Implementing Change – Almost 1000 employees prepared for next stage of growth

Key facts and figures

Business priorities: Implementing change
Sector: Employment and Justice
Lead contact: Chief HR Officer
Employees in the picture: 969
Locations: Across the UK
Lead time to launch day: 6 months

“I think this has been the most powerful process Working Links has ever taken their people through.  It’s been so motivating to see some of those light bulb moments, to see people move from total disengagement to engaging in the session, to see anger levels reduce during a session, to see and hear the passion people have for our service users and to hear facilitators so motivated by the experience.”

Chief HR Officer

Our client’s challenge

Working Links was established in 2000, with the aim of creating positive futures for people, their families and communities. The organisation employs 1200 people and delivers employability, learning and skills and justice sector programmes to thousands of people in the UK and internationally, on behalf of a wide range of government and funding bodies.

Working Links had rapidly evolved since its inception, so staff had necessarily experienced a lot of change. The organisation had also recently taken over the running of three community-based companies, so needed to integrate colleagues from these organisations into the wider business. 

The organisation felt the time was right to consolidate its position by helping employees to look back and recognise the journey they had been on, and to enthuse them about the potential for further growth. The chosen solution for this communication challenge needed to bring employees together to recognise the need to implement change, move forward as one business, with no functional silos or barriers.

Our solution and results

Effectively implementing change, our detailed planning and design process, in close collaboration with the Working Links Executive Team, led to the development of a highly engaging Learning Map that includes:

  • A unique Learning Map formatted as a metaphorical journey that enabled people from ‘all corners of the organisation’ to experience the journey the organisation had been on since its establishment in 2000.
  • A custom-designed series of action learning tools, including exercises and discussion points to highlight the changing needs of stakeholders as well as the advantages of better internal collaboration and partner working.
  • A comprehensive facilitator guide and toolkit to enable a consistently high-quality experience in delivering and implementing change within the organisation, for almost 50 internal facilitators and close to 1,000 participants.

The system was launched and rolled out through 115 sessions held across 41 locations during 2017. By putting people in the picture they were able to see that it was possible to deliver a social purpose within a commercial operating model and that change was necessary to meet the ever shifting social and political climate the business operates within.

The impact of the Learning Map amongst employees has been significant.

  • 97% said they now understood the drivers of change and volatility for the business which directly addressed Working Links’ original communications challenge.
  • 89% reported that they saw the value of better collaboration across the business, which represented highly positive progress towards getting people to recognise the need to move forward as one business with no functional silos or barriers.
  • Almost 9 out of 10 of those surveyed said that following the Learning Map sessions they could now see a greater connection between the values across functions, which paves the way to improving overall cooperation and communication across the organisation.
  • Almost 90% also confirmed that they now realised there were more things they can positively influence in their working environment than they had previously thought, critical to an increased sense of ownership and empowerment of managers and staff to accept and drive change in the future.

Ready to learn more about The Big Picture People?