Equipping employees emotionally for change
Westminster Children’s Society aims to support the children of low-income families and at the time of this project, managed twelve children’s centres providing high-quality, low cost childcare.
WCS is a high-energy, committed organisation, whose 90 staff usually take change in their stride – opening new facilities, dealing with endless new legislation, and taking on new employees and contracts, often for the local authority. However, the new CEO for WCS thought that with the amount of change in the organisation at the moment – including the departure of their current CEO – the employees needed some additional support.
Take 90 people through what is often a very personal, introspective and solitary process, make it fun, encourage teamwork, keep people motivated and enthusiastic and allow them to use their creativity, in one day, with a long lunch break. With just two facilitators.
We designed and arranged a briefing meeting with 12 WCS team leaders. At this we presented a detailed document briefing them on their role in guiding and feeding back the team discussions to give us some extra arms and legs on the day. We also identified what kind of issues might come up and added these into the briefing pack.
The agenda for the day included:
- Putting participants on a change barometer to gauge comfort with change
- Individual survey work and group discussion about personal experience of change
- Presentation of the Kubler Ross grief curve and group discussion about individuals’ position on it
- Identification of areas of potential loss in change
- Working to make personal change – and actions
- Working to make team change – and action
- Video exercise to develop group visions of the future
- Tee-shirt decoration – the back showing what people leave behind, the front showing what people are going to do
- A fashion parade to complete the day
Westminster Children’s Society is going through a huge amount of change. We wanted to equip our employees to deal with the personal impact of the change without raising anxiety levels. fe3 ran a day-long event for us which combined personal reflection, fun, creativity and team work.
I felt the exercises were just right. Ours is not an organisation that sits quietly in a classroom setting – they need to be getting involved, doing things. The mixture of elements provided by Gary and Karen was completely appropriate for our audience.
The feedback has been excellent, with many employees saying that they enjoyed the day, but more importantly, they feel that we went back to our core values and are strengthened because of it.
The process was fun to do, expertly and enthusiastically delivered, and the preparation pack for our team leaders was excellent – clear and pragmatic. I recommend fe3 highly.
June O’Sullivan, CEO, Westminster Children’s Society