Mondrem forward-plan: A step in the right direction

23rd July 2020 / BY / IN Business Services, Performance, Wellbeing

When we’re faced with a situation that we find intimidating, we tend to focus on managing the immediate threat rather than developing a long-term solution. As Covid-19 changed our world, this was clearer than ever. Organisations were forced to find new ways to operate, and quickly. Many of our public services had to keep running, and the world had to keep turning. Now four months after our jolt into unfamiliar surroundings, the phrase ‘a new normal’ is already sounding out of date.  Now we’ve turned home space into sometime office space, and found ways to keep our kids entertained during virtual meetings (mostly), it’s time to ask, ‘What’s next?’ 

While next steps can be daunting, we want to offer hope. Mondrem forward-plan is a low-cost, light touch improvement approach which works with organisations to find their starting point, supports them to develop their vision for the future, and offers a path to reach their goals. We want to help organisations recover and get back on their feet.  Now is the time to plan for the future. As lockdown fatigue affects us all, it’s vital now to be planning a less stressful and more flexible experience for staff and customers alike. 

James Doe, Assistant Director for Planning, Development and Regeneration at Dacorum Borough Council, talks about his experience of Mondrem’s forward-plan approach in lockdown. 

“[Working with Mondrem] has been really positive – we’ve taken a long, hard look at our vision for the service and who we want to be.”

The first stage in our FOREST approach is finding a foundation. Exploratory pieces of work help us to work with clients to decide together where to focus attention. We provide an evidence-based diagnostic including employee feedback and client and stakeholder feedback to gain an initial insight.  And, most importantly, to build commitment to change in the whole team. From there, we can share opportunities to improve – the second stage in the FOREST approach. We have the experience to share what best practice looks like, and support organisations to make strategic improvements to meet and exceed their vision.  

“The process was sharp and focussed. Mondrem helped us to identify where the blockages were and found an alternative procedure to resolve them more quickly.”

James Doe

We believe that wellbeing plays a key role in the satisfaction, efficiency, cost-effectiveness and outcomes that organisations can deliver.  And we believe that reducing work in progress (caseload) reduces pressure and stress. That’s why throughout council planning departments, forward-plan focusses on reducing work in progress – in turn reducing stress and improving wellbeing.   And improving the speed and quality of the service.  

Based around a weekly work in progress and wellbeing-focused meeting, forward-plan engages enough to keep organisations on track and gives space and time for people to grow and develop. We focus on mental health, and keep track of employee wellbeing by using regular surveys to inform data-driven outcomes. We know that people are at the heart of public bodies, and we want to make sure their voices are heard.  

“Discussions weren’t limited to management roles and Team Leaders, they were inclusive of everyone in the department, reinforcing the culture change we wanted.”

James Doe

As well as having a significant impact on wellbeing, reduced levels of work-in-progress allow organisations to expand, offering more timely and premium services. As council budgets get smaller, having time to focus on revenue generating activities is a valuable asset. With work in progress under control, forward-plan helps create the space for council planning departments to develop, sell and deliver premium services like PPAs and Pre-Apps. Forward-plan is a small and focused investment to improve staff wellbeing, improve the speed and quality of the customer experience and generate extra revenue. 

 “The goal is to create a cohesive service, across every aspect of the department. By communicating and building a shared understanding, teams work together more effectively.”

Lucy Gibbs, Client Projects Lead, Mondrem CIC 

By focussing on every organisation as unique, Mondrem forward-plan delivers great results that are needed now. We navigate through uncertainty, simplifying solutions by looking at the things that really matter. We plant the seeds of improvement and provide the tools to help them grow.  

 “Providing clients with this kind of support has been really rewarding to me. Seeing the impact that small changes have – like keeping meetings to time, change peoples’ outlook to work. People look forward to attending meetings, because they know how much they can achieve.”

– Lucy Gibbs 

To explore how forward-plan might work for you, please contact Mike Astbury …. 

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