Monthly Archives: March 2017

The writing’s on the desk!

Melin Homes’ white board desks have promoted positive behaviour change, saved money and resources, and also improved Data Protection practice! Ena Lloyd blogs below on the story behind the desks.

I recently popped up to see Trisha Hoddinot at Melin Homes after Mari Arthur from Cynnal Cymru said what good work they were doing on their Car Scheme. Not only saving money and achieving positive sustainability results, but also showing some early signs of positive behaviour change too.

When I got to their office, I noticed all the desks in the Sustainable team were white, and on closer inspection, there were lots of written messages on them too! So I had to ask what the story was. Turns out they were white board desks. I’ll share information on their car scheme in a later blog! Here’s Trisha’s story on the white board desks.

A photo of a Melin Homes whiteboard desk, with writing on it

A Melin Homes whiteboard desk

We are the Sustainability Team, formed in February 2016 to capture what Melin Homes was doing in terms of sustainability in order to get the best out of everything we do. We wanted to lead by example, show things are possible and demonstrate that as a team, we could be totally paperless. We had no excuse, we were a brand new team – an innovative, but realistic team. We didn’t expect teams to go paperless overnight (we have less restrictions than some teams in terms of external auditing and record keeping), but if every team did a bit of what we are doing, it would really make a difference.

What we’ve done differently

Here’s how we’re encouraging others:

  1. Every month we advertise the top three teams who have reduced their printing on our internal TV screens.
  2. We’ve changed what we buy. All future Melin Homes desks will be white board desks.
  3. We make people think. There are laptops and tablets in every meeting room so that people can log on to make notes, share meeting agendas on screen and access documents, instead of using pen and paper.
A photo of Melin Homes staff using their whiteboard desks

Staff at Melin Homes using their whiteboard desks

We decided to use A4 sized whiteboards instead of post it notes and paper for notes, and purely by accident, we discovered that our white desks were in fact whiteboard desks, which can be used for ‘to do’ lists or notes for when you’re on the phone. Our excitement was not initially shared by everyone, but within 2 or 3 days less enthusiastic colleagues were coming around to the idea and asking for whiteboard markers so that they could join our revolution! Our customer contact team also use whiteboards, which not only reduces paper usage but also helps Data Protection as notes taken on calls with residents can be noted while the call is being resolved, but wiped out immediately after.

How we did it

For us, the only way to do it was without exception, no excuses, no printing and no notepads. When we meet with others and are given papers, we scan and save them on our team system and destroy them. One challenge that we did have to overcome involved one of my colleagues, who was updating information from our contractors onto a database. Historically, they would print one document off while updating another one on screen. To resolve this, we connected a second monitor.

A photo of a Melin Homes staff member using two monitors to save paper

A Melin Homes staff member using two monitors to save paper

What are the benefits?

The benefits are much wider than the environmental benefits and the financial savings on paper and printing costs. Staplers, pens, scissors, etc. aren’t needed now and our desks are much less cluttered. The added benefit is the opportunity to remind people that we are paperless when they ask to borrow a pen.

What learning would you share with others?

My first piece of advice for others on becoming ‘paperless’ would be that you should not enforce a massive expectation for change on all staff. It will alienate people immediately. It’s better to set the challenge and lead by example.

You should also use every opportunity to reinforce what you want to achieve. Whenever a member of our team attends an internal meeting, there is always a member of staff who apologises for having a paper and pen with them as they feel guilty. We don’t have to mention anything, but we always welcome the opportunity to remind people that we are Melin Homes’ first paperless team.

You do need to be aware of external meetings. I always feel the need to explain to others why I am using a phone or tablet to make notes, so they don’t think I’m being rude and texting friends or checking social media.

If you are positive about making the change, you can work around it. Good luck!

Mae’r ysgrifen ar y ddesg!

Mae desgiau bwrdd gwyn Gartrefi Melin wedi hyrwyddo newid ymddygiad cadarnhaol, arbed arian ac adnoddau, a hefyd gwella’i arfer Diogelu Data! Isod mae Ena Lloyd yn blogio ar y stori y tu ôl i’w desgiau.

Galwais heibio’n ddiweddar i weld Trisha Hoddinot yn Cartrefi Melin ar ôl i Mari Arthur o Cynnal Cymru sôn am y gwaith da maent yn ei wneud ar eu Cynllun Ceir. Nid jyst arbed arian a sicrhau canlyniadau cynaliadwyedd da, roedd yna hefyd arwyddion cynnar o newidiadau cadarnhaol mewn ymddygiad.

Pan gyrhaeddais ei swyddfa, sylwais fod pob un o ddesgiau’r Tîm Cynaliadwy yn wyn, ac wrth eu hastudio ymhellach, roedd llawer o negeseuon ysgrifenedig drostynt hefyd! Felly roedd yn rhaid i mi ofyn beth oedd y tu ôl i’r desgiau yma. Clywais mai desgiau bwrdd gwyn oeddynt. Byddaf yn rhannu gwybodaeth am eu cynllun ceir mewn blog diweddarach! Dyma stori Trisha am y desgiau bwrdd gwyn.

Ffoto o fwrdd desg gwyn Cartrefi Melin sydd gan ysgrifen arno

Bwrdd desg gwyn Cartrefi Melin

Ni yw’r Tîm Cynaliadwyedd a ffurfiwyd ym mis Chwefror 2016 i nodi’r hyn roedd Cartrefi Melin yn ei wneud o ran Cynaliadwyedd – i gael y gorau allan o bopeth rydym yn ei wneud. Roeddem eisiau arwain drwy esiampl a dangos bod pethau’n bosibl drwy ddangos, fel tîm, y gallem fod yn gwbl ddi-bapur. Doedd dim esgus gennym, roeddem yn dîm newydd sbon. Rydym yn dîm arloesol ond realistig. Doedden ni ddim yn disgwyl i dimau fynd yn ddi-bapur dros nos. Mae gennym ni lai o gyfyngiadau na thimau eraill o ran archwilio allanol a chadw cofnodion. Ond, petai pob tîm yn mabwysiadu rhywfaint o’r hyn rydym yn ei wneud, byddai wir yn gwneud gwahaniaeth.

Beth rydym wedi’i wneud yn wahanol

Dyma sut rydym yn annog eraill:

  1. Rydym yn enwi’r tri thîm sydd wedi cwtogi fwyaf ar eu hargraffu ar ein sgriniau teledu mewnol bob mis.
  2. Yn y dyfodol, bydd unrhyw ddesgiau newydd a gaiff eu prynu ar gyfer Cartrefi Melin yn ddesgiau bwrdd gwyn.
  3. Rydym yn gwneud i bobl feddwl. Mae gliniaduron a llechi ymhob ystafell gyfarfod fel y gall pobl fewngofnodi i wneud nodiadau, rhannu agendâu cyfarfodydd ar y sgrin a gweld dogfennau, yn hytrach na defnyddio peniau ysgrifennu a phapur.
Ffotograff o Staff Cartrefi Melin yn defnyddio'i byrddau gwyn

Staff Cartrefi Melin yn defnyddio’i byrddau gwyn

Penderfynom ddefnyddio byrddau gwyn maint A4 yn hytrach na nodiadau post-it a phapur nodiadau ar gyfer negesuon, a thryw ddamwain dyma ni’n sylweddoli bod ein desgiau yn ddesgiau bwrdd gwyn. Y gellir eu defnyddio ar gyfer rhestr ‘i’w wneud’, nodiadau pan fyddwch ar y ffôn ac ati. Nid oedd pawb yn rhannu ein cyffro i ddechrau, ond o fewn 2 i 3 diwrnod, roedd ein cydweithwyr llai brwdfrydig yn dechrau cael eu hargyhoeddi bod hyn yn syniad da ac yn gofyn am fyrddau gwyn er mwyn ymuno â’n chwyldro! Mae ein tîm cyswllt cwsmeriaid hefyd yn defnyddio byrddau gwyn, sydd nid yn unig yn arbed papur, ond hefyd mae’n helpu ni i ddiogelu data, oherwydd gellir ysgrifennu nodiadau yn ystod yr alwad, ac yna ei sychu’n lân yn syth wedyn.

Y ffordd y gwnaethon ni hyn

I ni, yr unig ffordd o wneud hyn oedd heb eithriadau, dim esgusodion, dim argraffu a dim padiau ysgrifennu. Pan fyddwn yn cwrdd ag eraill ac yn cael papurau, rydym yn ei sganio ac yn ei chadw ar system ein tîm a’i ddinistrio. Un her y gwnaethom ei goresgyn oedd sefyllfa lle byddai un o fy nghydweithwyr yn diweddaru gwybodaeth gan ein contractwyr ar gronfa ddata ac yn argraffu un ddogfen tra’n diweddaru un ar sgrin. Er mwyn datrys hyn, gwnaethom gysylltu ail fonitor.

Ffotograff o aelod o staff Cartrefi Melin yn defnyddio dau fonitor cyfrifiadur i arbed papur

Aelod o staff Cartrefi Melin yn defnyddio dau fonitor cyfrifiadur i arbed papur

Beth fu’r manteision

Yn ogystal â manteision amgylcheddol a’r arbedion ariannol ar gostau papur ac argraffu, mae yna manteision ehangach. Nid oes angen styffylwyr, peniau ysgrifennu, sisyrnau ac ati mwyach, ac mae ein desgiau yn llawer taclusach. Mantais arall yw’r cyfle i atgoffa pobl ein bod yn ddi-bapur pan fyddant yn gofyn am gael benthyg pen ysgrifennu.

Beth yw’r dysgu yr hoffech ei rannu ag eraill?

Pe bawn ni am roi cyngor i eraill ynglŷn â mynd yn ‘ddi-bapur’, y cyngor hwnnw fyddai peidiwch â rhoi disgwyliadau enfawr ar ysgwyddau bob aelod o staff. Bydd troi’r ymarfer yn rheol orfodol yn gelyniaethu pobl yn syth. Gosodwch yr her ac arweiniwch drwy esiampl.
Manteisiwch ar bob cyfle i atgyfnerthu’r hyn rydych am ei gyflawni. Pan fydd aelod o’n tîm yn mynychu cyfarfod mewnol, yn ddiau fe fydd aelod o staff yno sy’n ymddiheuro am fod ganddo bapur a phen ysgrifennu ac yn teimlo’n euog. Does dim rhaid i ni grybwyll dim byd, ond rydym bob amser yn croesawu’r cyfle i atgoffa pobl mai ni yw tîm di-bapur cyntaf Cartrefi Melin.

Mae angen i chi fod yn ymwybodol o gyfarfodydd allanol. Rwyf bob amser yn teimlo bod yn rhaid i mi egluro i eraill pam fy mod yn defnyddio ffôn neu lechen i gymryd nodiadau, rhag ofn iddynt feddwl fy mod yn ddigywilydd ac yn tecstio ffrindiau neu’n darllen y cyfryngau cymdeithasol.

Os ydych o ddifrif ynglŷn â newid, gallwch ei gyflawni. Pob lwc!

Getting to grips with effective time management

Managing your time in a busy office can be an insurmountable task in and of itself. In this post Dyfrig Williams looks at the changes he’s made to the way that he works.

A change in personal circumstances has recently meant that I’ve been working more from home. Not my home in Cardiff, but my partner’s home in Exeter. Kelly is an incredible writer, so instead of outlining how this started, I’ll signpost you to her fantastic post on our relationship and digital romance.

At this point I feel that I’ve got to say that I’m incredibly lucky to be working in an organisation that has helped me to balance my work commitments with my personal life, and also that I’m fortunate to work within a fantastic team who are incredibly supportive. Project wise, everything has been pretty seamless. This might be because we’re already geographically dispersed – Beth lives and works in North Wales and currently half of Chris’ working life is spent on secondment with Bangor University. Fortunately for us, Ena also works incredibly hard from our Cardiff office.

What I’ve learnt

A photo of Dyfrig Williams' calendar, which shows Trello notifications

My calendar, which is integrated with Trello

Remote working has its challenges, but it’s enabled me to rigorously examine how I work. To put this into context, I’m so disorganised that I’ve been on two time management courses. Neither of these changed anything, and I’m not convinced that a training course was the most appropriate way to solve the issue. However I’m also acutely aware of my weakness, so I set up systems and processes to help me combat my poor organisational skills. I now set up a Trello board for each topic that I work on, and the Wales Audit Office’s recent upgrade to Office 365 means that I can sync these to my Outlook Calendar so that I have regular updates when tasks are due.

More than anything, working from home has highlighted just how much time I waste during the day. I’m a firm believer that social media should be social, so I log on to our work accounts a few times in the day to learn from others and share key messages. However my defacto purpose was to undertake the fun and social learning that I love, and to avoid some of the more monotonous yet essential tasks that keep the Good Practice Exchange’s show on the road. Cue some difficult conversations with myself. Now I’m focusing my work around effecting change and evidencing outcomes.

The Herculean task of managing emails

I’ve asked a fair few members of our staff how they would like to hear about changes to our systems for our Cutting Edge Audit project. A fairly typical response was that email was probably best, but that staff are facing an avalanche of them. I don’t think we’re alone in facing this challenge – Halton Housing found that their average employee spends 40% of their working week dealing with internal email that adds no value to the business before they switched off their internal email.

One person I spoke to questioned how people had the time to go on Yammer. What I’ve found interesting is that people see a clear distinction between two modes of conversation that could both be used for the same purpose. Answering email sometimes seems to be an end in and of itself. Surely it’s distracting us from productive work in the same perceived way as Yammer does? I used to have my inbox open all day, which meant that I dealt with emails as and when they came in. I now only open my inbox a couple of times a day to answer emails. After all, no one emails in an emergency.

After reading Oliver Burkeman’s article on time management (which is also available as a podcast), I’m convinced that Merlin Mann’s Inbox Zero, a rigorous approach to email that aims to keep our inboxes empty, leads people into answering emails at the expense of real work. And as Burkeman says, “becoming hyper-efficient at processing email meant I ended up getting more email: after all, it’s often the case that replying to a message generates a reply to that reply, and so on”. So email becomes a default mode of communication, whether it’s appropriate or not. The crux of everything is that by managing email in this way “you’re still Sisyphus, rolling his boulder up that hill for all eternity – you’re just rolling it slightly faster”.

Should we ditch the office?

Working from home also means that I have two days free of meetings per week, which gives me plenty of opportunity to undertake deep work away from distraction. I’m a social animal so I’m not advocating a move away from social interaction. Basecamp’s No Talk Thursdays and Library Rules sound like hell to me. I’m a firm believer that we need people to emotionally invest and buy in to the work we’re doing, and enjoying work is a key part of getting work done. However tools like Doodle can help us to think about what time suits us as individuals as we opt in to meetings, instead of scheduling based on time available in our calendars.

To me, Basecamp’s approaches show that there’s no such thing as a blanket rule for efficient working. By happenstance I’ve been able to look at what I do and make adjustments based on what works in different environments. This has all been written from a personal perspective, and not everyone works in the same way. It’s important that we look at what these tools can do in the context of how they can make us more productive as teams and individuals.

I started off this post by talking about work/life balance and how the Wales Audit Office has facilitated that. To me, this is at the heart of time management. If you’re forever looking to be more efficient so you can cram more work in, then the likelihood is that you’ll be unable to avoid the stress that you were looking to combat. But if you’re instead looking to better balance your life, you’re able to ensure that you’re focusing your work where it has the most value. This approach has made my work more fulfilling, and I’ve been able to focus on my personal life and do more of the things that matter to me. I’m at the beginning of my journey and I’m going to see how this develops. As I mentioned above, this isn’t a one-size fits all approach, so if you’ve got time management tips that work for you, I’d love to hear from you.

Ceisio rheoli amser yn effeithiol

Gall rheoli eich amser mewn swyddfa brysur fod yn dasg fawr yn ei hun. Yn y blogbost yma mae Dyfrig Williams yn edrych ar sut mae ef wedi newid ei ffordd o weithio.

Mae newid mewn amgylchiadau personol wedi meddwl fy mod i wedi bod yn gweithio mwy o gartref. Nid fy nghartref yng Nghaerdydd, ond cartref fy nghariad yng Nghaerwysg. Mae Kelly yn sgwennu’n lot gwell ‘na fi, felly fe wnâi’ch cyfeirio at ei blogbost gwych ar ein perthynas a rhamant ddigidol yn lle amlinellu sut y dechreuodd hyn i gyd.

Cyn i mi ddechrau’n o iawn, rhaid i mi ddweud fy mod i’n hynod o lwcus i weithio mewn sefydliad sydd wedi fy helpu i i gydbwyso fy ymrwymiadau gwaith gyda fy hapusrwydd personol. Rydw i hefyd yn ddigon ffodus i weithio o fewn tîm ffantastig sy’n hynod o gefnogol. Dyw hyn ddim wedi achosi unrhyw drafferth mor belled. Efallai bod hyn achos ni’n gweithio mewn sawl lleoliad yn barod – mae Bethan yn byw ac yn gweithio yng Ngogledd Cymru ac ar hyn o bryd mae Chris yn treulio hanner ei amser ar secondiad gyda Phrifysgol Bangor. Yn ffodus i ni, mae Ena hefyd yn gweithio yn anhygoel o galed yn ein swyddfa yng Nghaerdydd.

Beth rydw i wedi dysgu

Ffotograff o galendr Dyfrig Williams, sy'n dangos sut mae Trello wedi'i integreiddio iddo

Fy nghalendr, sydd wedi’i integreiddio gyda Trello

Mae yna sawl her i weithio o gartref, ond mae’r ymarfer wedi fy ngalluogi i i edrych yn agosach ar sut rwy’n gweithio. I roi hyn mewn cyd-destun, rydw i’n anhrefnus i’r pwynt ble rydw i wedi bod ar ddau gwrs rheoli amser. Ni wnaeth un o’r rhain gweithio, a dydw i ddim yn sicr mai cwrs hyfforddiant oedd y ffordd fwyaf priodol i ddatrys y broblem. Serch hyn, rydw i’n ymwybodol iawn o fy ngwendid, felly rydw i wedi setio fyny systemau a phrosesau i fy helpu i i drefnu fy ngwaith yn fwy effeithiol. Rwy’n sefydlu bwrdd Trello ar gyfer pob pwnc rwy’n gweithio arno, a nawr mae Swyddfa Archwilio Cymru wedi uwchraddio meddalwedd Microsoft i Office 365, rydw i wedi sicrhau bod fy nghalendr Outlook wedi ei ddolenni iddo fel bod gennyf ddiweddariad pan fod rhaid i mi wneud tasg.

Yn fwy na dim, mae gweithio o gartref wedi dangos i mi faint o amser rwy’n gwastraffu yn ystod y diwrnod gwaith. Rwy’n credu’n gryf y dylai cyfryngau cymdeithasol fod yn gymdeithasol, felly roeddwn i’n mewngofnodi ar ein cyfrifon gwaith sawl gwaith y dydd i ddysgu oddi wrth eraill ac i rannu negeseuon allweddol. Fy ngwir bwrpas oedd addysgu fy hun yn y modd cymdeithasol a hwyl yma, ac i osgoi rhai o’r tasgau hanfodol undonog sy’n sicrhau bod y Gyfnewidfa Arfer Da yn gweithio’n effeithiol. Roedd rhaid i mi gael sgyrsiau anodd gyda fy hun. Nawr rwy’n canolbwyntio fy ngwaith o gwmpas sicrhau newid a dangos tystiolaeth o ganlyniadau.

Y dasg aruthrol o reoli negeseuon e-bost

Yn fy ngwaith ar brosiect Archwilio Sydd ar Flaen y Gad, rydw i wedi bod yn gofyn i aelodau o’n staff sut yr hoffan nhw glywed am newidiadau i’n systemau. Yr ymateb nodweddiadol oedd mai e-bost oedd y ffordd gorau yn ôl pob tebyg, ond bod rhaid i staff ddelio a nifer mawr ohonynt. Nid ni yw’r unig gorff sy’n wynebu’r her hon – ffeindiodd Tai Halton bod ei gweithwyr yn gwario 40% o’u hwythnos waith yn delio ag e-bost mewnol sydd ddim yn ychwanegu unrhyw werth i’r busnes. Fe wnaethon nhw droi ei e-bost mewnol i ffwrdd.

Fe wnaeth un person cwestiynu sut oedd gan bobl yr amser i fynd ar Yammer. Beth rwy’n ffeindio’n ddiddorol yw bod pobl yn gweld gwahaniaeth clir rhwng dau fodd o sgyrsio a all arwain i’r un diben. Weithio mae’n ymddangos fel petai e-bost yn waith yn ei hun. Yn hytrach, nad yw e-bost yn tynnu ein sylw o waith cynhyrchiol? Roedd fy e-bost arfer bod ar agor drwy’r dydd. Roedd hyn yn golygu roeddwn i’n delio â negeseuon wrth iddynt ddod i mewn. Nawr rwy’n agor fy e-bost cwpl o weithiau pob dydd i ateb negeseuon. Wedi’r cyfan, does neb yn gyrru e-bost os oes yna argyfwng.

Ar ôl darllen erthygl Oliver Burkeman ar reoli amser (sydd hefyd ar gael fel podlediad), rwy’n sicr bod dull Inbox Zero Merlin Mann, sy’n anelu i gadw ein mewnflychau yn wag, yn arwain pobl i ateb negeseuon e-bost ar draul gwaith go iawn. Ac fel y dywedodd Burkeman, “mae prosesu e-bost mewn modd gor-effeithlon yn golygu fy mod i’n cael mwy o e-bost: wedi’r cyfan, mae’n aml yn wir fod ymateb i neges yn creu ateb i’r ateb hwnnw, ac yn y blaen.” Felly mae e-bost yn dod yn ddull diofyn o gyfathrebu, boed yn briodol neu beidio. Y dywediad yma gan Burkeman sydd wrth wraidd hyn i gyd: “Rydych chi dal yn Sisyphus, yn rholio eich clogfaen i fyny’r bryn am byth – ond nawr rydych chi’n gwneud hyn ychydig yn gyflymach”.

Oes angen cael gwared ar y swyddfa?

Mae gweithio o gartref wedi golygu bod gen i ddau ddiwrnod sy’n rhydd o gyfarfodydd pob wythnos, sy’n rhoi digon o gyfle i mi ymgymryd â gwaith dwfn heb ymyrraeth. Rwy’n person cymdeithasol tu hwnt felly dydw i ddim yn dadlau dros roi’r gorau i ryngweithio cymdeithasol. Mae Dydd Iau Heb Sgyrsio Basecamp a Rheolau Llyfrgell yn swnio fel uffern i mi. Rwy’n credu’n gryf bod angen pobl i fuddsoddi’n emosiynol ac i brynu mewn i’w gwaith, ac mae mwynhau gwaith yn rhan allweddol o sicrhau bod gwaith yn cael ei wneud. Fodd bynnag, gall offer fel Doodle ein helpu ni i ddewis amser priodol ar gyfer cyfarfodydd, gan fod rhaid i bobl optio mewn i amser penodol, yn hytrach na chreu amserlennu sy’n seiliedig ar yr amser rhydd yn ein calendrau.

I mi, mae dulliau Basecamp yn dangos does dim rheol blanced ar gyfer gweithio effeithlon. Dim ond trwy hap a damwain dwi wedi cael y cyfle i edrych ar sut rwy’n gweithio a beth sy’n gweithio mewn amgylcheddau gwahanol. Rydw i wedi ysgrifennu hwn o safbwynt personol, ac nid yw pawb yn gweithio yn yr un ffordd. Mae’n bwysig ein bod ni’n edrych ar y dulliau yma yng nghyd-destun sut allant fod yn fwy cynhyrchiol fel timau ac unigolion.

Dechreuais y blogbost yma drwy sôn am gydbwysedd bywyd/gwaith a sut mae Swyddfa Archwilio Cymru wedi hwyluso hynny. I mi, mae hyn wrth wraidd rheoli amser. Os ydych chi’n edrych i fod yn fwy effeithlon er mwyn gwneud gwaith diddiwedd, yna mae’n debyg na fyddwch yn osgoi’r straen rydych chi’n ceisio osgoi. Ond os ydych chi’n edrych i gydbwyso’ch bywyd yn well, mae’n gallu’ch helpu chi i sicrhau eich bod chi’n canolbwyntio ar ble mae gan eich gwaith y gwerth mwyaf. Mae’r dull yma wedi gwneud fy ngwaith yn fwy boddhaol, ac mae fe wedi fy ngalluogi i i ganolbwyntio ar fy mywyd personol a gwneud mwy o’r pethau sy’n bwysig i mi. Rydw i’n dechrau fy nhaith ac rwy’n mynd i gadw llygaid ar sut mae hyn yn datblygu. Fel y soniais uchod, does dim un ateb i bawb. Felly os oes gennych awgrymiadau rheoli amser sy’n gweithio i chi, fe wir hoffwn i glywed o chi.

Making services more accessible for people who do not speak English or Welsh

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The Good Practice Exchange Team is running a shared learning seminar focusing on access to services for people who do not speak English or Welsh. So why are we holding this event? Rachel Harries, Wales Audit Office, shares our thinking on this topic…

If someone can’t speak English or Welsh and needs a translator to access your services, would you know what to do?

The 2011 census tells us that more than 80 different languages are spoken in Wales. At that time there were about 20,000 people living in Wales whose main language wasn’t English or Welsh, a proportion of whom said that they couldn’t speak one or other language fluently. People whose main language is not English or Welsh are most likely to live in Cardiff, Swansea, Newport or Wrexham council areas, partly because these are UK Borders Agency dispersal areas for refugees and asylum seekers. But every area of Wales is home to some people who aren’t able to communicate easily in English or Welsh; for example, people who use British Sign Language as their main language and all councils have committed to accepting refugees under the Government’s resettlement programme.

The number of individuals and families affected is relatively small, but they are more likely than the wider population to need to access public services, either because of existing health conditions that may be linked to their sensory loss, or because of traumatic experiences they have undergone before arriving in Wales. Even worse, difficulties in making themselves understood can mean that people aren’t able to access the services they need (and are entitled to) and they may reach crisis point before they come to the attention of the people who can help them.

From our initial research into this subject we know that this is a situation that some public services may face relatively infrequently, so there’s a good chance that some organisations simply haven’t prepared to respond appropriately. But we also know that there is a lot of good work that is already happening in specific areas and organisations. Our seminar on ‘Making services more accessible for people who do not speak English or Welsh’ is a chance to share good work and allow people working in public services to think about realistic, practical steps their organisations can take to put suitable arrangements in place.

The seminar workshops will cover three topics – digital inclusion, housing and health. We knew we wouldn’t be able to cover all the issues that this diverse group of people might face so we had to think about what would be relevant to the greatest number. Housing was an obvious place to start as a roof over your head is such a fundamental need; without this foundation, other services won’t be able to make much of an impact.

Health was another important area as people who can’t speak English or Welsh find it difficult to access healthcare – even though they may be more likely than others to need it. As a result, their health can deteriorate before they get treatment, which is worse for them and potentially much more expensive for the NHS.

Finally, we chose digital inclusion as there are many opportunities for organisations to use new technology to communicate with people who don’t speak – or read – English or Welsh proficiently. The widespread use of smartphones and developments in software designed to increase accessibility means that there are now simple and cost effective solutions available that simply wouldn’t have existed a few years ago.

Because the group of people we’re talking about is so diverse, the seminar itself should be useful to a broad range of people, but in particular we thought it would be useful to public sector and third sector staff who are

  • equalities portfolio holders
  • equalities officers
  • policy leads
  • website accessibility managers
  • staff responsible for developing or delivering services for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants to the UK
  • staff responsible for developing or delivering services for people with sensory loss

If this sounds like you, you can sign up for the seminar for free and find out about some practical and cost effective steps you can take to make sure that the people who need them aren’t shut out of the services you provide.

Gwneud gwasanaethau’n fwy hygyrch i bobl nad ydynt yn siarad Cymraeg na Saesneg

LogoMae Tîm y Gyfnewidfa Arfer Da yn cynnal seminar dysgu a rennir sy’n canolbwyntio ar fynediad i wasanaethau ar gyfer pobl nad ydynt yn siarad Cymraeg na Saesneg. Pam rydym yn cynnal y digwyddiad hwn? Mae Rachel Harries, Swyddfa Archwilio Cymru, yn rhannu ein syniadaeth ar y pwnc hwn…

Os na all rhywun siarad Cymraeg na Saesneg a bod angen cyfieithydd arno i ddefnyddio eich gwasanaethau, a fyddech chi’n gwybod beth i’w wneud?

Dywed cyfrifiad 2011 wrthym fod mwy nag 80 o ieithoedd gwahanol yn cael eu siarad yng Nghymru. Bryd hynny roedd tua 20,000 o bobl yn byw yng Nghymru nad Cymraeg na Saesneg oedd eu prif iaith, y dywedodd cyfran ohonynt na allent siarad y naill iaith na’r llall yn rhugl. Mae pobl nad Cymraeg na Saesneg yw eu prif iaith yn fwyaf tebygol o fyw yn ardaloedd cynghorau Caerdydd, Abertawe, Casnewydd neu Wrecsam, yn rhannol am mai dyma ardaloedd gwasgaru Asiantaeth Ffiniau’r DU ar gyfer ffoaduriaid a cheiswyr lloches. Ond mae pob rhan o Gymru yn gartref i rai pobl na allant gyfathrebu’n hawdd yn Gymraeg na Saesneg; er enghraifft, pobl sy’n defnyddio Iaith Arwyddion Prydain fel eu prif iaith ac mae pob cyngor wedi ymrwymo i dderbyn ffoaduriaid o dan raglen adsefydlu’r Llywodraeth.

Mae nifer yr unigolion a’r teuluoedd yr effeithir arnynt yn gymharol fach, ond mae’n fwy tebygol y bydd angen iddynt ddefnyddio gwasanaethau cyhoeddus o gymharu â’r boblogaeth ehangach, naill ai oherwydd cyflyrau iechyd sy’n bodoli eisoes a all fod yn gysylltiedig â nam ar eu synhwyrau, neu oherwydd profiadau trawmatig a gawsant cyn cyrraedd Cymru. Yn waeth fyth, gall anawsterau o ran sicrhau eu bod yn cael eu deall olygu na all pobl gael gafael ar y gwasanaethau sydd eu hangen arnynt (ac y mae ganddynt hawl i’w cael) a gallant droi’n argyfwng cyn iddynt ddod i sylw’r bobl a all eu helpu.

Ar sail ein hymchwil gychwynnol i’r pwnc hwn gwyddom mai’n gymharol anaml y bydd rhai gwasanaethau cyhoeddus yn wynebu hyn, felly mae’n dra thebygol nad yw rhai sefydliadau wedi paratoi i ymateb yn briodol. Ond gwyddom hefyd fod llawer o waith da eisoes yn cael ei wneud mewn meysydd a sefydliadau penodol. Mae ein seminar ‘Gwneud gwasanaethau’n fwy hygyrch i bobl nad ydynt yn siarad Cymraeg na Saesneg’ yn gyfle i rannu gwaith da a galluogi pobl sy’n gweithio mewn gwasanaethau cyhoeddus i ystyried camau ymarferol, realistig y gall eu sefydliadau eu cymryd er mwyn rhoi trefniadau addas ar waith.

Bydd gweithdai’r seminar yn ymdrin â thri phwnc – cynhwysiant digidol, tai ac iechyd. Gwyddem na fyddem yn gallu ymdrin â phob problem y gallai’r grŵp amrywiol hwn o bobl ei hwynebu, felly roedd yn rhaid i ni feddwl am yr hyn a fyddai’n berthnasol i’r nifer fwyaf o bobl. Roedd tai yn lle amlwg i ddechrau gan fod to uwch eich pen yn angen mor sylfaenol; heb y sylfaen hon, ni fydd gwasanaethau eraill yn gallu cael llawer o effaith.

Roedd iechyd yn faes pwysig arall gan fod pobl na allant siarad Cymraeg na Saesneg yn ei chael hi’n anodd cael gafael ar ofal iechyd – er ei bod yn fwy tebygol y bydd ei angen arnynt o gymharu ag eraill. O ganlyniad, gall eu gofal iechyd waethygu cyn iddynt gael triniaeth, sy’n waeth iddyn nhw ac a allai fod yn llawer drutach i’r GIG.

Yn olaf, dewiswyd cynhwysiant digidol gan fod llawer o gyfleoedd i sefydliadau ddefnyddio technoleg newydd i gyfathrebu â phobl nad ydynt yn siarad – nac yn darllen – Cymraeg na Saesneg yn rhugl. Mae’r defnydd eang o ffonau clyfar a datblygiadau o ran meddalwedd y bwriedir iddynt wella hygyrchedd yn golygu bod atebion syml a chosteffeithiol bellach ar gael na fyddent wedi bodoli ychydig flynyddoedd yn ôl.

Gan fod y grŵp o bobl rydym yn siarad amdanynt mor amrywiol, dylai’r seminar ei hun fod yn ddefnyddiol i ystod eang o bobl, ond yn benodol roeddem o’r farn y byddai’n ddefnyddiol i staff yn y sector cyhoeddus a’r trydydd sector sy’n perthyn i’r categorïau canlynol:

  • deiliaid portffolios cydraddoldebau
  • swyddogion cydraddoldebau
  • arweinwyr polisi
  • rheolwyr hygyrchedd gwefan
  • staff sy’n gyfrifol am ddatblygu neu ddarparu gwasanaethau i ffoaduriaid, ceiswyr lloches a mudwyr i’r DU
  • staff sy’n gyfrifol am ddatblygu neu ddarparu gwasanaethau i bobl â nam ar eu synhwyrau

Os ydych yn credu eich bod chi’n ateb un o’r disgrifiadau uchod, gallwch gofrestru ar gyfer y seminar am ddim a dysgu am rai camau ymarferol a chosteffeithiol y gallwch eu cymryd er mwyn sicrhau nad yw’r bobl sydd eu hangen yn cael eu hatal rhag defnyddio’r gwasanaethau a ddarperir gennych.

How do we encourage buy-in to a multi-agency approach from partners?

Simon Pickthall from Vanguard Consulting led a workshop on how to redesign services across different organisations at our event on Designing effective services for frequent users. In this post, Simon looks at how we can work together to improve the services that people receive.

A photo of Simon Pickthall from Vanguard Consulting

Simon Pickthall from Vanguard Consulting

This question is a very common one. Often, people have been trying for years to encourage partners to work together to tackle common difficulties. However, these efforts are often very frustrating, and time-consuming, despite most people recognising it is a sensible idea. In addition, solutions and approaches that have vast academic support over many years are often not taken forward by organisations.

There is a key reason why trying to persuade others to do something different is very difficult – our assumption is that we need to persuade people through rational means.

Examples of rational approaches are reports, meetings, classroom sessions, slideshows, workshops, conversations, etc. They involve talking to another person and trying to persuade them to do something, or stop doing something. These approaches are extremely common in multi-agency discussions, where schedules of meetings are used to take forward thoughts and plans.

The difficulty with rational approaches is that you are either preaching to the converted – making them feel patronised, or annoying people who don’t agree with you. If somebody does not agree, no argument, quantity of data, or research will change their mind. I am sure we have all experienced this during our lives.

An alternative approach is to be coercive – ‘do this or you will receive punishment, more hassle, etc.’. Equally, ‘do this and you will get a reward’ is a form of coercion.

The difficulty with coercion, is that people will only do what they need to do to avoid the punishment or get the reward. You have not changed their viewpoint or created commitment to change. As such, progress can be extremely slow, with very little momentum.

An alternative, more effective way of helping people agree to work together, is for them to share, what we call, a normative experience. A normative experience can be described as experiencing something directly for yourself. For example, running through a series of case files from various organisations showing what it feels like for a person to go through our systems. Visiting people in their home to ask them about their experiences of our various systems is also powerful. For those interested in the origins of this approach, it’s worth reading ‘The Planning of Change‘.

The advantage of normative change is that people tend to have an emotional reaction to what they see and experience. This sticks with them, and produces a powerful commitment to change. As such, the priority of the multi-agency approach becomes higher, as the individuals wish to solve the problems they have witnessed.

Therefore, commitment to the obstacles to multi-agency approaches are tackled more swiftly. Of course, it is important that those with the authority to tackle the obstacles in each organisation undertake the normative experience, and you have a proven Method to undertake the changes that are needed once everybody has agreed. It is no good taking people on a normative experience without a Method to solve the problems they discover. The website below is a great start in exploring Method. In addition, the book Responsibility and Public Services by Richard Davis is a clear and informative blueprint in taking this work forward.

Given this, you may wish to reflect on your strategy for encouraging multi-agency buy-in. You may want to explore moving from attempting to persuade people rationally, to designing normative experiences for the leaders involved. This may have a dramatic effect on the pace of change.

Change Thinking – Change Lives

Simon Pickthall worked in the public sector in Wales for many years before forming Vanguard Consulting Wales in 2007, working with the renowned management thinker, Professor John Seddon. Simon has been fortunate to have worked with many leaders to help them understand their organisations using the Vanguard Method – and improve them as a consequence. Simon was privileged enough to work on the Munro Review of Child Protection, and is committed to helping the public, private and third sectors transform public services in Wales.

Simon.pickthall@vanguardwales.co.uk
07951 481878
www.vanguard-method.com