Regional Advisor, Roy McNally reflects on a recent team away day, providing insight as to why time spent away from the office is crucial for developing new ideas, engagement, and progress.

Since the onset of routine homeworking following the COVID pandemic, Foundations has faced the challenge of keeping team members engaged, and contributing to the ongoing development of our service, whilst they are based all around the country. Like many people in this situation, it can often feel like a lonely existence, and instead of having the benefit of face-to-face interaction with your teammates, you plough a lonely furrow punctuated only by phone calls or Teams / Zoom meetings. 

You may have pets, and come the school holidays, you may at least have the company of your children, but this is no substitute for meeting your work colleagues in person during the working week. It’s very beneficial for remote teams to come together on a regular basis, not only to provide that vital element of human engagement but also as a means of taking a step back from the coal face and casting a critical eye over what you do as a team. 

The Foundations Case Manager team is no different, and we try to have a team away day at least twice each year, our most recent just having taken place at the end of May 2023. The away day isn’t just an opportunity to catch up in a more human way, but also a means of allowing the team to contribute towards onward development, and genuinely feel part of that process.

As such I thought it may be helpful to share with you just some of the key strategic improvements that the team have agreed to make to improve the efficiency and operation of the team, which will ultimately manifest as improvements to our Case Manager customers. Some of these strategies include:

  • Creating a specific FCM demo site which could be made available online so that potential customers can discover the benefits of the Case Manager system, at their own time and pace, without the need to set up demo appointments with the team.
  • Expanding the role and availability of self-help resources for customers, including such things as instructional “how to” videos available online.
  • Establishing the concept of ‘Product Ownership’ with customers so that responsibilities and boundaries between the FCM Team and our customers

Do your teams have away days? If not, maybe it should be something you should consider?  The benefits obtained by letting staff step back and critically appraise their operations can reap tremendous benefits! Indeed, Foundations have facilitated structured away days for many local authority strategic and operational teams, so if you would like more information on this, please contact your local Regional Advisor.