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Shelter - Creating a Respectful Working Environment Case Study


Need 
When the fundraising team at Shelter had to deal with a couple of incidents of behaviour crossing the line, they handled them well and the situations were resolved.


It would have been easy for them to have chalked those incidents up to experience and “just another HR issue” to deal with, but they didn’t. They took a far more enlightened approach and realised that while they had all the right policies in place (as so many organisations do) they needed to help their people understand what these really meant in practice – particularly in understanding the tricky area of socialising with colleagues and what still constitutes work.


So, Jon head of Direct Dialogue and Sophia Head of Individual Giving talked to us about supporting them to bring clarity to this challenging area.


One of the key considerations was to get the positioning right to ensure the team felt this was a supportive initiative, rather than in any way punitive.


Solution
We worked with all the managers in the fundraising team from across the UK in  two groups. The workshop created a safe place to discuss what is appropriate and inappropriate behaviour – giving the managers a chance to ask whatever questions they wanted and hear experiences and points of view from others.


We created a number of scenarios which were highly relevant to the team and how they work (out in the field, very sociable, lots of after work drinks)  and this really helped them to identify how to manage the very real situations which might arise and bring clarity to the boundaries between work and social situations, particularly.


The groups appointed 2 people to lead on creating the Fundraising team charter as a tangible output from the sessions.


Result
There have been a number of immediate outcomes:


The group worked together to produce a fantastic set of 10 points, created in a visually arresting format, which can now be used to guide behaviour for both existing teams and new hires. This has been launched at a company conference, demonstrating real commitment to what they have all agreed


James Moss who led on the Charter creation said “This has been a fantastic opportunity … It’s helped the whole national team pull together under one set of behaviours and values. We now have a simple, digestible 10-point guideline running across the entire operation, binding us all together in the same direction…”


Jon has commented “When we embarked on this project, I was concerned to make it a really positive experience for everyone – Focal Point really understood this… they have taken time to get to know us and helped us address areas which are often not talked about in organisations and that have made a big impact on everyone.”