Working in a Mobile Workforce
Derby City Council embraces remote working
“We have a long-standing partnership with UDC and have worked together on a number of work based learning initiatives aimed at leadership development and cultural change. The quality of this course was good – the content was jointly developed and both organisations were involved in tutoring. This was a true partnership effort and success. We hear the language and concepts from the course being used in everyday discussions at the Council – proof that this programme made a real, lasting impact.”
Karen Jewell, Director of HR and Business Support, Derby City Council
Derby City Council needed to bring about a sea change in the way its employees worked, encouraging greater remote working. They turned to us for a bespoke programme that would help people adapt.
As part of Derby City Council’s transformation programme – ‘one Derby, one council’ – which was radically changing the way the Council worked, greater numbers of employees would be working remotely.
In some cases, whole teams could be made up of individuals working in isolation from each other, bringing various managerial, administrative and communication challenges.
The Council recognised that for these new ways of working to be embraced and not feared, it needed to build a range of skills, a level of confidence, and an understanding, amongst all relevant staff.
We devised a work based learning programme with two pathways:
- Level 4 Certificate for employees
- Level 5 Diploma for managers
Both helped people adjust to the new ways of working and support others to do the same.
The material was delivered mainly through a bespoke online learning portal, which was DCC branded and had a unique web address: derbyworkstyle.co.uk.
Learning materials combined theory, exercises, case studies and activities to allow people to personally review how their learning could be applied to their own role at the Council.
One crucial element of the programme was the workplace mentors. Each directorate had its own mentors – managers who had undertaken a transformation development programme and who had also received mentoring training.
Their job was to help learners use the portal, but also to identify and address any challenges they faced. These mentors helped build a community of practice and encouraged collaboration across teams.
As a result of the programme:
- 96% of learners successfully applied the knowledge and understanding of the complexities of managing and working in a mobile workforce gained from the programme to the context of their own service area.
- 97% designed and implemented a change management plan that ensured the smooth transition to the 'new way' of working.
- 94% developed and implemented practical strategies to support their team's successful transition to outcomes based, agile working.
The programme helped Derby City Council win the Business Transformation Award at the Local Government Chronicle Awards 2013, the ‘Oscars’ of local government.
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