Sovereign Housing Association
MES offers tailored training sessions for elected employee forums which can help bring out the best of your representatives.
Sovereign Housing Association, like many organisations with over 50 employees, decides to meet their obligation to inform and consult their workforce via a staff forum.
In March 2012, MES was appointed by the Association to provide a programme of training sessions for their Staff Consultative Group (SCG). We provided further assistance in 2014.
WHAT WE DID:
Over a twelve month period, courses were run on ‘Effective Employee Forums’, ‘The Staff Consultation Lifecycle’ and ‘The Story of Data: Collecting and Collating Feedback’.
In February 2014, MES was asked to run a second session on ‘Effective Employee Forums’, this time for Sovereign’s Trades Consultative and Engagement Forum (TCEF).
Each training session included bespoke programme development; a pre-event attendee survey; all training materials; two members of MES staff at each event; feedback for both attendees and the organisation.
HOW WE DID IT:
When starting a training project, MES will first identify the specific needs of the client (i.e. what they would like each session to focus on). We use this as a reference throughout the programme design process. In this case, the client wanted quite specific and detailed training to be given to the same group of attendees over an agreed period of development. Based on this, and further study of the group’s constitution, MES developed a modular programme plan and agreed on a set of objectives/outcomes that the various modules would cover.
SCG attendees were asked to complete a pre-event survey that helped MES to identify how informed the participants were and where knowledge gaps existed.
Modules were designed to promote discussion and collaborative thinking among the participants and were set up in such a way that attendees could steer the conversation in a direction of their choosing. While MES facilitators were always on hand to ensure all points were covered, participants were encouraged to find their own answers and solutions in a way that best suited them.
After every session, a list of forward actions was circulated among the attendees and their managers so that any issues/concerns brought up (but not resolved) in training could be addressed. In doing so, the training sessions ensured that all relevant parties were privy to information that could improve the effectiveness of the forum.
Having provided three sessions in 2012/2013 we were ideally placed to conduct another session in 2014 (albeit to a different representative group). Our previous work with Sovereign allowed MES to shape the latter session in the context of the group’s wider organisational structure while providing for the individual needs of the newly elected representatives.
We were able to produce a series of programmes for Sovereign that were consistently rated as ‘Excellent’ by attendees. In doing so, we prepared the representatives for their time on the forums, while also providing confidence to the organisation that the ‘reps’ were ready to make a meaningful contribution to their information and consultation programme.
What our client thinks
The way in which the programme of training was bespoke to the needs of our TCEF team was excellent. The delivery of the training was well received by the TCEF members who felt it provided a level of clarity on their responsibilities as an individual representative as well as part of a consultative and engagement group.They were pleased with the outcomes and the recommendations they generated from the training.
Sovereign Housing Association