Consulting

Customer Service – What your team need to know

customer service

Customer Service – What your team need to know

Having just spent a brilliant day with London’s newest train operator MTR Crossrail we thought that it would be good to share some insight into excellent customer service. You may be aware that we worked really hard in the run up to London 2012 with the London Ambassadors, staff at City Hall and the service personnel who did such a great job securing the Olympic and Paralympic games. We were involved with training, coaching, consulting and monitoring performance.

Top Tips for effective customer service

Understand what the term “customer” means. Many business’ don’t.

DefinitionA customer is someone who receives something we provide, either a product or a service or information.

You will note here there is no mention of payment! Most operational employees of organisations rapidly identify where the “money” comes from, but fail to see the frequent “internal” customer and supplier chains. These chains are the ones which ensure the external customer gets great service. They also help ensure the business is there for the long term, which is great for job security..

It would be daft to say that every customer is the same, because we are all unique, different individuals. However we can identify similarities in customers that will lead to particular customer service outcomes.

Elective Customers

These are the people that recognise they have a choice for the provision of goods, services and information. They have the ability to move from supplier to supplier as a better deals or products come to the market. They are not Elective customertied in to the supplier. Organisations really fight hard to keep these customers by offering all kinds of loyalty bonus’, reward cards and incentives to attract customers back. When you genuinely have a choice would you put up with crappy products and services? Neither would we, so we go to the competition. So organisations really want to impress the Elective customers…. and do so by encouraging excellent customer service.

Captive Customers

There are a vast array of business’ that have captive customers. Look at your phone. Did you get swayed by the Captive Customershiny latest model and then sign away a 24 month contract to someone who knows it will cost you money to get out of their contract. The more complacent of these firms offer “new customer only” deals, which are far better than yours… If you are a captive and happy customer then well done to you and the supplier. The reality is that many of these business’ know you are captive and get complacent, until month 22…. when you start to become elective again and get better customer service.

Unwilling customers

Why would anyone be an unwilling customer? It doesn’t make sense! Well every time there is a bank holiday in the town we live in the refuse collection gets varied by a day or so. Every time that happens our rubbish isn’t collected, Unwilling customersso we have bins full of household waste that sits for … well… The service supplier that takes our bin has a two week cycle, week 1 rubbish, week 2 recycling. Not a service level agreement we wanted, but that’s it! So when a failure happens on August 28th the next time the bin gets taken is September 11. Can you imagine what the sardines we didn’t quite finish on the 14th of August are like now? BUT we have no choice in that supplier, and they know it, and they don’t care until their contract is up for renewal in 5 years…… so much for customer service.

Non Users

How can someone be a customer without using a product, service or information? In the UK cash is moved from Non Userbanks and shops to cash centres and then back to banks and shops. It is done by several companies, but the largest is G4S Cash Solutions Ltd. They protect their employees well with good vehicles, body armour and training, making it very difficult for “baddies” to steal from them. Fewer thefts mean that insurance premiums stay low, so when we go to insure our homes, lives etc the premiums are lower because of G4S! Even though we don’t use their products.

If it was your business…

We always try to deliver customer service that recognises our customers as elective, it keeps us focussed, ensures we pay attention to detail, makes us really listen to our customers. If you would like to find out more about the training, coaching and development work that we do please contact:

Richard by Email or twitter

Paula by Email or Twitter

or call us on 08712 349 873

Prejudice and discrimination in the work place

prejudice and discrimination at work

Prejudice and discrimination in the workplace

When dealing with managers on various training events it’s rare to come across someone who would fall foul of the 2010 Equalities Act. The Act sets out 9 protected characteristics and various ways in which some or all of the characteristics can be abused.

The nine Protected characteristics are;

• Age
• Disability
• Gender Reassignment
• Race
• Religion or Belief
• Sex
• Sexual Orientation
• Marriage and Civil Partnership
• Pregnancy and Maternity
To most of us these protected characteristics are factors which should play no part in treating others unfairly, they are not relevant in work based behaviours and choices. To be clear; your age should have no bearing on your abilities in the work place.

These protected characteristics can be abused in the following ways

1 Direct Discrimination.
When someone treats an individual unfairly because of a protected characteristic.
“Don’t employ Hindus because……. I don’t like them”
2 Associative Discrimination
When someone treats and individual unfairly because they are linked to someone with a protected characteristic.
“ I won’t employ him because he has a disabled wife and that will mean he takes time off for her care”
3 Discrimination by Perception
When an individual is treated unfairly because someone thinks they are linked to a protected characteristic.
“ She looks like she’s too young to meet customers”
4 Indirect Discrimination
Stipulating a particular rule or process, which might sound reasonable but discriminates.
“Male Police officers must be 6ft 1 tall, there by making sure that the majority of British Sri Lankans who may not get to be 6ft, cannot become Police Officers.”
5 Harassment
Employees can now claim offensive behaviour, even if it isn’t directed at them to be harassment. The important aspect of this is the impact of the behaviour on the recipient NOT the intention of the Harasser.
6 Harassment by a third party
Where an employer allows its employees to face harassment by someone else.
“a courier is subjected to sexist comments by a customer, but the employer keeps sending them back into the same business”
7 Victimisation
Not quite the dictionary definition of victimisation. This is where an individual is treated differently and unfairly because of a course of action they have taken, or because of their support for an individual that has taken a particular course of action.
“ An employee supports a friend in making a grievance and is then side-lined for promotion.

Not all the protected characteristics are protected entirely (See the ACAS TABLE)

In most work places

What we do come across often is that individuals don’t think about their feelings and the outcomes. They don’t think about their attitudes which can drive their behaviours, their prejudices which can drive inappropriate discrimination.
There are four outcomes forming this paradigm

Prejudice and discrimination

Fred comes to work with a strong race prejudice and then makes racist comments.
Outcome. Fred should be disciplined and probably sacked

No Prejudice and Never discriminates

Who on earth is that? Saints, Babies…. I have never met someone in this area, although every business I have ever been in seems to expect it….

No Prejudice but discriminatory behaviour

How can that be? Fred never has a malicious though, but his behaviour is discriminatory. This is the grave yard for managers old and new. How can someone do this?
1 Ignorance – they just don’t know what they are doing
2 Ignoring – they see something happening, but take a back seat rather than dealing with it. ( a suicidal management strategy)
3 Avoidance – They deliberately manipulate situations to not be present when problem might occur. Fred and Julie are always arguing at work, rather than deal with it their manager rosters fred and Juile on a shift pattern he isn’t on
4 To join in – because the behaviours that aren’t desirable are being demonstrated by someone with POWER (click for the blog on power) , rather than Challenge they go along with it

Prejudice but no discriminatory behaviour

Thinking and feeling something, but not allowing others to see that in your behaviour. Which accounts for the majority of us!

 

Interested ? Why not give Richard or Paula a call?
Email Richard or Paula
Tweet Richard or Paula
We would love to talk to you and your colleagues about brilliant work place behaviours. #how2PDP

At a crossroads in your life? Not sure which turn to take?

Coaching mums

At a crossroads in your life? Not sure which turn to take?

Are you prepared practically and emotionally for your new venture?

 

Coaching for mums crossroads

 

SPECIAL OFFER!!!!!

Group coaching for mums returning to work

An opportunity to discuss common anxieties, tips for job hunting and preparing yourself mentally for work

Coaching PDP crossroads

 

Email Paula

Tweet Paula

Call Paula, to have a chat about how to begin moving forward.

 

 

ROI – Return on Investment for training events

ROI Training

ROI – Return on investment for training events, how do you KNOW you have got it?

This is the simple question that many clients really want to know the answer to. How will I be able to demonstrate to the business that my training intervention has had an effect on the employees, customers and the culture of the organisation? We have been working on a straight forward way to help with this, to really mark individuals positions at the start of an intervention and then revisit those positions at the end.

So how do PDP do that?

Firstly with some time dedicated to talking to you about your development needs, organisational culture and desired outcomes. This consulting and communication process is critical to build confidence, objective outcomes and behavioural measures. Lots of development organisations outsource their behavioural measurement to third parties. We never do. We want your needs to drive the process, not someone else’s 360 model.

Most of our partner organisations have their own behavioural competence frameworks, used for the measurement of progress, gap analysis and often appraisals. We always look to use these in a simple, digestible format. We turn your framework into pictures!  Pictures that generate discussion, highlight realities, are by definition not verbose and open to misinterpretation.

Here is an example of a 360 picture taken at the start of a series of management development workshops.

360 degree picture

 

 

 

This particular organisation has four main competence areas that its managers need to work to. Delivering Results, Setting the Direction, Leadership and Working with Others. These main heading areas are then spilt into the more detail by describing 14 key competency areas. Your business will not be exactly the same, but similar principles probably exist.

The blue line indicates the self assessment of the individual against all these areas. The red line indicates the views of five others who sit around that colleague.  In this scenario at least 1 customer was asked to contribute, because the business holds customer care as one of its strongest values.

Learning from phase 1?

Loads!

The individual;

  1. takes time to look at the competence framework and self assess
  2. gets a good picture of their performance against the frame work
  3. is informed about how other see them at work…..

 

The diagrams are sent to the individual a week before a scheduled 1 hour meeting with us. The purpose of the meeting is to build some rapport with colleagues and to explore areas where development may be required and strengths celebrated. This can be the start of really a meaningful coaching relationship, to set the focus on the training programme and its benefits.

 

The organisation;

  1. gets a snapshot of individuals performance at the start of the programme
  2. identifies where people are significantly at variance with their circle of colleagues
  3. often becomes aware of unknown skill shortages, which may be addressed within the development programme

The training intervention

 

Based on the outcomes of the first 360 and the associated coaching sessions the content and time frame of the training events are agreed. usually along with a coaching session “mid-Term”. At the end of the programme delegates revisit the 360 process. Take a look at the second chart, which was undertaken by the same colleague 9 months after the first 360.

360 end picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what does this tell us?

It indicates lots of things that are really important to the individual, their team and the business.

  1. the individuals view of himself is much closer to that of their peers.
  2. the competence areas are all outside of the “usually” sphere, where we would expect effective managers to be
  3. there is demonstrable growth in several of the competence areas from both the individual and their peers
  4. a 9 month intervention has developed this person at work. When the organisation looks at all the individuals we can measure the impact of the training across the business
  5. now we are in this position it is possible look forward to the next challenge, knowing where the people are
  6. a culture of coaching is becoming “normal” within the company because individuals know it works

 

 

Would you like to know more about PDP and how we can help with your training development?

Contact us by Email Richard or Paula,

by telephone on 08712 349 873

by Twitter  Richard or Paula

We would love to buy you a coffee!

 

 

Time for Change? PESTLE – a tool to make your change happen

PESTLE

 

Time for Change? Practical things to make change happen.

Many organisations that we are associated with are really up for change, they understand the necessity for change, the opportunity for innovation, efficiency savings, team work and even re-organisation. Frequently change fails within business for some simple, straight forward, avoidable reasons. Let’s have a look at some of these pitfalls so that you and your business might be aware and avoid them.

We really like the work done by Kotter, his 8 stage change model is really useful, but needs some preparation.  (We will refer to his work in a future blog)

There are some fundamentals that we need to address if change is going to happen and they are frequently ignored. The first, having an objective, is highlighted in the clip below.

What is the change that we need to implement and why does this need to happen?

Well you are the expert in your business! but the following is a really useful model to use so that you can start to think about the pros and cons of any change once the objective has been formed. This model uses six separate areas of reflection that can then be divided between positive outcomes and negative outcomes.

 

PESTLE – what will the future look like when your “change” is embedded? What do you need to factor  in under the following headings. We find it useful to list the benefits and drawbacks here.

Worked example – “Should a  third runway be constructed at at Heathrow Airport?”

Politcial

PoliticalThe P in political can be a large or small one! It can be about National or International issues or local, even interpersonal politics? Every work place has stakeholders and they are usually political beasties.

Heathrow Example

Benefits; Potential for increased employment, further investment in the area, Heathrow being seen as an International hub, Closer working between central government and local authorities

Drawbacks; Danger for local MPs who might get voted out if they support the plan, widespread disruption for several years, impact on “newly” affected noise pollution areas

 

Economic

EnvironmentalWhat are the Economic factors in the change?

Heathrow Example

Benefits; Massive investment in area and infrastructure, huge employment opportunities, attracts the best people to work and live near the airport, huge revenues for local authorities, Hotel and restaurant expansion, skills levels of workforce raised

Drawbacks; South East housing “bubble” further exacerbated, inequality of funding to other regions, transport implications in an already busy part of the UK

Social

SocialWhat are the social implications of the change, to organisations, teams , individuals, suppliers, customers and other stakeholders?

Heathrow Example

Benefits; Employment, investment in hospitals, schools and infrastructure to support workforce

Drawbacks; Increased shift working, families cannot afford housing, potential for very desirable expensive housing only, blight on communities with noise, impact on “newly” affected areas of noise and emission pollution, creation of ghost towns?

 

Technological

TechnologicalWhat Technological advances or intervention can be used? Even if the advances are currently embryonic. Are there changes in technologies that potentially make the change redundant before it starts?

Heathrow Example

Benefits; Lower engine noise and emissions mean that the impact of more flights will not have an adverse effect on the population. Better sound proofing materials exist now, more accurate monitoring and recording of the  impacts are possible

Drawbacks; As planes get quieter we could put more flights through the existing runways, as IT technologies get better we could adapt and shorten the distance between take off and landings thus NOT requiring additional runway capacity

Legal

LegalWhat are the legal implications of the change OR the legal Implications of the Status Quo?

Heathrow Example;

Benefits; Government backing

Drawbacks; costly Public consultation process, lengthy appeals process, challenge to decision could come from several areas, local residents take action against the airport and it’s contractors.

Environmental

EnvironmentalWhat is the potential environmental impact of the change from Macro to Micro. Does standing still have a potentially negative Environmental Impact?

Heathrow Example;

Benefits;Newer Aircraft are less damaging to the environment, they carry more people, are more fuel efficient, emit less CO2

Drawbacks; Increasing the number of flights increases noise, pollution from CO2, damage to wildlife, potential physical and mental harm to residents.

PESTLE

Is a really useful consultation, communication, motivation and behavioural tool. The Heathrow expansion example is a bit simplistic, but within a relatively short time you can roll out the implications for your change idea and also explore the possible dangers of in-action. We encourage clients to use this tool as an integral part of the way that they lead and manage change. Can we help you through training, coaching, consulting and increasing confidence to do the same?

Contact us via Email Richard or Paula

Follow us on Twitter Richard or Paula

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Call us direct!  08712 349 873

 

 

 

 

Transactional Analysis: Crossed and Complimentary Transactions – Psychology for Business

Transactional Analysis:Crossed and Complimentary transactions

Ego States and Transactions

Last week, I introduced Dr Eric Berne’s concept of Transactional Analysis, and the three Ego States (parent, adult and child). I examined some of the language and behaviours attributed to each of these ego states, and have had some interesting feedback from readers of the article, including one individual who realised that she behaved like “a spoilt brat at Christmas” and used the term “I want..” when talking about presents.  Her husband said that he “always” got his wife everything on her list, even when it was expensive or difficult to obtain, “otherwise she sulked and made Christmas unbearable”.  Classic Child and Parent behaviour, which both parties recognised, both knew what to expect from the other and it seemed to work for their relationship (Complimentary Transaction).

I want to briefly explore the three ego states a bit further, and as you can see from the diagram below, the Parent ego state is divided into Critical or Controlling Parent and Nurturing Parent.                                                           Transactional Analysis

Critical or Controlling Parent

Can you think of occasions when you have been in one of these modes?  What behaviours did you display?  What language did you use?  Do you often find yourself saying “I sound just like my mum!”.  If you do, are you pleased or horrified? We internalise the words, voices, body language and rules from the parent figures from our childhood and use them again in adulthood.  Are you very critical and need to control situations and those around you?  Think back to someone in your past who may have displayed these same behaviours.  Why have you adopted them and in what situations?  How do others respond to you when you behave in this way, do they give in and agree with you (Complimentary transaction) or argue back so that you have to change your stance (Crossed transaction)?

 Nurturing Parent

The other aspect of the Parent ego state is the Nurturing part, and in the last article, I outlined how this came into play for me, when someone hit the back of my car, whilst I’d stopped at a red light.  After my initial shock and checking that there was no serious damage, I comforted the person who had hit me, as she was so apologetic and concerned for me (Complimentary transaction).  Part of my upbringing, was no matter what was happening to me, I had to always think about how others could be feeling and respond to them, i.e. even if you don’t like a Christmas present you’ve received you show some form of joy and gratitude, so as not to upset the other person.  You literally nurture their feelings.

The Child ego state can be divided into three sections: Rebellious Child, Adapted Child and Free or Natural Child, and these are self-explanatory.

Rebellious or Adaptive Child

Sometimes we rebelled and refused to say thank you for a Christmas present, or said it with bad grace so that it was obvious that we didn’t mean it.  Other times we may have been very dutiful and done as expected of us.  As adults now, how many of you are having a Christmas to please others rather than what you really want?  Are you happy cooking for everyone (Nurturing Parent), or would you have liked to be in a hotel somewhere putting your feet up, but are doing what others expect of you (Adaptive Child)?

Natural or Free Child

The Natural child ego state is when we behave in ways which have nothing to do with external pressures or remembered ways of behaviour and we are just ourselves.  We are spontaneous and independent of any rules about how we should behave, and what we should say, and people just have to accept us for how we are, when we’re in this ego state.

As the diagram above shows there are positive and negative aspects to each of these ego states and you can read more about them in Berne’s book ‘The Games People Play’.

 Complimentary and Crossed Transactions

Transactions are a form of communication, I might ask “Is the meeting still at 9am?” to someone in the office, and they might respond “Yes it is”.  This is a straight forward communication and if we keep this going, it would form a transaction chain.  It’s as this chain develops that we begin to see whether our transactions are complementary or crossed, and will have to make a decision as to whether to change our response in order to get a different outcome to the conversation.

 Complimentary transactions Transactional Analysis:Complimentary or crossed transactions

These are where the arrows in the diagram are parallel, and either means both parties are speaking from the same ego state as with the example above, where both were in Adult. Or where two people are happy with the status quo, such as in the husband and wife example at the beginning of this article.  The wife was in Natural Child and the husband was in indulgent Nurturing Parent mode and both were happy with each other’s standard responses, and so the lines stayed parallel.

As long as the lines of communication DO stay parallel, conversations and relationships run reasonably smoothly, even if it’s not on an Adult basis.  However, when individuals become confused about a situation, a task or a comment this is generally where crossed transactions occur.  For example if I ask you a question from my Adult ego state, such as “What’s the time please?” and expect an Adult reply, but instead receive “Have you lost your watch again!”, this shift will surprise me and I will try and move into a parallel or complimentary position, hence an answer from Controlling Parent could be  “You shouldn’t have moved it, then I would know where it is!”, or a move into Adaptive Child “I’m sorry, I left it by the sink upstairs”.

Crossed transactions                              Transactional Analysis: Crossed and Complementary transactions

The crossed transactions often happen due to people giving emotional responses to questions or situations, rather than assessing the situation and responding from the Adult ego state.  Reflect on the people who you find difficult at work, or situations at home that always start an argument, and begin to adjust your response accordingly. It’s similar to using the broken record technique when someone wants to argue with you, but this time you are choosing your words carefully so as not to inflame the situation, but to clarify your position.  If I said to a member of staff “Have you finished that report yet?” depending on my tone of voice and body language it could be seen as a Controlling parent comment, rather than an Adult question. My colleague could become defensive and say “No, you only gave it to me yesterday” (Rebellious Child).  It would then be up to me, to bring the conversation back into alignment, by not responding in the same manner, but perhaps saying “I know I only gave you the report to do yesterday, and was wondering if you needed any more information from me in order to complete it?”.

Transactional Analysis is a fascinating look at human behaviour and this article has begun to examine some of the intricacies of the three ego states.  Once you understand what drives certain aspects of your behaviour, you are then able to examine your conversations and transactions with others and adapt your response accordingly.

In the next article, we’ll look at the games people play both consciously and subconsciously.  Can you recognise the behaviour of someone who is smiling and has a light voice, but whose actual message is undermining you?  Email me with your exaperiences and I’ll include them in my next article.

 

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How to develop a #safeguarding culture?

safeguarding

How to develop a #safeguarding culture?

The $64,000 question is how to develop a #safeguarding culture?  Well, there are many ways to do it. This blog examines how we have worked with employees to overcome the ‘English Man’s Home is his Castle’ apathy, and have challenged the view that “I have no right or obligation to interfere  with what’s going on behind closed doors”.  We at PDP want to galvanise your company and employeees to develop a culture of appropriate vigilance and referrals.

Remember the best training ALWAYS follows a good consultation process!

What we offer? A typical Training event.

1. Hearts and minds, convincing and influencing your teams that they have a duty and that it’s not an onerous one. (Click to see our previous Blog)

2. When do colleagues come across children in their work place? Practical session to explore the reality of exposure to children at work for YOUR business.

3. Baby P and the fallout from his tragic death. The mismanagement of Risk and the consequences for children, business and employees. Implications in YOUR world.

4. Children’s homes to Family and back again? How children have been treated by the state in our lifetimes.

5. Development of safeguarding from Cleveland to present – A whistle stop tour through the major bits of legislation and some factors that contributed to their existence.

6. Major bits of Law that we need to be aware of so that YOU can make a difference.

7. The lexicon of Safeguarding.  The importance of getting the language right, of being seen to be using appropriate terminology. Moving YOUR culture forward by using the right lexicon.

8. Concept of CRB (now replaced with DBS) – Bichard inquiry into the Soham Murders. How this came about, the effect of CRB and the latest incarnation.

#safeguarding

9. The umbrella of the state and the role of Local Safeguarding Children’s boards. Who should be there for children, what does a LSCB do? How does YOUR business fit into the umbrella.

10. The continuum of need, regular swift interventions before protection. The process and principles of swift interventions.

11. How we might begin to categorise the things we see. With supporting data from the NSPCC

12. Hearing my internal voices, what can, and must I do, when I feel really uncomfortable?

13. How does my personal baggage effect decision making? How do GOOD people walk past safeguarding issues?

14. Making clear effective referrals

15. Who to refer to and how to do it, using YOUR business’ policy and procedures.

16. Case Studies from real life examples in YOUR business sector.

17.Bringing your concerns under the umbrella, bringing the day to life, next steps  – Plenary session.

 

Like to find out more, get a feel for our style? Give us call.

 

Contact Richard or Paula to let them help YOU on 08712 349 873

Like us on Facebook

Follow Paula on Twitter or Richard on Twitter

Richard@professionaldevelopmentpeople.co.uk

Paula@professionaldevelopmentpeople.co.uk

 

 

Do you NEED your workforce to #safeguard children?

Safeguarding

Do you NEED your workforce to #safeguard children?

Do you NEED your work force to #safeguard children, to not only to do the bare minimum? To understand that their actions can and do make a difference to the lives of others?

This challenge was put to us a while ago. We were asked to partner a large organisation with a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and a workforce that felt #safeguarding was a distraction from their daily duties.

But the “challenge” could easily have been similar with vulnerable adults, older customers or even customers from different ethnic backgrounds.

The challenge is about hearts and minds, about designing and delivering a course that inspires, motivates and changes behaviour. It is what we do here at PDP and we love it. Check  this out. Can we help your orgaisation move its culture forward?

The Grab

To move hear#safeguardts and minds you need to be inspirational, you need to quickly resonate with the audience and convince them that they can and MUST make a difference. In a previous blog on #safeguarding, workers moral and legal responsibilities were touched on. Here those responsibilities have to be  firmly addressed.

This is where our close consultations with you and your business come to the fore; we will utilise case studies or examples and put them into a national context. Then explore the real issues that face children in the UK in 2014, what that means, and the effect that your workforce can have on improving the lot of children. The impact of this session sets the tone for the rest of the training, firmly placing the responsibility where it should be, with adults that can make a difference. Your work force.

A public sector employee told me this story in 2009.

On official business a team of workers were asked to attend a basement property in London. The accommodation was described as being a cellar, a 1 room flat. In the room was a small galley kitchen, a shower curtain and loo and two beds. The double bed was where the two adults slept, the smaller bed for the three children living there. Now this at the very least describes a poverty issue, but possibly worse.

The workers had a hostile reception, but had to undertake some checks. During the investigation one worker noticed that the carpet has some strange shiny bits on it. On closer inspection there was evidence of rat excrement on the floor, there was a rat run in the room! Additionally there were soiled nappy’s and signs that one of the children hadn’t made it to the lavatory. I said to the employee how awful that must have been, he responded that they see this stuff “all of the time”.  I tried to empathise with him by saying how terrible it must be to work in rat infestation, rat excrement and human waste, to little avail. I asked him what they did.

They completed the work and left the property. I thought he was joking. I asked about the children. He told me that he worked for a particular arm of the public sector NOT Marks and Spencers. I can’t tell you the depth of horror I felt at this, but they needed to be moved forward. So I explained the following with the personal consequences that in-action could cause.

QUESTION: What should you say to this employee to try and demonstrate to him, and everyone else around that his response is inappropriate?  He has clearly missed the point, and needs to know that in 2014 he has a duty to report what he has seen. Even though its not his core job role, his duty to #safeguard children is still duty.

Stage 1

  • YOU KNOW that #SAFEGUARDING is really important, but don’t know how to do it.
  • EXAMPLE: Your first day in a new job. You have passed the interview you know that you are qualified, keen and ready to do the job. but you haven’t a clue of what to do! You are highly aware that you don’t know enough. You can’t really be left alone

Its called – Conscious Incompetence

Stage 2

  • #SAFEGUARDING is at the front of your mind and you are always aware of children at work.
  • EXAMPLE: In almost every job someone will take you under their wing and show you the ropes, make sure that you are safe to do the job before they release you into the wild. At this stage everything is done by the book, every “i “is dotted every “t” is crossed. Your minder, mentor, coach or buddy co-pilots with you.

Its called – Conscious Competence

Stage 3

  • #SAFEGUARDING is a natural thing, you assimilate risk and make quick, but accurate and appropriate decisions
  • EXAMPLE: After a while you become really proficient at your job, you have seen loads of examples of good and poor outcomes, you can see pitfalls and avoid them, so don’t need to use all of your brain power to complete tasks because you are becoming the expert.

 Its called –Unconscious Competence

Stage 4

  • This is where colleagues get dulled by what they see.  When things are seen frequently they become NORMAL when they are not. #SAFGUARDING ceases to happen because your focus is on other things that seem to be really important at the expense of all else
  • EXAMPLE: When people have been doing a job for a while, they can become resistant to change, take the eye off the ball, operate without much thought to things that should be important. This is like picking up your phone whilst driving, people do it but they shouldn’t.

Its called – Unconscious Incompetence

And this stuff gets business’ a bad name, employees the sack and tragically more children become statistics because someone that should have done better didn’t!

Don’t allow your teams to be unconsciously incompetent.  Let us help you to design and deliver meaningful programmes that have an impact and make a difference to your business, colleagues job security and #Safeguarding #Children. Lets get the right things right.

Contact Richard or Paula to let them help out on 08712 349 873

Like us on Facebook

Follow Paula on Twitter or Richard on Twitter

Richard@professionaldevelopmentpeople.co.uk

Paula@professionaldevelopmentpeople.co.uk

Mentoring

Mentoring

Mentoring is becoming much more common within organisations that want to develop talent. It allows business to develop people outside of the line management chain, looking towards the future, innovation and succession planning. When done well it can hot house talent, retain highly effective people and be a motivational tool. It is a two sided process. Both Mentor and Mentee have a lot to gain from the process and relationship.

Mentoring – the process

To be effective the mentoring process ought be cut up into four parts

  1. Training and awareness
  2. Contracting
  3. Outcomes – Where are we now and where are we going?
  4. The Journey – How do we travel from the “now” to the outcome?

lets explore some aspects of the process

1 Training and AwarenessMentor

In our experience there are a huge range of reasons why people want to be involved on either side of a Mentoring relationship. The poorest reasons are WIFM (whats in it for me) and I can show off my skills, cleverness and contacts. For the relationship to be really productive the scene needs to be set. Benefits and responsibilities explored, the process demystified. The safest way to achieve that within business is to run separate training events for Mentors and Mentees, before the partnerships have been allocated.

In our experience the greatest nerves, concerns and questions come from the Mentors. They really want to do a great job and need the support of a structure. Mentees are often in awe of their potential mentors. Can look at the Mentor as some “generous benefactor” who will shower them with gifts and opportunities. A father Christmas figure. This needs to be clearly addressed before we begin, along with the process. Once the training is done we can release the mentors and mentees into the wild!

2 Contracting

Having been through our training process both parties will understand that they need to have very clear guidelines about what is acceptable, desirable and possible. (click here for our Blog on Behavioural contracting) This isn’t about where we are going, its about the rules of engagement. It is very much about a framework that we can collaborate within. This contracting has the additional benefit of starting the rapport building process, without which TRUST cannot exist. Mentoring is outside the line management chain amentoring contractnd should remain confidential.  However at this stage it MUST be made clear when the confidence should be broken. This falls into one of three reasons;

  • The mentee is at risk
  • The mentor is at risk
  • Someone else or even the organiastion is at risk

 

3 Outcomes – Where are we NOW and  where are we going?

This is where the Mentors skills will really be put to the test. In an open, honest and frank way the Mentor must create an atmosphere of realism in the outcomes. Help the mentee to generate a specific, measurable outcome of the relationship. Through this process it is imperative that the knowledge, attitudes, skills and behaviours of the mentee are taken into account. Using tools like a SWOB analysis the mentee needs explore their Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Barriers NOW.

Realism, relevance and attainability of the outcome should be discussed. This is NOT about killing  aspirations, far from it, but giving the outcome a chance of life.

 

4 The Journey – How do we travel to the outcome

If the previous three phasmentoring signpostes have been followed successfully then this is about development, opportunities and networking. This is where the vast experience of the Mentor enables them to guide the Mentee in a particular direction, with the final outcome in clear focus. Mentees will be given tasks to undertake, be involved in discussions, be encouraged to be creative.

REMEMBER Coaching is about helping a colleague with specific work objectives and performance. The job of the line manager. Mentoring is more open, looking at things that might allow the Mentee to grow into new challenges.

Like to know more? How might this work in your business, give Paula or Richard a call.

 

Bring policies and procedures to life

HR Policies and Procedures

 

Many organisations we work with have a wide range of support available to their managers. Yet still have problems with work based relationships. Their managers try to manage, but fall foul of mistakes that can easily be avoided. So how can they bring policies and procedures to life? Why should they?  Bringing policies and procedures to life allows managers to resource their staff, and workers to get on with their work without distractions.

Here is a model that we have developed at PDP.  It is getting really good results with managers in G4S a FTSE 100 company.

Bring policies and procedures to life – Consultation

  1. Hold a full and frank meeting with the client. Explore the needs and wants they have. Look at the current provision that exists to helppolicies 2 bring policies and procedures to life. Have a focused discussion on the outcomes required and the preferred method of delivering that outcome.
  2. Agree what must be in the training and what is up for negotiation. Is it about the outcome or the methodology? The outcome is to bring the policies and procedures to life. The previous methodology was to use two days of meticulously prepared powerpoint slides delivered by great HR specialists. Could it be that the outcome may be better achieved using specialist educators and engaging activities?
  3. Cool thinking and planning period.
  4. Return to the client with a proposal to address the topics raised in stages 1 and 2.
  5. Pilot the proposal with a mixed group of real managers
  6. Use the pilot data and feedback to tweak the programme
  7. Diarise the delivery
  8. Evaluate and review the programme and it’s effectiveness on managers behaviours in the business

 

The Design.

How “bringing policies and procedures to life” comes to life!

 

policies and proceduresAfter client consultation, they chose our bespoke two day training programme, replacing their previous one which had been delivered by the  in-house HR specialists. We managed to reduce the powerpoint reliance from 148 slides to NONE. We used several of the brilliant case studies generated in-house and repositioned them to have greater impact.

Housekeeping

Course beginnings, welcomes and objectives

Hearts and Minds

“The Grab” – Spheres of Influence, My responsibilities and duties, “Professional” attributes and behaviours. Behavioural Contract (see Previous Blog)

Personal values, professional values, conflicts and synergies. Understanding attitudes and behaviours (see our blog on Behaviours), the importance of Allports paradigm.

Policies and Procedures – Top Level

The Legal, Moral and Business case.

Recognising and understanding partnerships between Trades Unions and organisations. Why the unions and business share the desire for excellent work place behaviours and systems. Memoranda of Agreement.

Policies and Procedures – the vast array – taster session

Deciphering the difference between a policy and a procedure.

Exposure to a wide range of these, each delegate receives a policy and procedure to investigate and explain to the rest of the group. We deliberately chose a wide range of policies ranging from “time off for public duties” to “paternity leave”.

Policies and procedures – Specific Issues

The Master Class. Delegates placed into three groups and given the biggest issues for managers in the organisation. (As I am sure you understand those are confidential to our client!).  Groups self select their chosen area, depending on the manager’s perceived need. Teams spend a chunk of time discussing the policy, exploring the procedure and then presenting it back to the group as a whole. The presentations MUST be jargon free, showing charts, key times, rationale, potential pit falls and appeal details.

Case studies – Learning into practice

Suspension of a colleague – Who can, why they might, when they should.self-confidence

Three scenarios from the last year. What would you do? debrief in plenary

The Equalities Act 2010

Protected Characteristics – what they are.

How people are disadvantaged – Direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, discrimination by association, discrimination by perception, harassment, harassment by a third party, victimisation. Clearing the mist and explaining these in pertinent accessible ways.

Harassment at work

Case studies using the above, from real situations. As a manager what must you do? Individual work with group plenary.

Transition

So What? Trainer led discussion to identify specific actions from each delegate, time scales and willingness.

Closing Remarks.

The delegates loved the course.
It is starting to become the “must” attend event, waiting lists are growing and more events are diarised.
Contact Richard or Paula via the website if this approach is interesting to you and your business.