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Message from Managing Director, Emma Alexander - 8 December 2021

Published on 8 December 2021.

This week I have formally taken up the permanent role of Managing Director, working alongside the Leader of the Council to ensure that we deliver our ambitious plans and that Derbyshire thrives now and in the future.

I'll be sharing more about my plans in upcoming blogs but as engaging with colleagues is one of my key priorities I wanted to update you on the employee engagement work which has taken place over recent weeks. I also feel that it's really important to recognise and support the hard work that you do and that's why I'm looking forward to our first thank you week which you can find out more about in the following article.

A couple of weeks ago we held our first organisation engagement forum as part of our new 'listen and engage, shape and respond' employee engagement cycle. Approximately 300 colleagues across all departments attended the online session to hear updates on the department action plans, review the draft organisation engagement action plan, share best practice and discuss ways to engage with more of our employees.

The engagement cycle began earlier in the year when we asked teams to take part in team action planning sessions. As a result of these sessions, some of you escalated issues that you were not able to solve within your team which needed departmental support. Each of our departments then held an engagement forum and developed an action plan to help resolve these issues. In some cases, issues were escalated further as they needed a council-wide response. It was those issues that were shared with the organisation engagement forum and a draft action plan was developed.

The draft action plan is currently being reviewed to take into account the feedback from everyone who took part in the session and we'll be able to share that with everyone soon.

In December we'll be asking all teams to take the time to discuss topics, such as ways of working, wellbeing and support with the aim of making the council a better place to work.

I really enjoyed attending the forum and had some great discussions with colleagues in the breakout groups. There is a huge amount of energy and commitment and lots of innovative ideas about how we can engage better with employees, especially for those of you who carry out roles where you don't have ready access to emails.

I really hope that you all soon begin to see the benefits of us implementing this new approach and thank you to those of you who have been involved in supporting this work.