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Literally People Work Together

August 15, 2015

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work together

People Literally Working Together

(written by Tricia Bain, Community Living Parry Sound)

Community Living Parry Sound (CLPS) recently organized a unique work session to assess the results of their annual ‘Satisfaction Survey’. The survey goes out to all stakeholders involved with CLPS from Board members to people supported by the not-for-profit organization. Approximately 90 people respond annually to a series of questions on an online survey. This year, three questions were asked:  ‘What is working?’,  ‘What is not working?’, and ‘Suggestions for the future?’.  Community Living Parry Sound decided to work with HSA Canada to explore the survey results using the Working Together for Change process.  (Click here for more information)

Julie facilitated ‘Working Together for Change’, a work session designed to engage a focus group in dialogue to dig deeper into matters that concern stakeholders of an organization. Community Living Parry Sound selected people from survey respondents in every category of connection; people we support, family members, CLPS management and staff and asked them to come together for the one day event. Once gathered, Julie drew out and compiled information from the select group of 25 people in a low tech, highly effective facilitated process using conversation and group interaction.

Jo-Anne, the executive director, found the process to be different from our usual approach to tabulating and responding to satisfaction surveys.  The difference this time is that we engaged stakeholders who actually participated in the survey. Everyone was fully involved in a facilitated session to find solutions to  ‘What is not working’ and to celebrate ‘What is working’.

Leslie, a direct support worker said she was impressed with how everything that participants had to say was heard and included.  She said the facilitated process allowed for people supported to be equal participants in the decision making process that will make a difference in the quality of services they receive.

Another important consideration was to choose location that was fully accessible.  Paula, the Director of Operations appreciated the structure of the day provided by the outside facilitator which allowed for an overwhelming amount of information to be funnelled down into the most important next steps and a very specific action plan.

‘Working Together for Change’ is a collaborative, effective and engaging process involving speaking about, listening to, and sorting data until it becomes alive with meaning. At the end of the day participants’ input was exhausted and people walked away feeling satisfied, connected and with a shared common, clear vision for moving forward.

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