Working in a Mobile Workforce

Derby City Council embraces remote working

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.

Their brief

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.

Our solution

We devised a work-based learning programme with two pathways:

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: 

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.

The results

As a result of the programme:

The programme helped Derby City Council win the Business Transformation Award at the Local Government Chronicle Awards 2013, the ‘Oscars’ of local government.

“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

Find out more

Contact us on 0800 678 3311 or at