SOUTHEND BOROUGH COUNCIL
Recognising the very real challenges Southend faced in a climate of austerity and greatly reduced resources, Southend Borough Council revised the Council’s governance arrangements and their Code of Conduct and sought to examine their behaviours and the values underpinning them to set the tone for the entire organisation “To Do the Right Thing”.
Starting at the top, the Council acknowledged the need to promote a real awareness of their key policies and not only where to access them, but to understand how they could support Council leaders to understand their own responsibilities as leaders.
With a prevalence of increasing workloads and aspects of low morale impact, we were commissioned by Southend to devise and deliver an ongoing interactive programme of activity to support their senior leaders, group managers, line managers, supervisors and HR representatives.
The intervention was designed to support Southend’s governance arrangements including guidance on how to apply a moral code of conduct to the strategic and operational management of the Council. Key areas of focus included:
- Council values
- The Council’s Code of Conduct
- Leadership and Management Responsibilities
- The Nolan Principles
- To explore the Council’s governance arrangements and moral code of conduct particularly in relation to the current culture and economic climate
- Unacceptable & best practice behaviour
Designed to stimulate greater consciousness around behaviours, we scripted bespoke scenarios targeting the key aims of the programme.
Working with our actors, delegates were able to explore these and were also given the opportunity to learn vital skills on having difficult conversations. This built confidence to challenge inappropriate behaviour and language.
We explored the Nolan Principles highlighting what it feels like to work for an organisation that adopts this approach and the business and employee benefits of it.
As a result of leaders coming together at the training, they were able to reflect on doing the right thing and understanding their responsibilities and the likely impact and consequences of something going wrong. We were able to identify, in a collaborative way, the behaviours and language that promote positive and inclusive working practices leading to the best possible strategic and operational management. Participants understood their leadership responsibility in role modelling appropriate behaviour and setting and monitoring standards. They were able to reflect on their behaviours and their responses to other people’s behaviours to promote team cohesion and effective working.
At the end of the training, delegates had a heightened awareness of “Doing the Right Thing” and were also considerably more aware of Southend’s policies and the Nolan principles.
As the sessions were so positively received at senior level, a series of next steps follow up sessions were commissioned to target an audience at all levels within the Council. This took the format of identifying the “Southend Way” and further promoting the message to “Do the Right Thing”
We were also asked to provide an ongoing training package for their People and OD Team / Change Instigators to deliver workshops and add to the Council’s e-learning platform.