Hello PPMA members and friends

The closing date for entries for this year’s Excellence in People Management Awards was last week and we’ve been blown away by the fantastic response there has been – so much really amazing work has happened over the last 12 months and we’re very exited about being able to share that with you all in the coming months. As you will all know, this amazing work does happens day in and day out across our sector and in this weeks blog post Leicestershire County Council, who were last year’s winners of the Best Workforce Transformation/Change Initiative Award, tell us more about the programme and their work in this area.

‘In October 2019, Leicestershire County Council initiated the “workplace programme” to improve efficiency and productivity by promoting a culture of smarter working – enabled by rollout of new technology. This would in turn also lead to a rationalisation of our property estate resulting in a reduction in costs.

This programme was entering delivery and wider launch to the organisation in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and the programme refocussed on 3 areas:

Workplace Recovery – ensuring that all our sites were made COVID compliant, with appropriate guidance, principles, and protocols in place.

People Recovery – redeployment, wellbeing, guidance for leading through recovery, recruitment and onboarding, and a £200 allowance to support with working from home.

Fast-Tracked rollout of IT equipment – ensuring immediate priority workers got IT equipment to allow them to continue working > then working to rollout the appropriate equipment to everyone as quickly as possible

The COVID-19 pandemic saw a huge shift in organisational culture – with many working from home for the first time. This has led to a wholescale rethinking of how departments and teams need to operate moving forward, retaining a higher degree of flexibility, and more remote working than previously thought possible.

In the latter half of 2020, the workplace programme board, along with wider stakeholders came together to rescope the vision and objectives into a new programme called “Ways of Working” – building on the already great foundations and principles established through the workplace programme and taking key learnings and opportunities that presented throughout the pandemic

The scope of the programme is very broad and consists of the below high-level deliverables

  • Rollout of the appropriate technology equipment to all staff based on their role, and embedding of future IT service models and infrastructure that best support smarter working
  • Embedding strong leadership and management to successfully lead teams through new ways of working
  • Transforming the culture of the organisation by embedding smarter working as “business as usual” – supporting managers and teams to drive modern, effective, and productive ways of working.
  • Assessing our future space requirements for staff and translating this into a strategy for our property estate.
  • Delivering future office model solutions, technology and layouts that maximise performance, productivity, and support staff wellbeing.

In May 2021, organisation wide engagement took place to give the opportunity for all staff to have a voice in how they work in the future and to allow managers and staff to pro-actively define their future ways of working.

Building on the strength of this process, and by taking the whole authority on the journey we have delivered significant changes, seeing all offices being setup with standardised IT equipment and hybrid working technology, the exit from surplus properties and rental of some areas of our county hall campus – bringing significant financial benefits, and a major rollout of a new office model to 3 of our largest service department – Adults, Children’s and Environment and transport.

A programme of smarter working and culture support is underway to support embedding of smarter working across the authority as we continue to finalise the rollout and embedding of new ways of working across the authority.’

The team at Leicestershire recently ran a webinar for us all about their programme and if you missed it you can catch up with it here.

The shortlist for this year’s awards will be announced on the 22nd February and the winners will be announced at the Gala Awards Dinners at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Birmingham on the 27th April. We’d like to wish all of the entrants the very best of luck!