Thames Reach
Monday 20 November 2017
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Involving people

By involving a high proportion of staff in GROW, Thames Reach staff felt they were invested in the service user employment project.

From the outset, we consciously chose to involve as many members of staff as possible in any aspect of the scheme. We needed their support and expertise and we knew that their involvement would increase their investment in the initiative.

There were many ways in which we involved staff in the first year of GROW, including:

  • A group of project managers designed the competencies framework (5 staff involved)

  • The IT team was involved in drafting guidelines to anonymise employees’ confidential records about their service use (2)

  • Placement teams accommodated trainees (110)

  • We appointed placement supervisors and life coaches for each trainee (24)

  • Staff provided in-house training sessions to trainees (7)

  • Administration staff supported the in-house training sessions (3)

  • Service managers nominated and supported placement teams in their services (12)

  • The communications team promoted GROW internally and externally (2)

  • The finance department developed and delivered the new ‘salary loan’ project to trainees (3)

  • The HR team assisted in the recruitment process, in particular by arranging interviews, securing references and carrying out CRB checks (3)

  • Staff sat on recruitment panels (6)

  • Staff conducted assessments during candidates’ project visits during the recruitment process (6)

  • The senior management team was involved in the Steering Group, and in trouble shooting (5)

In the first year, 60% of Thames Reach staff were involved in the development and delivery of the initiative. By month 16 this had risen to 85%.