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Five top tips for successful remote working in the healthcare sector

To reduce pressure on healthcare workers, introducing remote working where possible will be vital. However, with the risk of disruption to essential services, how can Trusts undertake this transformation successfully?

1. Understand the tech requirements

Inadequate technology can negatively impact people’s productivity and the successful implementation of change. To overcome this, Trusts should seek to understand the tech requirements of all individuals within the organisation, including the use of self-assessments. Investing in robust technological infrastructure can also help Trusts to cope with the added demand brought on by remote working.

Upgrading a Trust’s technological capabilities can also enable patients to benefit from improvements such as reduced waiting times, however, the sector must also take patient needs into account when putting upgrades in place.

2. Striking a healthy work-life balance

Remote working can offer great flexibility to employees, but can also introduce a temptation to overwork. To avoid burnout, Trusts should do their best to promote a healthy work-life balance and to understand that people have different personal circumstances that require varied approaches to remote working.

3. Keep data security in mind

Health data is classified as sensitive, so security must be top of mind, especially when moving away from paper-based systems into a more digital environment. This should include asking employees to only use Trust-owned equipment to reduce the risk of data breaches.

4. Space needs will change

Switching to a hybrid working approach has the possibility to reduce the amount of space needed by healthcare trusts and streamline overheads. Before introducing any changes to their working practices, Trusts must completely understand their needs and those of their employees.

5. Understand the workforce

Not everyone is the same, meaning that some people will not be able to work as effectively from home. Trusts must take this into account and consider stakeholder needs to develop a working approach that gets the best from everyone.

The healthcare sector was forced to rapidly implement digital solutions during the pandemic. To make the transformation process successful, Trusts should regularly engage with staff and adapt to their needs, as well as looking at change holistically. This will help to ensure that the digital transformation doesn’t leave anyone behind.

For more information on how to successfully implement change, contact us here

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

There’s always room for improvement

Change is something that many businesses have become used to over the pandemic, but transformation isn’t reserved for major global events. Organisations have had to adapt quickly, but improvement should be continuous, with processes, systems and infrastructure reviewed to ensure they’re the best they can be, enabling a faster response to change in future. So, how can this be done effectively?

1. Don’t be afraid to reassess

Following the successful rollout of remote working and other changes, businesses should be considering how this can be built on to suit longer-term business models from different perspectives, including staff and customers.

Those that were already investing in their people and technology have been able to hit the ground running but it’s important to re-evaluate procedures as time moves on. The ‘new normal’ comes with challenges, and now is the time to consider how to mitigate them going forward.

2. Make change work for the business

Organisations should consider which aspects of change suits their business model and address any perceived weaknesses. For example, although there have been a host of positives that have arisen from remote working, there have also been disadvantages, such as virtual interactions being more functional and collaborative working becoming more challenging.

3. Invest in technology and skills to enable organisational agility

Enabling people to work remotely, whilst transformative, is just a small part of technology’s potential. Investing in technology can be a catalyst to improve business processes, promote engagement and upskill staff.

As well as having the right infrastructure, data is key, and organisations should have the tools, skills, and capacity to analyse data from different sources effectively and respond quickly to new trends.

4. Bring people along for the journey

People are pivotal to the success of a change journey, and this is often overlooked. They should be involved in shaping its path throughout the process. Collaboration and survey tools can be used to help engagement with customers and staff. Their insight can help to outline the priorities and approach to transformation. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for effective transformation, so a holistic approach is essential. Improvement won’t happen in a day, but every change made is a step in the right direction.

To learn more about successful business change, contact Tamara Pleasant here.

Photo by Bethany Legg on Unsplash

Meet the consultant…

1. How did you go from a career in events to the world of change management?

You could say that working in events was the perfect introduction to a career in change management – it was where I discovered my love for helping clients to realise their vision.

The skills and experiences I acquired during my career in events were a perfect fit for consulting and were what drew me to change management and to Entec Si more specifically.

2. What does a day in the life of an Assistant Consultant look like?

My days are very varied, so it’s hard to say exactly what they might entail from one week to the next!

Being an Assistant Consultant involves coordinating projects during all its phases, ensuring they are delivered on time and within budget. It requires excellent attention to detail whilst being organised and taking a logical approach to tasks.

3. What key skills from your experience in events have you been able to apply to a consultancy career?

If there’s one thing that change management and events management have in common, it’s that they’re both very fast-paced careers. Given the evolving nature of consulting, it’s important to be flexible and adaptable, especially when working across various projects at the same time.

Being a people person is also essential for fostering and maintaining relationships with stakeholders.

4. What was your first impression of Entec Si?

Entec Si’s close-knit culture really did shine through from the get-go! I was most impressed with the Entec Si’s unique ‘blended teams’ approach to project delivery. Encouraging and supporting our clients through change is at the heart of what we do.

5. Best thing about working at Entec Si?

Above all, I appreciate how Entec Si places an emphasis on development, supporting people’s growth both personally and professionally. For someone just starting out in their consulting career, this is what stands out the most!

6. What does your ideal weekend look like?

I’d say becoming a homeowner has shifted what my ultimate weekend looks like; currently it’s countless trips to B&Q or other houseware shops!

7. Next major life goal?

Early next year I will be embarking on the journey of motherhood! Something I’ve always dreamed about, and although daunting, I’m so excited to bring a new life into the world.

Helping a local charity garden to thrive

Our team recently got their gardening gloves on in an effort to rejuvenate the garden of a local charity.

Blooming marvellous

18 of our team members volunteered their green fingers in October, giving the Kings Heath gardens of Thrive Birmingham a much-needed facelift. As well as the usual gardening activities of weeding and jet-washing, we also helped to build wheelchair ramps, repaint wheelchair-accessible planters, and cleared the overgrown pathways to improve accessibility for those with special educational needs.

Thrive supports people with varying physical, learning, and mental health needs with therapeutic gardening and horticultural programmes. Their garden provides a peaceful place for those who need it most to relax and take some time to themselves, or to connect with others. In what has been a challenging period for everyone, this has become more important than ever.

Alexandra Bailey, client and garden manager at Thrive Birmingham said of Entec Si:

“Having a group of such enthusiastic and hardworking people in the Thrive gardens for a day makes such a difference. We were able to set them working on projects around the garden that we just haven’t had the time or resources to address up until now. The team from Entec Si came with bags of energy and positivity and were a joy to work with.”

Continued support

Earlier this year, 25 of our team took part in a virtual 981-mile John O’Groats to Land’s End (JOGLE) challenge for Thrive. Overall, an impressive £1,300 was raised for this incredible charity, ensuring it can continue its vital work with vulnerable people.

Anna Lane, one of our senior consultants, said:

“Thrive Birmingham’s ethos around using nature to enhance people’s wellbeing completely aligns with our own. This was the first time that our team has been able to come together to support the charity since the pandemic and was a real reminder of what we can achieve as a team. We’re big believers in giving back to our local community and we hope that our day’s work will make it easier for those who need it most to enjoy this beautiful outdoor space.”

To find out more about how you can support Thrive, visit here.

Meet the consultant… Samantha Garrathy

1. Put simply, what does a consultant do?

Most consultancy work revolves around project and programme planning, management and delivery. As Entec Si specialises in change management, a lot of my consultancy experience has focused on assisting with transformation projects. This involves careful planning and a consideration of the knock-on effects of different business changes.

From liaising closely with clients and building strong working relationships with them to working out what their needs are, communication is also key to great consultancy.

2. In your view, what kinds of people make great consultants?

To be a consultant, it’s essential to be organised. As you’ll be dealing with different projects at the same time, you need to be able structure your day accordingly and prioritise.

While there are lots of skills that a consultant needs to learn, you need to love a challenge.

Problem solving and having the open mindedness to try different approaches are other important skills to have.

3. What was your first impression of Entec Si?

Having come from a corporate background, Entec Si’s close family feel was something that I noticed straight away. Here everyone is made to feel included and that their voice is just as important as someone more senior.

The fact that we now work remotely more often hasn’t impacted how well we gel together either. Although I started my role only a few days before the first lockdown, I’ve felt connected with my team throughout.

4. What’s the most important lesson you learned in your time at Entec Si so far?

Always ask questions! Starting out in a new role can be overwhelming, but at Entec Si there’s a culture of open and honest communication. This means that I was able to easily speak to my team about any queries or concerns from the start.

The other major lesson I’ve learned at Entec Si is the importance of self-care and having a good work-life balance. Whereas in the past I might not have made such an effort to draw a line between my professional and personal lives, the team really respects this, which is helping me to bring my best self to my work.

5. What are your unique strengths?

I’m a people-person and a great communicator; a strength that Entec Si has helped me to bring out even more.

I don’t think I would be a good consultant without being extremely organised. I’m known to go as far as planning my schedule in detail a week in advance!

6. What are some top tips for those looking to begin their career in consulting?

To hit the ground running in consultancy, I think being a comfortable at holding conversations is important.

Consultancy requires us to gather information from a client or colleague and use it to help us reach our target. It’s also important to have a learner mindset and seek knowledge where you can get it. Consultancy is such a rapidly evolving field and we need to be aware of all the latest innovations.

7. What would your ideal holiday look like?

It’s a strange combination, but I really like to both relax and go on  adventures. I’d love to travel to Mexico one day; I feel like it would be the ideal place to relax but also to explore. On one hand, you’ve got amazing beaches and on the other hand you have a rich culture that mixes European heritage with ancient customs.

Living the learning

During the last 10 months, despite maintaining high levels of chargeability, it’s apparent that I have learned more than ever before – with no training courses involved! 

The project I’m working on is large and complex. By closure it will have delivered in excess of 50 workstreams. A number of these are essentially projects in their own right (e.g., upgrades or Cloud migrations) and the rest vary in size and complexity.

I began working on these in a support role to the project manager. This provided an opportunity to become accustomed to the client’s preferred ways of working. It also enabled me to form sound working relationships with the project team. I then progressed to take ownership of three sizeable, but related workstreams.

Learning from the ground up

As I reflect on my development across this period, what strikes me is the sheer amount of knowledge and skills I have gained whilst I was focussing on delivery. I have been able to observe the project manager in action, watch the outcomes unfold and apply myself to the same scenarios. During this process I’ve gained immediate feedback and experience, which would wouldn’t be possible in a traditional learning setting.

This opportunity to observe, practise, review and refine has led to increased confidence and independence. I’ve been able to quickly obtain an understanding of both detailed and high-level project elements in real-time. All of these experiences have been incredibly valuable to my personal development and learning. During this process I’ve gained experience and confidence through exposure to all aspects of the project. With guidance and informal mentoring from the project manager, I’ve been able to up-skill myself and embrace the project in a practical sense.

The value of learning

As my skillset and confidence have increased, I’ve become more involved in the wider project. In particular this has led me to take ownership for new areas of work, providing value to the client, but also in the longer term, to Entec Si.

I’m thrilled to be able to progress my consultancy through these on the job learning experiences. The emphasis that Entec Si places upon development means that I’m growing both professionally and personally. By creating a supportive and practical environment that puts people at the centre of every process, we’re able to deliver better outcomes for our clients. I’m super excited to see where my learning journey will take me next!

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