If every Council employee made one change happen imagine how powerful that would be? That was a question posed to nearly 100 employees at a Council-wide Listening Event held earlier this month (September).
For Stuart Ritchie, Director of Corporate & Housing Services, the answer was simple. It would be more powerful than senior management wanting change. Why? Because employees would take ownership of the changes they’d brought about.
He said: “Our challenge isn’t only financial it’s cultural. We need to change our habits and behaviours. We need to stop complaining and understand we all have a role to play in delivering change. Yes, it is difficult for one person to make a change, even if that person is the Chief Executive, but if we all make small changes, work together to break down barriers, and develop a can-do-attitude we will become the Council of the Future. If we don’t, we’ll remain the Council we are now and we cannot let that happen.”
But highlighting where things aren’t working isn’t always easy and that’s why the Employee Engagement Survey is important. Running until October 11th, it provides an easy way for people to air their views and make suggestions anonymously.
“For me, if I don’t know there is a problem I have no chance to fix it”, Stuart said. “If you tell us what we are doing well and where we need to improve we can then pull together an action plan to make your suggestions happen.”
Closing the event, Robert Naylor, Director of Children’s Services, reinforced the need for everyone to question how they worked.
He said: “When you enter a new job it takes time to learn how to do things and you’ll ask why things are done in a certain way. After a period of time you stop questioning and get into the way of doing things. A change programme is about individuals questioning that approach. As you go through the first steps of your day I want you ask yourself - is this the best way to approach these tasks? What’s getting in my road? Then take your ideas for improvement to your line manger. The changes you suggest could make us leaner, more efficient and agile, and make things happen.”