Programme & service evaluation
An evaluation is a key tool in improving the quality of a programme. It can determine the effectiveness of a programme; document that programme objectives have been met; provide information about programme delivery that will be useful to programme staff and stakeholders; enable programme managers to improve effectiveness. Evaluation fosters accountability, determines the impact that a programme is making, and facilitates service delivery.
Our clients work with us to evaluate a variety of programmes and services, from local initiatives to pan-European programmes. We conduct process evaluations that describe and assess programme activities; outcome evaluations that study the immediate and direct effects on programme participants and stakeholders; and impact evaluations that look beyond the immediate results of a programme or service to identify longer term and unexpected effects.
We apply a blend of qualitative and quantitative methods of collecting data working on the basis that there is always more than one answer to any given question. We always structure our evaluations based on local needs, resources and requirements.
Workplace award schemes
Award and accreditation schemes provide a number of opportunities and benefits to the organisations that participate. These include a clear framework around which activities can be built; a sustainable and developmental approach where the award / accreditations scheme has different levels of attainment (Bronze, Silver, Gold for example); the opportunity for external review, feedback and advice; recognition as being an employer that values their workforce and therefore an employer of choice.
Award and accreditation schemes should not require significant investment; rather the time and effort of those who form a working group and become involved in the delivery of health initiatives across the organisation.
We have extensive UK and EU experience of establishing and running award schemes; supporting organisations in developing their portfolio of activities; assessing organisations for award schemes, including the provision of detailed feedback; facilitating networks in which knowledge and practice can be shared for organisations who seek or have attained an award; and in the review of award criteria and processes.
The award schemes that we are currently involved with include Welsh Government’s flagship workplace award scheme – Healthy Working Wales (http://www.healthyworkingwales.wales.nhs.uk/workplace-awards) ; the National Quality Award for the Welsh Network of Healthy Schools Schemes; and the International Institute for Health Management and Quality (http://www.ihmq.org).
Resilience and stress management
We employ leading specialists in the field of pressure management, resilience and stress. They have worked extensively with both public and private sector organisations across the UK to help these organisations deal with the serious issue of pressure and workplace stress, and to facilitate a more resilient workforce.
The purpose of a stress audit is to identify the sources of workplace pressure and strain across the organisation as a whole and determine what is, and what more could be done to reduce workplace pressure and strain where these are unsustainable. A stress audit can include self-complete questionnaires, focus groups and / or telephone interviews with key stakeholders.
Stress Risk Assessments
An important tool in the prevention of work related stress risk assessments can be used reactively – when an employee has expressed concern about the level of pressure they are facing, or is returning to work following any absence linked to their mental health and wellbeing; or proactively with teams as a means of collectively putting things in place to reduce the impact of workplace stressors. We can provide training to managers and staff on how to carry out a stress risk assessment and can also undertake stress risk assessments where it might be better for someone not involved in the organisation to lead the process.
The impact of psychological stress and strain at work is considerable. It is important therefore that to minimise this impact and maximise the performance of employees and the teams in which they work that levels of awareness of stress, and most importantly what can be done to reduce its impact at team and individual level. Our training courses are tailored to the needs of the client. They focus on equipping people to better understand the nature of psychological stress and strain, appreciate the business case for addressing it in a consistent and comprehensive way and provide detailed learning on issues such as the legislative framework, the role of corporate culture and determining when levels of psychological stress and strain are increasing.
Wellbeing and performance
A number of studies show that a workforce that is mentally and physically fit for work will be more productive. Organisations that actively promote physical and mental wellbeing at work also benefit in other ways including a more reliable and resilient workforce, better relationships at work and higher levels of performance in both quality and quantity of work produced.
We have been assisting employers, across all organisational types, to make an investment for health and thus maximise the performance of their employees. Our approach includes a situational analysis, advice on policies and procedures, the establishment and maintenance of proactive occupational health services, promoting lifestyle awareness and training key staff in the importance and benefits of a comprehensive approach to wellbeing at work. Underpinning our relationship with companies is our desire to create a sustainable corporate approach in which our role decreases while the role of the organisation increases over time.
Managing the impact of alcohol and drug misuse in the workplace
In the context of challenging economic environments and the need to remain competitive, inappropriate use of substances by employees is presenting an increasing number of employers with problems in their workplaces. These include increased sickness absence, lower levels of performance and reduced productivity of staff.
Line managers and supervisors have a key role to play in developing and promoting good corporate practice and minimising the effects on the company of inappropriate use of alcohol and drugs by staff. Guidance for managers on how to act in these circumstances is often inadequate, incomplete or missing altogether, and many employers do not always possess the tools to enable managers to deal with substance use at a corporate level.
We work with companies to help them develop the appropriate skills and knowledge and understanding to enable them to both proactively and reactively with the issue of substances and the impact on work productivity.
Skills and competency development
Organisational change is pervasive and drives improvements in performance. However, changes that result in a number of new roles or changes to existing roles can lead to uncertainties in whether the right skills mix is apparent in the organisation.
We work with clients to help them to take stock of the what the teams and individuals offer to the organisation to contribute to the achievement of organisational goals. We do this by conducting skills audit to identify the gaps in the current skills mix. This allows us to perform a targeted analysis of development needs.
From this we can define the individual skills and behaviours that allow individuals to perform outstandingly and effectively in their role – a competency framework. This provides clear direction and support for individual role holders, and aligns individual behaviours with organisational objectives. Competency frameworks are considered to be an essential vehicle by which to achieve high business performance through focussing and individual capability and capacity.