Dorset Council’s aim is to help improve the lives of people in Dorset. As a council we strive to support people throughout their lives, encouraging good lifestyle choices in vibrant communities. We want to make Dorset a great place to live, work and visit.

Dorset Council’s Learning at Work Week delivered a programme of new digital bite size learning.  The week was designed to help colleagues recognise and further develop their skills; provide opportunities to try something new and start a learning journey. It was an opportunity to embed the use of Microsoft Teams whilst providing a sense of fun and excitement. To structure the week, the team created four themed groups - Wellbeing Journey, Digital Journey, Change Journey and Covid-19 Learning Journey - with bite size learning based on organisational and personal needs. Sessions were designed with different learning preferences in mind. 

The topics included Desk Yoga,; Active Dorset – look after yourself, Co-production – making a difference together; a talk by the Corporate Director on their journey to virtual DJ; ‘Community Shield’ lessons learned. The activities included video clips, talks, group discussions and reading materials. A programme of digital resources was published each day.  

The week was promoted widely using the council’s intranet, internal social media, bulletins and managers email, MS Teams sites, and Corporate Leaders webinars. A communication campaign built-up excitement and captured attention with snippets of the week’s plans alongside promotional video’s.

During the week, the intranet home page was updated daily. The council’s Digital Champions Network promoted activities and learners were encouraged to discuss the week on Yammer and the employee Facebook page. The week closed with a ‘bloopers’ reel video highlighting the learning journeys colleagues had taken since working from home. By using the council’s intranet for promotion, the team were able to highlight their existing support for learning such as their five ways to wellbeing. 

The week created a buzz around virtual and online learning. Colleagues came together and now feel more comfortable about learning in a virtual world. The digital delivery created a flow of interaction across service areas, enabling colleagues to try new things whilst working remotely. Colleagues rated the bite size sessions as very useful and have put the skills learned into practice. There is more appetite for further wellbeing sessions. The ‘bite size’ concept has proved successful and the council has launched a new online ‘Learning Hub’ with all learning resources in this format.