What Happened @ People & Tech: Navigating the New Normal in Local Regional Government

We’ve seen some incredible work and progress in local and regional government organisations this year as they’ve adapted to new ways of working to cope with the pandemic. As #TeamHable’s government sector have been working closely with many LRG organisations during this time, it has been brilliant to see the emphasis placed on ensuring that employee wellbeing is high on the agenda as they have transitioned to remote working.

Our first ‘People & Tech’ event was hosted by our Government Sector Lead, Nathan Rhodes, who gave us an overview of what’s been happening in the sector over the past few months and an insight into our partnership with Nulia Works…

“We don’t want technology to be just a process or a tick box, we want people to be enthusiastic about using these tools to learn better ways of working.”

To successfully drive this enthusiasm and adoption, at Hable we use ADKAR change management methodology. As part of this approach and to help our customers make sustainable, positive change going forward, we have recently partnered with Nulia Works. We understand that people learn by doing and Nulia helps people to do just that! Learn how by visiting our page here.

Following this introduction, Bristol City Council’s Change & Engagement Manager, Rish Shellardshared insights from the organisation, who are about to embark on their journey with Nulia.

 

“At Bristol, we’ve got a really diverse range of workers, from techie people to carers. Something that is really close to my heart is supporting offline staff. People who don’t use tech in their day to day, but they do need to access it for their job. For us, it was really making sure that we personalised the training and work really close with people to ensure that happens.”

Rish shared how Nulia is helping Bristol to do just that, by understanding the unique needs and capabilities of their users and making sure that the recommendations are targeted based just on that.

“Traditional training can be quite dry, so the whole gamification element of Nulia is good.”

Their vision is to have an evergreen approach to change, which is something that Nulia is enabling.

Following Rish, we heard from Shropshire Council’s Head of ICT, Andrew Boxall. Shropshire are a bit further down the line with their change management programme and have had great successes using the power platform.

One particular success was the heartwarming story of how Shropshire have been able to improve their support system for homeless people using power apps. Previously, their support team had been going out into communities with a clipboard and paper searching for homeless people. By time they had recorded the information, returned to the office and connected with a local charity to find shelter, the homeless person would often have moved on.

So, how has the power platform helped?
 
“Using power apps, information goes straight into a power BI dashboard with a Sharepoint list behind it. Now our staff can can locate a place to bring them to while our outreach workers are still on site. This has helped Shropshire to save money, deliver services quicker and house even more homeless people.”

Andrew also demonstrated a really interesting study on how they are now using a learning style app to identify what kind of learners their employees are. This has improved their training, as it can be better communicated to different learner types. 
 
Shropshire have really been using power apps in quite an inspiring way, so Andrew’s talk is well worth a listen to get some ideas!

After a short break, we welcomed Paul Doe, Microsoft’s Senior Customer Success Manager – who brought in a Microsoft perspective and showed us templated apps that Microsoft have created. These are community driven, open source apps which have proven really beneficial within this sector.

One application which has been really useful for many LRG organisations has been the ‘ask an expert’ bot, whereby users can input a question into a bot, which will first draw on the pool of information it has access to. If the users question has still not been answered, the bot will then delegate the query to a dedicated team of experts/ digital champions.

“The concept of what we’ve created here is a bot that should be able to answer most things first line and reduce those basic training and guidance requests. This way, we empower your subject matter experts and champions and serve your user community by picking up these things that come through to them – keeping the bots knowledge base as evergreen as possible.”

Paul also demonstrated the building and request access Power App, which can be used to help with COVID filtering. As organisations are slowly re-opening office spaces, this app enables them to do so by checking people in and out of the building and enabling contact tracing. 

#TeamHable’s Senior Technical Consultant, Paul Dredge followed up, offering his technical expertise on the learning pathways application.

“Something we’ve been working on is bringing all the learning content we’ve produced for our customers together in one place. What better place to display it all than within Microsoft Teams, as it’s the application everyone is using day in and day out…. If we’re pushing out training resources into Teams, then it’s easily accessible. We’re using SharePoint and a way of producing apps within Teams that can be rolled out, much like the learning pathways application. We’ve taken what Microsoft are doing and have adapted it in our own way to present our material.”

Learning pathways is customisable and integrates into Teams, where it is accessible from the left hand navigation.

Watch the full event recording here!

A massive thank you to all of our guest speakers for their time & sharing such valuable insights. Also to everybody who attended, the Q&A throughout was brilliant. If you want to learn more about what Hable can do for your LRG organisation, get in touch with Nathan Rhodes at nrhodes@hable.co.uk.

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