It's a WRAP

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We were recently asked to collaborate on an important new access document for staff at our longstanding client, Liverpool John Moores University. Jane describes how it worked.


Liverpool John Moores (LJMU) has a proud tradition of innovation. So we were not that surprised when their Associate Director of EDI, Moni Akinsanya, explained their plan to take a fresh approach to access for all.

The University wanted to partner with us to produce a Workplace Reasonable Adjustments Passport (WRAP) which could be used by any member of staff to set out clearly what they need. Some of you may be familiar with the legal term, ‘reasonable adjustments’ relating to the requirements of people at work who have a disability. LJMU’s approach is that any member of staff may need adjustments, whether one-off, regular, temporary or long term for a variety of reasons. This is about personal circumstance.

To produce the document with LJMU, we recommended our brilliant associate, Dr Ronie Walters, who put together our last two Social Impact reports. Here is what Ronie had to say about the process:

‘As a disabled coaching psychologist, I know first-hand that we humans have messy lives with circumstances that flex and change regularly. We don't fit into neat boxes and so it was really important to me that anything we created was simple to use, allowed for all the different facets of our lives that might impact our work, and allowed us to flex as needed.  LJMU were lovely to work with as they were so open and receptive to ideas.’

The client was keen that the document should be: 

  • simple
  • clear 
  • easy to personalise 
  • flexible. 

The result is a short document with sections which can be used if they are relevant to the person completing it. It is a living document which is stored securely by HR. Reviews are recommended after six months and then at least annually. Such a Passport, used well, can save a lot of time for the person concerned and their colleagues and make work smoother.

LJMU asked me to run a workshop for managers interested in using the WRAP. The participants welcomed the document and were keen to take the most positive approach to working with it.

One of the areas examined was how to confidently and sensitively approach an initial conversation with someone you line manage about adjustments. To do this, the managers tried asking each other, ‘What do you need to thrive?’ and were sometimes surprised at how asking this question and being asked it made them feel. They also raised questions about how to deal with tricky situations where honouring a person’s adjustments could make it difficult for a manager who needed short-notice additional work done in a small team. Communication and negotiation were key to this.

I will be returning to the University in the autumn to run a specialist session with their HR staff as well as a broader workshop with any staff interested in the WRAP.

This work and our approach to it was new for Result with its mixture of consulting and training. It proved successful and rewarding, as Ronie further comments:

‘There are a lot of different approaches out there to creating passports,  and it was so satisfying to be able to create something that draws on these and simplifies the process so that the passport can be used by anyone - and flex with their changing circumstances.’

If this sounds like something your organisation could benefit from, why not contact us for a chat?

 
 

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