HSE Chemicals Regulation Division

Highly Commended: Campaign for Learning Networked for Learning - Large Organisation

The Health and Safety Executive’s Chemicals Regulation Division (CRD) ran Learning at Work Week across its three sites in London, Liverpool and York. Its week aimed to promote lifelong learning and the benefits it has for relationships and wellbeing and empower staff to take control of their development and career. By bringing people together in a fun and engaging way, HSE wanted to encourage staff to take time out of their busy schedules and develop skills for work, life and leisure through bite sized learning.

To stimulate networking before the week, staff were invited to help develop the programme at drop in sessions. Hidden talents were uncovered and colleagues were encouraged to share them during the week. All sessions were designed to encourage cross team working and networking.

The division delivered nearly 40 sessions including webinars, practical workshops and presentations. All but two sessions were delivered by staff for staff. Colleagues could get support on applying for jobs at HSE, and find out about mentoring and career paths at the organisation. Employees learned about bee keeping and how the organisation’s work has an impact on the environment. Other leisure sessions looked at blog writing, photography, French, pilates and the benefits of doing voluntary work. Mental Health Awareness week was promoted with sessions on how to manage your own wellbeing and mindfulness. Government lawyers explained the new GDPR in Q&A sessions and workshops helped colleagues to improve skills. There were talks on the new Leadership and Management Programmes and Apprenticeships. A fun competitive quiz was run across the three sites to finish the week.

A tailored communications plan took into account how different teams preferred to receive messages. The CRD Director launched the week by direct mail, and the CRD newsletter encouraged participation supplemented with eye catching posters and internal social media. The CRD division promoted their activities across HSE resulting in nearly 400 people participating in the week from CRD and other divisions, encouraging network across the company.

HSE’s social scientists helped with the formal evaluation of the week. The week has had a range of impacts. Colleagues feel valued and engaged, and now know more people in their own division due to the networking opportunities. New skills have been learned and social groups have been setup including a pilates and craft club. The profile of L&D has been raised and HSE and CRD’s commitment to ongoing staff development has been demonstrated. Two sessions for mental health wellbeing were piloted before a wider roll out across HSE. CRD will use the results to inform its L&D programme throughout 2018/2019. More divisions at HSE are looking to take part in Learning at Work Week as a result of CRD’s success.