HELPING CHILDREN’S SERVICES MAKE A DIFFERENCE
At a challenging time for Children’s Services we helped Bath & North East Somerset Council in the implementation of their Flexible Working programme. Flexible Working played an important part in the Council’s has an ambitious Transformation Programme which aims to support the Council’s priorities by minimising travel requirements; improving staff and customer satisfaction; and reducing cost.
We were asked to support the Council by designing and developing a series of workshops for managers and teams to provide the skills needed to support their transition to flexible working. Wisework were selected because we brought a strong understanding of Local Authorities and the ability to produce a bespoke response carefully tailored to the council’s needs.
The workshops were piloted in Children’s Services and developed plans to use flexible working to deliver substantial improvements in:
- The recruitment of staff in short supply, such as social workers, by providing more attractive working patterns and locations
- Contact time with clients by reducing travel
- Joined up working through the operation of “co-located” cross functional offices spread geographically across the area
- Staff morale and performance by providing location and timing of work to better meet employee needs and client demands
- The reduction of administration and travel time through the appropriate use of technologies for mobile and flexible working
During a period of challenge and change these kinds of improvement are critical in maintaining staff morale. Reducing time spent on administration, finding smarter ways of meeting client needs and improving communication between the range of functions involved are simply better ways of working leading to improved staff retention and more coherent delivery of services.