter usually wants to come out with me in the pram. On weekdays I don’t
get much time with the kids, so I cherish this.
8 AM: I drive to the office in Business Bay, listening to an audiobook. I’ve just finished
‘The Kite Runner’, which was as complex and harrowing as I expected, but a brilliant
9 AM: I bring a smoothie from home, which I have at my desk whilst I catch up on
emails and plan for the day ahead. I tend to use the mornings for website, social
media, or blog content reviews whilst I’m still fresh. If we have an event coming up,
there are usually a lot of phone calls that need to happen.
10 AM: I meet with the marketing team. We are a small team, but diverse. It’s
interesting when we have time to catch up to learn more about their lives. Normally
though we focus on delivering the strategic plan and priorities and try to figure out
how we are going to get the vast amount of work done! Working in a start-up is as
dynamic as they say, and the projects are usually very interesting, even if it’s a lot of
11 AM: Right now, I’m working on an organisational self-assessment tool for the
website, so companies can answer some simple questions and will receive a
dynamic report about their level of workplace wellbeing. We recently launched a
Value on Investment calculator which is a tool which helps highlight the cost of poor
well-being in an organisation, as a result of absenteeism and employee turnover etc.
It would be great if companies were ready to invest in employee well-being just
because they believe it is the right thing to do, but some need a little more
12 NOON: Is it bad to admit that I tend to eat at my desk? Given the field I’m in,
probably. But doesn’t it always feel like there is just too much to do? If I’m having a
lighter day, I’ll take a walk somewhere to grab some lunch. Professional
development is important to me so whilst I eat, I’ll often browse articles or look at
courses I’m interested in. I just signed up to take the Mental Health First Aider
course in January, something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time. I also hope to
take a specialist certificate in corporate well-being in early 2023.
2 PM: As someone with experience in social media, internal comms, and HR, I know
how handy an at-a-glance list of global observances can be. Creating an annual
well-being calendar with key themes, that includes local observances such as
Ramadan and Emirati Women’s Day was an exciting task for me. I review the final
design and brief my team on everything they need to build out a digital campaign
with a lead capture page where people can enter their details to download the
printable calendar. Watch this space!
3 PM: Some days I’ll head over to the studio in Al Quoz. They film all original content
with both English and Arabic contributors, and it’s always cool to see what they are
doing. Some days it will be educational videos with well-being experts, other days it
might be a fitness video or a recipe preparation. There’s also a dedicated audio
studio. The lady who heads that has a background in psychoacoustics which I find
fascinating. She takes care of all the podcasts, soundscapes, and meditations. It’s
good for me to understand how the content library is growing so we can
communicate it well to the customers.
I take a seat in the upstairs office and sit with the product team who are responsible
for the user experience of the app. We discuss the mood and sleep tracking
features, and how the tagging feature can be optimised to give the user the best
insights. Our aim is to help them understand the patterns of behaviours that
contribute to their mood and quality of sleep.
5 PM: The video and animation team are usually in deep work, but if I get the
opportunity, I’ll try to catch up with them about one of the marketing videos we are
collaborating on. We’re always looking for the best way to tell our story to move HR
leaders to take action on employee wellbeing.
7 PM: My commute home should be about 35 minutes, but can take anything up to
an hour, meaning I’m usually home around seven. After living in Abu Dhabi for ten
years, I’m still not used to the Dubai traffic! As soon as I get back, it’s time to put the
kids to bed. My husband and I take one child each and read them a story.
8 PM: My husband is the one who cooks. Without him, I’m not sure how I’d manage!
Our youngest usually takes longer to get to sleep, by the time I come down dinner is
often ready. We tend to just watch a bit of TV and go to bed pretty early.
On the rare occasions, I go out on a weeknight, it’s usually for a networking thing. I’m
a member of CIPD and the Marketing Society, and although I’m often tired, I usually
get a lot out of those types of events. I do love to meet people and build my network
when I can muster the energy!