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Every year we hold our Compulsory Study Day at Grace, where we all get a chance to get together, reflect on learnings from the past year, and plan for the year ahead. However, 2022 had a new challenge for us: with gathering restrictions and a staff of 300, it could not go ahead.
However, one thing the past couple of years has taught us is how to be flexible. “We had a short timeframe to sort out an alternative – and I can’t say it wasn’t a challenge,” explains Marie Russell, Grace Safety, Quality and Capability Manager. “But our staff have a wonderful ‘can-do’ attitude. Within three weeks, our team – Claire (Infection Control and Health & Safety Nurse), Sue (Educator), Lou (Quality Facilitator), Sharla (Administrator), and myself - had put together a training programme using HR system, ELMO, to deliver it to all staff.”
And, if putting together the 7 training courses in a tight timeframe wasn’t challenging enough, the team also had to make sure all staff were able to access and use ELMO remotely. “Everyone worked tirelessly to make it happen – we have an amazingly supportive team. Sharla even created a great ‘how-to’ leaflet to guide staff. During the 3 weeks of Grace’s Summer shut down period, staff could drop in and out of the program as it suited them.
“Staff really loved the flexibility to do it when they wanted to. It worked really well,” said Marie. “We did lose the advantage of getting everybody together, which we will definitely still do when we can, but it’s given us another tool for future training and communication, which is fantastic.
“That’s one thing that covid has done for us in the last couple of years – flexibility. It’s been really evident with staff. They have been very accepting and just got on with what needs doing,” says Marie.
Although there hasn’t been any official audit of the program yet, it seems to have been really well received. “The feedback from staff has been very positive, and the managers worked really hard to make it work. We are all going in the same direction which is great,” says Marie.
“We’ve still got that community feeling at Grace – that community.”
Pictured above: Some pages from Grace's online learning programme