Senior Managers’ Network
On Thursday morning we had the latest get together of the Council’s Senior Manager Network. These are always useful events, providing the opportunity to catch up with colleagues and discuss cross-Council initiatives.
As well as useful updates on the corporate accommodation programme, the Council’s communication strategy and the introduction of name blind recruitment, we also had a session led by our Public Health team looking at ways that the Council supports health and wellbeing. This includes a wide range of support and opportunities for activities such as: smoking cessation; gym membership discounts; cycling; activities like rounders, 5k your way etc; let’s network Hackney; support with tenancy desposits; and the employee assistance service. I would strongly encourage you to take the time to find out more about these and see how you might be able to benefit from the Council’s offer.
The most impactful part of the morning was a talk given by a colleague who talked about his struggles with mental health and how he and his manager had worked together to provide support and help him manage the effects of this. I was struck by the openness and honesty in the presentation and also how the combination of their efforts, supported by the Council’s employee assistance service and the NHS, was helping to achieve positive outcomes for the individual and also the Council.
We’ve started to look through the feedback we received in response to our recent staff survey, where we asked colleagues to let us know how we’re doing.
There are further signs of great progress. 63% of users of users are positive about our service, which is up from 61% last year and a fantastic increase from 28% in 2016. It was also really encouraging to see that 70% of respondents to the survey said that document collaboration and sharing is proving useful and over 59% of people are finding instant messaging helpful too. These show that our new tools are bedding in across the organisation, which gives a good basis for us to build from.
One of the most important aspects of the survey is the detailed answers to the questions we asked. There are lots of comments to read through which span across the whole range of possible opinions (as illustrated in my tweet below!). We’ll be reviewing those all carefully and using them to check that we’re prioritising the right work and to help us identify any additional actions we need to take to make sure that we are meeting our users’ needs.
- Caught up with Matthew, Richard and Susan to prepare our update for Members about the new hackney.gov.uk. This is a great opportunity to share how the team have delivered a more accessible website and achieved significant savings in an impressively short period of time. We’re booked for 25 November, so have a bit of time to make sure that we are well prepared.
- Had a very useful session with Matthew and Tony, along with Dawn and Jenny from our finance team, to look at how we will develop the longer term finance strategy for our in-house print service. The team have worked hard to make sure that the service achieves a balanced budget for the year and we discussed ways that we will continue to improve this moving forward and also help reduce the cost of printing across the Council.
- Met with the Mayor and Ian (my boss) for our regular two-to-one meeting. As ever, this was a wide ranging and useful conversation which covered the work we’re helping to deliver, emerging opportunities / areas for focus and an update on how we are performing across our service.
- Caught up with colleagues in our Regeneration division. It was great to hear positive feedback about the recent upgrades to the team’s PCs and laptops, and also that the work on supporting the review of the way that the service manages their files and documents has started well. The key will be maintaining pace as we move these forward so that we sustain the direction of travel.
- Met with a former colleague from the senior team at SOCITM. It was interesting to hear how they’re developing the society, especially their work to support a more representative group of people into the IT profession.
- Was encouraged by a good week for HackIT awards. Sarah shared the news that she has won Information Governance Professional of the Year (Social Care) for her work here and our submission to the LGC Awards has been shortlisted (although we won’t find out who wins that one until the spring).
- Wrapped up my week with a conversation to learn more about the arrangements for resilience across London. This is part of my new role taking the lead for this for Hackney Council, and it was helpful to understand how our arrangements in the borough connect in with mutual support and coordination across the capital as a whole.
Something I’m learning
The bike is going well, with 56 kilometres covered over the week! But as demonstrated by the route I used for my journey to a meeting in Stratford, I have some work to do on my navigation technique…