I would like to share some of the details of the Strategic Review carried out by Investors in People. The findings of the report were gathered from two focus groups; it details what staff think of Fair Deal as an employer and makes recommendations for how the organisation may proceed over the next twelve months.
Positives of the report
Although the report acknowledges the challenges we currently face as an organisation, it moves on to detail what – according to staff – the organisation is doing well. This includes the move towards smaller staff teams, which is felt to work well both for staff and the people we support and the level and quality of interaction between support teams and management. Staff say that they feel supported by management, while they are also encouraged to work autonomously, make decisions and take initiative. This was felt to be positive because it allows staff to develop their practice and build confidence. This is reinforced by the strong emphasis placed on regular training and by the acknowledgement of good practice by management.
The quality of support offered by Fair Deal was also noted, as was the fact that the organisation has a strong external reputation. On the whole, it appears that staff feel proud of the kind of support that Fair Deal offers: they emphasised the range of activities offered by the organisation, as well as the fact that they are encouraged to use their own skills and to develop effective, professional relationships with the people they support within small teams. The report acknowledges that the size of the organisation is a big part of its strength as both a provider of care and support and as an employer. The person-centred approach we aim for is evident in the assertions of staff that the service retains a very personal quality and that both staff and the people they support feel part of something.
To sum all this up: people have said they enjoy working for Fair Deal because they enjoy working with the people that they support, because they are encouraged to be autonomous and innovative in their practice, and because they feel they are working within an organisation that wants to make a difference.
Recommendations and the future
There were also a number of issues highlighted by staff, mainly concerning clarity and communication. Staff felt that more effort should be made to engage with new employees when welcoming them into the organisation and they flagged that they would like to be kept more informed about external changes and how these may affect the organisation. This was felt to be important both for staff and for the people they support. Staff also raised the possibility of collaborating with other organisations working in the sector in order to share and develop good practice.
Above all, staff felt that the organisation should try to be more vocal about its achievements and successes. In this vein, I would like to thank the staff that took part in this review for your input and to acknowledge all the hard work that has gone into creating the kind of organisation that it describes. The review identifies that Fair Deal’s main challenge is to continue to attract and retain talented, dedicated staff and makes a number of recommendations for how it may do this: for now, thank you all for the work that you do and the effort you put in to creating an important and valuable service.
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