Changing social care: an inclusive approach
Workforce involvement and participation: Case examples
Case example 1
Supplied by The Work Foundation
Organisation: UK governing body.
Context of change: the department identified low staff morale as a major impediment to performance. This was linked to a widespread sense that the department was fragmented and that the contribution of staff was not properly valued.
Process: the department ran AI workshops across the organisation. AI is a method that encourages workgroups to think about the positive elements of their organisation as a starting point for change.
Participants were invited from a randomly selected cross-section of the organisation and were grouped into ‘change teams’. In-house facilitators were trained to lead and support the change teams and build up capability for future change. A common methodology was used at each workshop that allowed facilitators to draw out common themes across all teams, both specific to each local business group, and cross-functional. Participatory workshops asked people to consider the following questions:
- What will success look like for us in three years’ time?
- Think of a time when you felt really good about working here. What happened to produce those feelings? What features produced the high?
- What would it look like if we were more like our exceptional selves more of the time?
- How do we build on our strengths?
- How do we reduce the barriers to change?
- What can we do here, locally, to start the journey?
- What do we need senior managers to hear and then do? (SCIE Knowledge review 16)
Case example 2
Supplied by The Work Foundation
Organisation: public sector organisation in London.
Context of change: results from a staff survey at the organisation revealed that staff were unclear what development activities were needed to help them progress. One cause identified for this problem was a lack of emphasis on people management.
Process: managers were mandated to enrol in a people management programme to address employees’ concerns and support organisational performance. The development programme focused on core management skills in terms of performance management, staff motivation, managing people through change and having clear consequences for both poor and high performance. The programme included practice tools – for example, to diagnose the underlying causes of poor performance to provide a basis for constructive, solution-focused conversations. To support the understanding of skills and potential career paths, new generic role descriptions were created based on a template that highlighted the similarities and differences of the underlying skills, knowledge and experience needed. Managers were able to use these templates as a tool to assess staff readiness for another role as well as to create meaningful development plans relating to current and potential roles.
Goal: the goal was to create a hands-on learning tool for managers to help them be more effective in their management of staff. The next staff survey will highlight the views of staff in relation to the impact of these tools and shifts in people management skills.
- Development initiatives need to be sustained after the changes have been introduced, to give individuals the opportunity to transfer learned knowledge and skills into the real world. The organisation also needs to be committed to new ways of working prior to any development activities, to avoid a clash with individuals’ learning (Zaccaro and Banks 2004).
- Adequate work time and resources (including remuneration) are vital to ensure individuals successfully engage in development activities (Gable and Halliburton, 2003).