One of the four pillars of activity through which we will achieve the vision of our digital strategy is Staff and Workforce. It will involve:
- Providing all our staff with modern technology and empowering them to help customers to use online whilst continuing to protect and support vulnerable people who cannot use digital.
- Opportunities for more fulfilling types of roles to support digital services, with flexible and mobile working where needed.
- Engaging with schools, colleges and local organisations to build a digitally fit workforce, with the skills and tools needed to support a thriving borough.
Why is this important?
By empowering our staff with the capabilities needed in the digital-era, we can, in turn, help our less confident residents benefit from digital services and technologies. There are great opportunities for staff to learn new skills that can be applied across departments and public services, and, by helping our residents learn the skills and confidence to use digital ways to interact with us, we are helping them gain useful life needs. This might help people tackle many things in a new way, from finding a job or training and qualifications, to finding out about care or health and well-being.
Our intended outcomes
- all staff have access to the tools and facilities they need to perform their role well.
- our workforce is supported and enabled to develop the confidence, competence and skills to make the best use of digital technologies and opportunities.
- our staff have the skills and are empowered to help residents or small businesses who may not feel confident in using digital services.
We will provide
- robust systems, technology and tools that support digital services and are accessible by all staff wherever they are working.
- pop-up ‘genius bar’ sessions, training and support to help upskill staff on new and existing tools.
- opportunities for our staff to learn skills that enable them to work effectively across multiple areas of the business.
- common tools and processes across services wherever feasible in order to improve collaboration whilst reducing duplication.
- new types of roles for staff with skills that are transferable across the organisation.
What we have done in 2020-2021
- Improved the stability and capacity of the council’s infrastructure to provide remote workers with reliable connectivity.
- Increased the delivery of replacement laptops to 55% of devices being less than fours years old from 25% and deployed additional laptops to enable colleagues to work remotely.
- Developed a suite of resources to encourage upskilling and help colleagues adjust to remote working, including supporting mental health and resilience.
- Launched a Digital Ambassador initiative to increase digital capability within the organisation and embrace opportunities that the digital era offers to change our ways of working.
- Enabled and supported multiple live online events and webinars, including a borough-wide recovery conference involving over 200 people, a month-long Digital Festival, and all public meetings.
- Implemented a new approach to performance management to help increase engagement between employees and managers and increase staff development and well-being.
What we will do in 2021-2022
- Establish a face-to-face and remote popup ‘genius bar’ service to provide colleagues and members with easy access to help and advice.
- Review our systems and processes to ensure that we always have accurate records of who works for us and which systems and technology they can access.
- Develop a clear framework and approach for the Digital Ambassadors’ initiative, with a strong emphasis on developing collaboration skills and promoting cross-team working.
- Implement a digital leadership academy and associated learning pathways to help councillors and colleagues develop their digital capabilities.
- Design, develop and deliver a programme of activities and challenges for the Hounslow Innovation Network, linking with the recovery programme as appropriate.
- Reconfigure our council buildings to make usage more flexible, offering colleagues a variety of workspaces and ways of working, including hybrid meetings.