Page 2 - VOICE January 2014

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Aongus
I think, as well, when leadership skills are not explicit for
leaders it’s difficult for them to pass it on. Before our
leadership programme we found that our succession
planning wasn’t good because leaders didn’t have the
language or tools to develop the next layer down. Often
they managed the pressures of the leadership position,
but they didn’t know what to do for anyone else.
John
I can hear that you’ve successfully developed your senior
leaders; what other measures have you taken to keep the
values alive and ensure they carry on defining who you
are as an organisation?
Aongus
We started looking down the organisation to see what we
could do for the level below senior leaders and the level
after that. Over and above mandatory training, we are
working towards committing to three days of develop-
ment a year for all staff and five days development for all
managers. As well as that commitment, we also went out
this year and listened to staff in a more in-depth way
than before. We run a staff survey every year which is
benchmarked against the wider NHS staff survey and
from that we looked at the areas of concern and the areas
we were doing well in.
We wanted to look in more depth at some of the issues,
so we ran a number of focus groups up and down the
country and I think it was the first time that many of the
staff felt like they were really listened to. We brought in
someone neutral and external to run the focus groups so
that staff felt they could talk about anything and the re-
sult was reams of documents telling us what the staff
were saying. Much of it was around things like communi-
cation, openness, honesty. Leading directly from that we
were then able to have the Chief Executive and Execu-
tives meet with staffside to discuss our strategy before it
was launched to the wider organisation.
John
It’s clear you’re still listening to staff and
their ideas, you’re still showing commitment
to what you’re trying to be as an organisa-
tion and making people feel valued as a re-
sult and I think that’s wonderful.
Aongus
It is a wonderful success story. There’s still a
way to go; we are a national organisation spread out
over 94 centres and because of the nature of their
operational roles it can be difficult to communicate with
some staff. But we are in excess of six thousand people
and to get as far as we have it is a massive success story.
So I’m very proud as an OD specialist at how far we have
come.
John
So you should be, it’s a great story and the way you’ve
reviewed and structured it is a really good example to
other organisations in any sector. It shows that if you can
take a values approach across six and a half thousand
people these good practices can be replicated across any
number of people as long as you put time and effort into
it and commit to the goals you are trying to achieve. As a
result it’s clear that your people are geared up around the
values, they aren’t just a poster on the wall; they are
there to define who you are and the service you are
providing to your donors, to the people that use your
blood and to yourselves.
Our Favourite Videos
Before our leadership programme
we found that our succession
planning wasn’t good because
leaders didn’t have the language or
tools to develop the next layer down.”
Interviewed By John Frost
Managing Director of Values Based Leadership
John Frost
Over and above mandatory training,
we are working towards committing
to three days of development a year
for all staff and five days
development for all managers.”
It shows that if you can take a values
approach across six and a half
thousand people these good
practices can be replicated across
any number of people as long as you
put time and effort into it and
commit to the goals you are trying to
achieve. ”