A City for All is Westminster City Council’s vision for its council and residents, alongside this is The Westminster Way, the people strategy, that Westminster City Council created with and for its employees, to foster a culture that is supportive, caring and empowering.

It is underpinned by three pillars, Everyone has Talent, Everyone is Valued and Everyone is a Leader. The council’s Learning at Work Week was aligned to support these world class ambitions with a virtual learning programme that empowered its people to take a lead in their roles and in their career and personal development. 

The L&D team looked at organisational and development needs and collaborated with champions from each department and staff networks to explore the Learning at Work Week ‘Made for Learning’ theme. They asked what the theme meant to people personally and in the context of ‘Everyone is a Leader’. This generated ideas and areas of focus that they could use for the week’s activities. These included helping people to gain confidence in using technology to support hybrid working and learning, create a personal brand for career progression, and understanding better the difference between mentoring and coaching so colleagues could choose the best support as they navigate their careers. Others focused on the importance of developing a growth mindset as individuals and leaders of others and understanding unconscious bias.  

    

Twenty-two interactive workshops were delivered virtually by Zoom and Microsoft Teams. The groups were kept small to allow for a better discussion and ran for an hour to an hour and half, making it easier for colleagues to attend. 

In addition to the council’s usual communication channels, the week was promoted at all levels of the organisation by the Learning and Development champions, staff networks, directors and Executive Leadership Assistants. A dedicated Learning at Work Week Hub on Sharepoint hosted the calendar with workshop booking links alongside external learning platforms such as EdX, Google Digital Garage and Westminster Adult Education Service. To direct colleagues to the Hub, content and links were shared on the Council’s Yammer.  

The attendance at workshops increased by 125% on the previous Learning at Work Week. Colleagues enjoyed the virtual sessions scoring them highly. Nearly 75% of colleagues reported that the activities had supported them with their career and personal development goals. Colleagues have asked for Learning at Work Week to be run twice a year. Through the week, the Council has continued to embed The Westminster Way. It has encouraged colleagues to take a lead in their role and in their learning, so they proactively seek out development opportunities that will assist them in delivering high quality services. By making the sessions easy to access, there has been increased engagement from colleagues in front line services such as social work and contact centres. Staff based in remote locations feel more connected. The team will continue to build on their success via connect and learn sessions and have already commissioned new courses based on feedback.