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Stepping Up at Crawley Borough Council

Stepping Up at Crawley Borough Council

 

Crawley Borough Council serves a large and diverse urban community on the Sussex/Surrey borders.  As part of their Workforce Development Strategy they identified a requirement for a development programme to address the needs of employees from groups which were currently under-represented in higher grade roles such as women, black and minority ethnic groups and those with disabilities.  Learning 2XL was chosen to design and develop a programme to deliver on these aspirations and Step Up! was born.

An initial group of 9 staff were selected from those in the target groups who applied and met the criteria of having ‘potential to progress’ as well as active support from their line managers.  The programme objectives were to provide participants with:

·         An insight into their own and others’ communicating style (Insights Discovery profile).

·         The chance to develop a short and medium term career vision in a Personal Development Plan.

·         Skills to develop networking and informal mentoring opportunities.

·         Skills to prepare for the impact of personal change.

·         Practical skills for developing confidence and building professional relationships.

·         An insight into influencing and persuasion.

·         Knowledge and skills for presenting themselves confidently at interview.

Delegates attended an initial Orientation Day and four practical workshops at monthly intervals as well as completing a Personal Development Plan to map out their short and medium term ambitions and an action plan as to how to achieve these.

Initial feedback from the delegates at the end of the programme was overwhelmingly positive with all the group rating the programme as Good or Excellent.  Feedback from line managers, a few months after the programme, was also very good with many examples of how they’d seen positive performance changes from their delegates.  These included:

·         Securing a new management position as the result of a restructure.

·         Having the confidence to challenge others and make sound decisions..

·         Gaining the respect of their team.

·         Taking new responsibilities for projects and programmes and directing others.

Andrew Davies, Organisational Development Manager, said “I’m pleased that we were able to work with Jo and Learning2XL on this initiative.  Participants’ managers identified some tangible benefits and anecdotal feedback has been positive too.  We’ve run a second programme and are currently evaluating its benefits.  It’s important to maintain this type of programme in the current climate to ensure that we make best use of the talent available and encourage employees to promote themselves effectively.”