A networking service has been set up to support staff in making the professional leap into new careers or leadership opportunities.
The service matches delegates with relevant ‘champions’ that will help them with their professional development. The aim is to give them different perspectives and experiences as they embark on their career journey with the Trust.
The idea for the service was spearheaded by Senior Clinical Professional, Kath Tarn, and her pack as part of the Trust’s 100 leaders development programme.
The initiative is alike to a human library in the fact that you rent expertise and knowledge from different departments.
What is the networking service?
Introducing the networking service
Hi, I’m Kath Tarn, I’m a senior clinical professional in care group one healthy lives.
The networking service is about giving opportunities to staff in the organisation to connect to connect with people who they wouldn’t normally connect with in their working lives.
Why was the networking service created?
The networking service was created because we acknowledged that it could influence culture in the organisation, in particular about inclusivity and giving equal opportunities.
What are the benefits of joining?
The benefits you’ll receive from joining the networking service are that human connection. You’ll also receive tools and information to improve your knowledge and you might get invited to future meetings or meet other people and create further networks.
Why should you get involved?
If you think this is something that could influence your career then get involved.
The networking service provides an opportunity for a conversation with someone who can make a difference to your day, your week or your career.
Kath’s executive sponsor, Lynne Taylor, said that the project was created to alleviate the daunt staff undergo when taking the next step on their career path:
“The ‘Networking’ service was driven by the identification of a missing link for our new leaders. It offers an opportunity to learn from an extensive cohort of volunteer ‘champions’ through an informal channel of communication.
No hierarchy, no question too simple it helps remove ‘perceived’ barriers for all levels of staff. A simple, but effective solution to support leadership opportunities for everyone.”
Trust staff can apply to be a champion or mentee, working to develop their relationship through ongoing meetings and supervision tailored to a personalised plan. The service is low commitment and staff are encouraged to hold their meetings informally.
Senior Occupational Therapist, Lauren Bettinson, took part in the service’s pilot and was partnered with Strategic Workforce Lead, Chris Tarn. Here she discusses her journey and what benefits the networking service brought.
Networking service: Lauren Bettinson
I’m Lauren Bettinson, I’m a senior occupational therapist within acute medicine.
What made you apply for the networking service?
I think really I’m just at that level now where I’ve become a senior with an acute medicine but I was at a point where obviously I wanted to enhance my leadership and coaching.
I really wanted to focus on that and my leadership qualities basically to help others.
So that’s why I reached out to those individuals because networking with those people who have that experience. And those skills I thought would be great to kind of get those skills and their advice.
That’s why I reached out and just thought it was a great idea.
What was your experience of the networking service?
I got to meet four individuals and all were quite different but I gained loads of tips and advice, loads of reading material links.
Personally I think it’s just increased my confidence. That extra little nudge and that extra bit of guidance has really helped me to think, well where do I want to go with this?
So yeah, it’s helped me personally like massively.
What would you say to anyone wanting to join the networking service?
I would say do it. I think it’s a real great tool for anybody and whatever you want to do basically.
Obviously mine was to develop leadership coaching but it could be anything.
There’s going to be somebody out there that can help you. It’s just a real helpful tool and it just boosts your confidence.
The networking service is open to all Trust staff, please contact Employee Engagement to register your interest.