Joint Winner: Campaign for Learning Networked for Learning - Large Organisation

Dorset County Council, based at County Hall in Dorchester, provides the upper tier of local government in Dorset.  It’s mission is to work together for a strong and successful Dorset, where people are safe, healthy, independent and have a prosperous economy.

Dorset County Council’s Learning at Work Week set out to excite its employees about technology and the opportunities it brings for individuals, the business and residents in Dorset. As an organisation that is embracing digital, both for employees and the organisation, the week provided an opportunity to highlight the type of digital skills required for the future and technology that is not yet well known. A specific purpose of the week, was to raise awareness of how technology helps with social care, security and communication, and how it can be used to design customer focused services.

The week’s programme offered sessions by the council’s ICT department and external bodies. The council has adopted Skype for business and Office 365, so colleagues could get to grip with these at hands on sessions. The council’s network of 50 Digital Champions gave a masterclass. Colleagues and the council’s elected members explored the Mobile Innovation Space to learn about technologies used in schools including robotics, virtual reality and voice technology. School children demonstrated the technologies making the sessions intergenerational.

Microsoft presented their View of the Future, and FutureGov gave introductions to Service Design and Agile Project Delivery. Learn to code, 3D printing, Creating a Killer LinkedIn profile and how to run an effective virtual presentation were some of the other workshops on offer.

A mix of social media, intranet, TV presentation and posters were used to make sure colleagues both online and offline received communications. On yammer, colleagues were invited to take part in conversations about learning and the intranet was updated regularly with articles, photographs and videos of the week’s events to encourage more involvement.

Colleagues from all areas of the organisation came together at the workshops leading to an exchange of good working practices and a flow of interaction across the council’s service areas. The week has created a buzz about learning and digital technology. Some of the technology sessions are being considered for inclusion in the core learning and development programme. Employees have gained skills and knowledge which they are already applying at work. The week has also led to the development of a Digital Academy in association with partner organisations. This will support Dorset County Council’s commitment to the Digital Declaration by offering workshops and a specific training pathway for staff.