Organisations often talk about the idea of the “golden thread” that links individual aims to team plans, to higher up strategic plans. If it’s done properly, it means that every member of staff is working towards a common goal within their team, and that the team helps achieve something as part of a larger strategy which may involve other agencies.
Communication of these ideas is central to making it work within a large organisation, so that everyone has a sense of “going in the same direction”. In Conwy, we’ve been developing ways of nurturing this idea within the staff group so that people feel empowered and included.
Social Services Staff Forum
Communication within a large Service is complex and challenging. When deciding the best way to engage with a specific audience consideration will need to be given to all the available options and choose the most appropriate for that audience and the channels that will be used. The department employs 850 staff across the county of Conwy, working from a variety of locations. We define staff communication and engagement as having the opportunity to participate and contribute and a key driver for us is to increase contact between senior management and staff.
In 2013 we established a Social Services Staff Forum. All sections of the department’s workforce are represented on the forum which meets bi-monthly with the Director of Social Services. The purpose of the forum is to provide an opportunity for both the Director and staff to discuss issues affecting the workforce. Furthermore we have established regularly briefing sessions with staff to provide updates and the Transformation Programme.
What difference has it made?
The forum has enabled a dialogue to take place between staff and Director on a number of matters. Staff Survey – the forum has worked on developing actions to meet the findings.
Members of the forum have become involved in projects on behalf of the department for example developing a communication & engagement plan.
A noticeable difference has been for forum members to develop an understanding of the huge variety of roles within the department. Additionally the confidence and contribution of some forum members has grown and they have emerged as key members of the forum. This is most notable within those staff that work alone in the community and prior to the forum rarely participated on consultation events.
This post is also available in: Welsh