Workplace drama is the key to improving organisational performance
One of the largest housing groups in the UK is introducing an innovative way of improving performance and customer care by developing its 200 strong management team.
Orbit Housing, part of the Orbit Group, has appointed Workplace Innovation Limited to deliver a series of theatre based seminars focussing on effective team leadership and staff involvement.
Forum Theatre, where actors perform a series of workplace scenarios and the audience offers solutions after discussing what has happened, is a proven technique in improving workplace performance and relationships.
Robin Reece-Crawford of Workplace Innovation, said: “This kind of theatre started in order to give a voice to frontline staff and that’s precisely why it’s so successful – because people can see themselves, their colleagues or a situation they have experienced, happening right in front of them.
“Forum theatre offers employees the opportunity to examine issues within their own organisation in a safe environment. It also begins a process of improving two-way communications, the opportunity for productive reflection and allows front line staff to share their practical knowledge about the business – an often underused resource.
“This isn’t role play. We take professional actors into organisations to work through dilemmas, give a voice to criticism, analyse the situations and change them. We work with organisations to find out what their issues are by hearing the stories of those who work there and translate that into a full play or short scenarios.”
Workplace Innovation, which has worked with organisations and businesses such as BT, the NHS and BP, are delivering up to 12 forum theatre sessions as part of Orbit Housing’s management development programme.
Orbit’s Senior OD Consultant Jane Cousins said: “At Orbit, we are committed to improving the way we work by listening to our staff. This is important to us because their knowledge and experience are vital to the success of the business.
“We were impressed with Workplace Innovation’s methods which we encountered at an event they staged for the Institute of Internal Communications so we have asked them to work with us in delivering our Change and Performance Management Workshops. The Workplace Innovation team has a great deal of experience in working on similar projects and we see this as a great opportunity for everyone to make a contribution.”
After attending one of the first Change and Performance Management Workshops Tony Williams, Executive Director of People at Orbit, commented “ We wanted a WOW factor and you’ve certainly delivered that!”
Workplace Innovation is also a lead partner in the EU Workplace Innovation Network, a Europe-wide learning network for workplace innovation launched this year with the specific objective of improving the performance of organizations and the quality of jobs on a sustainable basis.
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