Thursday, March 08, 2012

Ban The Boss - update

Recently we brought to you the story of Dr Paul Thomas' work with Blaenau Gwent CBC Environmental Services. Here we give you another chance to watch the BBC programme and also a brief update on what happened afterwards.

In 2008, colleague Dr Paul Thomas started working within Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and was filmed by the BBC. This resulted in the BBC programme 'Ban The Boss' which can be viewed by clicking here.

The programme follows Paul as he applies Complexity Theory whilst working  with the Environmental Services Department (Highways, Refuse and Recycling, Litter-picking, and Street Cleansing).

The bin-men viewed management, 'innovations', 'new ideas' and cost-cutting, job losses and more-work-for-less with great suspicion and didn't trust anyone (even the BBC film crew). With change comes risk and uncertainty and the biggest challenge was the acceptance that uncertainty is a natural part of the process. For example, inspiring frontline staff to choose their staff uniforms, arrange shift-patterns, or order equipment, gradually increasing responsibility.

So what happened? The Bin-men were released from filling in a number of forms before they left each morning, this was replaced by a simple checklist. Environmental Services has no managers at all, just leaders. Apart from one manager who chose to leave, no staff were forced out of the organisation. They were moved to other areas where their talents were better utilised. Staff were encouraged to provide input into routing, rostering and how to increase the amount of recycling within the Borough.

The money saved by this intervention, estimated to be in excess of £1m is being re invested  in frontline services, decided by the staff themselves. They were also recognised as the best refuse collection service in the UK, not missing a single collection in the 3 months of the snow disruption. Anyone who knows the steep valley roads will realise that this was no mean feat. Oxford in comparison, a fairly flat region, lost 6 weeks in collections. Recycling rates are also soaring thanks to the hard work of the staff in educating residents and school children. The mechanics in the workshop are also happier and generating revenue for the council by working on, and MOTing vehicles from outside the Council.

As part of this project staff were asked a number of questions, the answers speak for themselves:

Do You Trust Management?                                                        Before  94% - No     After 91% - Yes
Do you feel empowered in work?                                                 Before  78% - No     After 94% - Yes
Are you in a Trusted Workplace                                                   Before  98% - No     After 83% - Yes
Are you able to make suggestions in to improve service/outputs?   Before  68% - No     After 87% - Yes
Do you feel BGCBC appreciates the work you do?                      Before  89% - No     After 96% - Yes
Do you feel you have the 'tools' to do the job?                              Before  63% - No     After 82% - Yes

Are you delivering a 'Good Service' to the Public of BGCBC?      Before  67% - No     After 89% - Yes

Staff Response Rate - 92% 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great update Derek. Thank you. Let me know if I can help in any way.

It's my shout for coffee next for sure ;-)