Not upheld and partially upheld complaints: Getting to grips with complicated situations

Not upheld and partially upheld complaints usually occur when dealing with complicated situations. How can boards and staff ensure that the process is fit for purpose and built around the complainant? Dyfrig Williams and Ena Lloyd reflect on learning from the Good Practice Exchange’s Complaints Seminar.

Back in June we held a seminar on Embracing Complaints. The reason why we wanted to hold the seminar in the first instance was following a discussion with Nick Bennett, the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. We got talking about the increasing number of complaints that they have been receiving, which led to Nick making a great presentation at the event on the cause of this and why the number of complaints are set to rise even further. It’s well worth having a look at the Storify for an overview of Nick’s points.

An image of Chris Bolton's Tweet, which shows the increasing trend of complaints to the Public Service Ombudsman for Waqles over the last five yearsJane Dale, Head of Organisational Learning at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board raised an interesting question at the event about not upheld and partially upheld complaints. Where a Health body believes that the correct care has been delivered but the patient feels that they had a bad experience, feeding the information back to a disappointed complainant can be challenging. It can also be difficult to present the information effectively to Board members to encourage strategic improvement. Do boards find it difficult to deliver improvement when the learning may be around soft skills instead of hard processes? It can be difficult to apply that learning and put it into practice across an organisation when it’s not in a binary context of right and wrong.

For example following an investigation it may be found that the correct clinical course was followed however the patient may feel that the communication / explanations were poor. Staff on interview may state that they made every effort to explain the situation however the patient remains unhappy. The challenge is whether to classify this as a complaint that is not not upheld and to explain why or to classify it as partially upheld. If it is classified as not upheld the patient continues to feel aggrieved and not listened to. To uphold it implies something was wrong and staff find that difficult if they have made every effort to communicate with the patient.

Nick Bennett added, ‘if in doubt go for the learning point rather than the tick in the box’

Complex and complicated situations

Public services are delivered in complex environments. Simple processes may work for relatively straightforward issues, however when feelings and viewpoints are brought into the equation, no process can give simply black or white answers when there are shades of grey.

An image of the Cynefin Framework, which shows good practice should be shared in complicated situationsThe Good Practice Exchange’s work fits with the rationale of the Cynefin Framework. You may notice that we never use the term ‘Best Practice’. That’s because it implies that there’s one right way of doing things that will work for every situation. This may work in a manufacturing environment, but when the relationship between cause and effect is muddy like it is in complicated environments like public service provision, a simple one size fits all response is unlikely to work.

So how does an organisation develop and manage a complaints process when feelings and viewpoints need to be taken into account? The danger with any policy or process is that once it’s formed, it sits on the shelf without being put into practice. So success lies in making the document a living, breathing thing that is continuously updated and improved based on practice and experience. There may be lessons that can be learnt from Digital Design principles in terms of working iteratively. Principle five of the Government Digital Service Design Principles says:

“The best way to build good services is to start small and iterate wildly. Release Minimum Viable Products early, test them with actual users, move from Alpha to Beta to Live adding features, deleting things that don’t work and making refinements based on feedback. Iteration reduces risk. It makes big failures unlikely and turns small failures into lessons. If a prototype isn’t working, don’t be afraid to scrap it and start again.”

Has the process been designed with the complainant in mind?

As Alan Morris said at the event, the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act gives organisations the opportunity to look again at their culture. It gives them the chance to look again at old processes and to question whether they’re still fit for purpose. Does the process focus on the needs of the organisation instead of the needs of the complainant?

Participation Cymru’s National Principles for Public Engagement in Wales may help organisations to think about how they might make the process focused on the complainant. They can provide prompts for useful questions. For instance, is the process effectively designed to make a difference? How do you feedback to people and how will you learn and share the lessons to improve the process of engagement?

By blogging on this, we’d really like to get some responses on social media so that we can share ideas and approaches with Jane and all interested parties to help public services improve. And by recognising that a person’s emotional response is at the centre of such complicated situations, organisations can help to ensure that they’re on the right path of public service improvement.

Cwynion nas cadarnheir a chwynion a gadarnheir yn rhannol: Mynd i’r afael â sefyllfaoedd cymhleth

Mae cwynion nas cadarnheir a chwynion a gadarnheir yn rhannol fel arfer yn digwydd wrth ymdrin â sefyllfaoedd cymhleth. Sut gall byrddau a staff sicrhau bod y broses yn addas i’r diben ac wedi’i seilio ar yr achwynydd? Mae Dyfrig Williams ac Ena Lloyd yn myfyrio am yr hyn a ddysgwyd o Seminar Cwynion y Gyfnewidfa Arfer Da.

Yn ôl ym mis Mehefin, gwnaethom gynnal seminar am Groesawu Cwynion. Ein rheswm dros gynnal y seminar yn y lle cyntaf oedd yn sgil trafodaeth â Nick Bennett, Ombwdsmon Gwasanaethau Cyhoeddus Cymru. Gwnaethom ddechrau trafod am y nifer cynyddol o gwynion maent wedi bod yn eu derbyn, a wnaeth arwain at gyflwyniad gwych yn y digwyddiad gan Nick ynglŷn â’r rheswm dros hyn a pham y bydd nifer y cwynion yn cynyddu mwy fyth. Mae’n sicr yn werth ystyried y Storify am drosolwg o bwyntiau Nick.

Llun o drydar gan Chris Bolton sy'n dangos y cynnydd mewn cwynion i Ombwdsmon Gwasanaethau Cyhoeddus Cymru dros 5 mlynedd diwethaf

Gofynnwyd cwestiwn diddorol yn y digwyddiad gan Jane Dale, Pennaeth Dysgu Sefydliadol o Fwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Aneurin Bevan ynglŷn â chwynion nas cadarnheir a chwynion a gadarnheir yn rhannol. Lle mae corff iechyd yn teimlo bod y gofal cywir wedi cael ei ddarparu ond fod y claf yn teimlo iddo gael profiad gwael, gall bwydo’r wybodaeth yn ôl i achwynydd siomedig fod yn heriol. Gall hefyd fod yn anodd cyflwyno’r wybodaeth yn effeithiol i aelodau’r bwrdd i annog gwelliant strategol. A yw byrddau’n ei chael hi’n anodd cyflawni gwelliannau pan fo’r hyn a ddysgwyd yn ymwneud â sgiliau meddal yn hytrach na phrosesau caled? Gall fod yn anodd defnyddio’r hyn a ddysgwyd, a’i roi ar waith drwy sefydliad cyfan, pan nad yw mewn cyd-destun deuaidd o’r hyn sy’n gywir a’r hyn sy’n anghywir.

Er enghraifft, yn dilyn ymchwiliad efallai y gwelir bod y drefn glinigol gywir wedi’i dilyn ond fod y claf yn teimlo bod y cyfathrebu / esboniadau yn wael. Wrth i staff gael eu cyfweld efallai y byddant yn dweud bod pob ymdrech wedi’i gwneud i egluro’r sefyllfa, ond mae’r claf yn dal yn anhapus. Yr her yw pa un i ddosbarthu hyn fel cwyn nas cadarnheir ac egluro pam, neu ei dosbarthu fel cwyn a gadarnheir yn rhannol. Os caiff ei dosbarthu fel cwyn nas cadarnheir, mae’r claf yn dal yn anfodlon ac yn teimlo nad oes unrhyw un yn gwrando arno. Mae cadarnhau’r gŵyn yn awgrymu bod rhywbeth o’i le ac mae hynny’n anodd i staff ei gymryd pan fyddant wedi gwneud pob ymdrech i gyfathrebu â’r claf.

Ychwanegodd Nick Bennet, ‘os oes amheuaeth, dylid ffafrio’r pwynt dysgu yn hytrach na’r tic yn y blwch.’

Sefyllfaoedd cymhleth

Darperir gwasanaethau cyhoeddus mewn amgylcheddau cymhleth. Gall prosesau syml weithio ar gyfer materion cymharol syml, ond pan fo teimladau a safbwyntiau pobl yn rhan o’r mater, ni all unrhyw broses roi atebion du a gwyn yn unig pan fo arlliwiau rhwng y ddau.

Delwedd o'r Fframwaith Cynefin, sy'n dangos dylai arfer da cael ei rannu mewn sefyllfaoedd cymhlethMae gwaith y Gyfnewidfa Arfer Da yn cyd-fynd â rhesymwaith y Fframwaith Cynefin. Efallai y byddwch wedi sylwi nad ydym erioed yn defnyddio’r term ‘Arfer Gorau’. Mae hyn am fod y term yn rhoi’r argraff bod un ffordd gywir o wneud pethau a fydd yn addas ar gyfer pob sefyllfa. Gall hyn fod yn addas mewn amgylchedd gweithgynhyrchu, ond pan fo’r berthynas rhwng achos ac effaith yn aneglur fel y mae mewn amgylcheddau cymhleth fel darpariaeth gwasanaethau cyhoeddus, nid yw un ymateb syml i bawb yn debygol o fod yn addas.

Sut gall sefydliad ddatblygu a rheoli proses gwyno, felly, pan fo’n rhaid ystyried teimladau a safbwyntiau pobl? Y perygl gydag unrhyw bolisi neu broses yw, unwaith iddi gael ei ffurfio, y bydd yn aros ar y silff heb gael ei defnyddio. Felly mae llwyddiant yn golygu sicrhau bod y ddogfen yn rhywbeth sy’n wirioneddol yn fyw, ac sy’n cael ei diweddaru a’i gwella’n seiliedig ar arferion a phrofiad. Efallai y bydd gwersi i’w dysgu yn sgil egwyddorion Dylunio Digidol o ran defnyddio dull iteraidd wrth weithio. Mae egwyddor pump Egwyddorion Dylunio Gwasanaethau Digidol y Llywodraeth yn nodi:

“Y ffordd orau o ddatblygu gwasanaethau da yw dechrau’n fach ac iteru’n wyllt. Dylech ryddhau’r Cynhyrchion Symlaf sy’n Hyfyw yn gynnar, eu profi gyda defnyddwyr go iawn, symud o’r cam Alpha i’r cam Beta ac yna’r cam Byw, gan ychwanegu nodweddion, dileu’r pethau nad ydynt yn gweithio mor dda, a mireinio’n seiliedig ar adborth. Mae iteru yn lleihau’r risg. Mae’n golygu bod methu’n llwyr yn annhebygol, ac yn troi methiannau bach yn wersi.Os nad yw prototeip yn gweithio, peidiwch ag ofni rhoi’r gorau iddo a dechrau eto.”

A yw’r broses wedi’i dylunio gan ystyried yr achwynydd?

Fel y dywedodd Alan Morris yn y digwyddiad, mae Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol yn rhoi cyfle i sefydliadau edrych unwaith eto ar eu diwylliant. Mae’n rhoi cyfle iddynt edrych unwaith eto ar hen brosesau ac i gwestiynu a ydynt yn dal i fod yn addas i’r diben. A yw’r broses yn canolbwyntio ar anghenion y sefydliad yn lle anghenion yr achwynydd

Gallai Egwyddorion Cenedlaethol ar gyfer Ymgysylltu â’r Cyhoedd yng Nghymru, sydd wedi eu datblygu gan Cyfranogaeth Cymru, helpu sefydliadau i feddwl am sut y gallent sicrhau bod y broses yn canolbwyntio ar yr achwynydd. Gallant awgrymu cwestiynau defnyddiol. Er enghraifft – a yw’r broses wedi’i dylunio’n effeithiol i wneud gwahaniaeth? Sut ydych chi’n rhoi adborth i bobl a sut byddwch yn dysgu ac yn rhannu’r gwersi er mwyn gwella’r broses ymgysylltu?

Drwy flogio am hyn, hoffem gael ymatebion ar y cyfryngau cymdeithasol er mwyn i ni allu rhannu syniadau a dulliau gyda Jane a’r holl bartïon â diddordeb, er mwyn helpu gwasanaethau cyhoeddus i wella. A thrwy gydnabod bod ymateb emosiynol rhywun wrth wraidd sefyllfaoedd cymhleth o’r fath, gall sefydliadau helpu i sicrhau eu bod ar y trywydd cywir i wella gwasanaethau cyhoeddus.

How Swansea Council undertook a scrutiny inquiry into their culture

Logo of the future of governance: Effective decision making for current and future generations

The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act requires organisations to go beyond tinkering at the edge of services into wider cultural change. Dyfrig Williams looks at what can we learn from the City and County of Swansea’s Scrutiny Inquiry into their corporate culture.

Culture is one of those intractable topics. When a problem is cultural, it means there’s no quick fix, no one process to tweak that will automatically help organisations to improve their work.

The good side of this is that it means that organisations tend to go beyond tick box solutions when they identify cultural issues in order to deliver real and lasting change. The bad side of it is that sometimes cultural change is seen as being so difficult that it doesn’t get done at all – the problem is too big to get to grips with.

So when I heard about the City and County of Swansea’s Scrutiny Inquiry into their Corporate Culture, I was immediately interested.

So why did they set up the inquiry?

Councillor Andrew Jones, the Convener of Corporate Culture Scrutiny Inquiry Panel said that:

‘The topic was chosen because, as a Council our corporate culture underpins everything we do, from how we engage with our citizens and provide services to how we treat our staff and grow and develop as an organisation. The challenges faced by the reductions to council budgets pose a threat to that notion of a shared culture. We therefore as Councillors, management and staff have a shared responsibility to respond to these challenges by developing a can do culture that ensures the citizens of Swansea continue to receive the best Council service possible.’

Getting things right at the start

So what can we learn from the pro-active steps that the council have taken to identify ways of improving their culture?

When I spoke to Michelle Roberts from the City and County of Swansea’s Scrutiny team, she emphasised the importance of getting the parameters of the inquiry right at the outset in order to focus on the right areas. The rationale of the review was to ensure that:

  • The council has the right corporate culture to tackle the challenges it faces
  • They create a can do culture to help turn the city around
  • Staff culture is focused on empowerment, personal responsibility, innovation and collaboration.

It’s great to see how the council have ensured that the inquiry has an ongoing legacy by linking it to the work of Leanne Cutts, who’s their Innovation Co-ordinator. As the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act requires, they’ve looked at their long term goals, whilst also identifying quick wins and medium term objectives.

There are some eye-catching proposals that focus on the organisation’s people. They cover the whole staff journey from corporate inductions, mainstreaming innovation into appraisals and developing personal skills to avoid buying in expertise.

Failure

We’ve done a fair bit of work around failure over the last couple of years through our Manager Chris Bolton. This work has underpinned a lot of our information sharing and our focus on improvement. So it’s great to see that the council are looking at how they can move away from a blame culture, whilst recognising the external issues that make it difficult (I’ve previously blogged on complex environments and failure). If we’re going to meet the expectations of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, we have to be able to take well managed risks and build upon the lessons from failure, as Huw Vaughan Thomas, the Auditor General for Wales, discusses in the video below.

Where to start?

If you want to examine the culture of your organisation, it’s well worth taking a look at this Culture Mapping Tool that’s been developed by Dave Gray, and which The Satori Lab have been using in their work. The stated and unstated levers of the tool are really useful in terms of thinking about what drives the behaviour of public service staff and organisations.

At the Wales Audit Office, we’re working on our approach to auditing the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act. For us as an audit body and for public services generally, it means that we have to change. If organisations try to deliver the seven wellbeing goals through the five ways of working without changing what they do, they’re likely to fail.

The Act gives us the chance to do things a bit differently in Wales. In a time of austerity, we can’t deliver the aspirations of the act whilst tinkering around the edges and adapting what we currently do. For the people of Wales to get the public services that they deserve, we need wholesale cultural change.

Sut wnaeth Cyngor Abertawe cynnal ymchwiliad craffu i’w diwylliant

Logo digwyddiad Dyfodol Llywodraethu: Gwneud penderfyniadau effeithiol ar gyfer y genhedlaeth bresennol a chenedlaethau'r dyfodol

Mae Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol yn meddwl bod rhaid i fudiadau i wneud lot mwy nag newid elfennau o wasanaethau, rhaid cael newid diwylliannol ehangach. Yn y blogbost yma mae Dyfrig Williams yn edrych ar beth allwn ni ddysgu o Ymchwiliad Craffu Diwylliant Corfforaethol Dinas a Sir Abertawe.

Mae diwylliant yn un o’r pynciau mawr yna sy’n anodd mynd i’r afael â. Pan mae yna broblem ddiwylliannol, does yna ddim ateb cyflym, a does ‘na ddim un newid bach sy’n arwain at newid awtomatig yng ngwaith mudiad.

Yr ochr dda o hwn yw bod mudiadau yn tueddu i fynd y tu hwnt i ymatebion sy’n ticio blychau er mwyn cael newid gwirioneddol a pharhaus. Yr ochr gwael yw bod newid diwylliannol yn gallu cael ei gweld fel rhywbeth sy’n rhy anodd, felly nad yw’r gwaith yn cael ei wneud o gwbl. Mae’r broblem yn rhy fawr.

Felly pan glywais am Ymchwiliad Craffu Dinas a Sir Abertawe i’w Diwylliant Corfforaethol, roedd gen i ddiddordeb yn syth.

Felly pam wnaethon nhw sefydlu’r ymchwiliad?

Dyma’r cymhelliant yn ôl y Cynghorydd Andrew Jones, Cynullydd y Panel Ymchwiliad Craffu ar Ddiwylliant Corfforaethol:

‘Dewiswyd y pwnc oherwydd, fel Cyngor, mae ein diwylliant corfforaethol yn sail i bopeth a wnawn, o sut rydym yn ymgysylltu â’n dinasyddion a darparu gwasanaethau i sut yr ydym yn trin ein staff a thyfu a datblygu fel sefydliad. Mae’r heriau a wynebir o ganlyniad i ostyngiadau yng nghyllidebau cynghorau yn fygythiad i’r syniad o ddiwylliant ar y cyd. Felly mae gennym ni fel Cynghorwyr, Rheolwyr a Staff, cyfrifoldeb i ymateb i’r heriau hyn trwy ddatblygu diwylliant sy’n gallu sicrhau bod dinasyddion Abertawe yn parhau i dderbyn y gwasanaethau gorau posibl o’r Cyngor.’

Sicrhau bod pethau’n iawn o’r dechrau

Felly, beth allwn ni ddysgu o’r camau rhagweithiol mae’r cyngor wedi cymryd i nodi ffyrdd o wella’u diwylliant?

Pan wnes i siarad â Michelle Roberts o Dîm Craffu Dinas a Sir Abertawe, pwysleisiodd hi’r pwysigrwydd o gael y cyfyngiadau iawn am yr ymchwiliad o’r dechrau er mwyn sicrhau eich bod chi’n canolbwyntio ar y meysydd cywir. Rhesymeg yr adolygiad oedd:

  • Bod gan y cyngor y diwylliant corfforaethol cywir i fynd i’r afael â’r heriau y mae’n wynebu
  • Bod nhw’n creu diwylliant sy’n helpu i droi’r ddinas o gwmpas
  • Bod diwylliant staff yn un sy’n grymuso ac annog cyfrifoldeb personol, arloesi a chydweithredu

Mae’n wych i weld sut mae’r cyngor wedi sicrhau bod yr ymchwiliad yn cael effaith barhaus drwy ei gysylltu i waith Leanne Cutts, ei Chydlynydd Arloesi. Maen nhw wedi ffocysu ar y nodau tymor hir, fel mae Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol yn mynnu, ond hefyd wedi canfod enillion cyflym ac amcanion tymor canolig.

Mae yna rhai cynigion trawiadol sy’n canolbwyntio ar y bobl sy’n gweithio yn y sefydliad. Mae’r rhain ynghylch sut maen nhw’n ymdrin ag oes cyfan bobl yn y mudiad, o sesiynau sefydlu corfforaethol, prif ffrydio arloesi trwy arfarniadau, a datblygu sgiliau personol er mwyn osgoi’r angen i brynu arbenigedd i mewn i’r cyngor.

Methiant

Rydym wedi gwneud cryn dipyn o waith ar fethiant dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf drwy ein Rheolwr Chris Bolton. Mae’r gwaith hwn wedi bod yn sylfaen i’r wybodaeth rydym yn rhannu a’n ffocws ar welliant. Felly mae’n wych gweld bod y cyngor yn edrych ar sut y gallant symud o ddiwylliant o fwrw bai, wrth gydnabod y materion allanol sy’n ei gwneud yn anodd (rydw i wedi blogio o’r blaen ar amgylcheddau cymhleth a methu). Os ydym yn mynd i gwrdd â disgwyliadau Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol, mae’n rhaid ein bod ni’n gallu cymryd risgiau a reolir yn dda ac adeiladu ar wersi o fethiant, fel mae Huw Vaughan Thomas, Archwilydd Cyffredinol Cymru, yn trafod yn y fideo isod.

Ble i ddechrau?

Os ydych chi eisiau archwilio diwylliant eich mudiad, mae’n werth cael cipolwg ar Ddull Mapio Diwylliant sydd wedi cael ei ddatblygu gan Dave Gray. Mae’r Satori Lab wedi bod yn defnyddio hwn yn eu gwaith. Mae’r sbardunau diwylliant sy’n cael eu nodi (a hefyd y rhai sydd ddim) sy’n ddefnyddiol iawn o ran meddwl am beth sydd tu ôl i ymddygiad staff a gwasanaethau cyhoeddus.

Mae Swyddfa Archwilio Cymru yn gweithio ar ein dull o archwilio fel bod e’n cwrdd ag anghenion Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol. Mae gofynion y ddeddf yn golygu bod rhaid i ni a gwasanaethau cyhoeddus newid. Os bydd mudiadau yn ceisio cyflawni’r saith gôl lles trwy’r pum ffordd o weithio heb newid beth maen nhw’n wneud, maen nhw’n debygol o fethu.

Mae’r ddeddf yn rhoi cyfle i wneud pethau ychydig yn wahanol yng Nghymru. Mewn cyfnod o lymder, ni allwn gyflawni dyheadau’r ddeddf wrth addasu’r hyn rydyn ni’n gwneud ar hyn o bryd. Rhaid i ni gael newid diwylliant gyfan gwbl er mwyn i bobl Cymru cael y gwasanaethau cyhoeddus y maen nhw’n haeddu.

The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and Behaviour Change

A photo of a dog being pulled on a leadBehaviour Change of both the public and public services was a recurring theme in discussions at our event on The Future of Governance: Effective decision making for current and future generations. In this post, Chris Bolton looks at the challenges ahead and how we can get to grips with them.

“The real problem isn’t creating the vision for the future, it’s leaving where we are now…”

I’m not sure who said that, it might be a combination of several things I’ve read and heard over the last few months, in which case, I’m happy to claim it.

Key to the success (and the biggest problem) of the Wellbeing of Future Generations (WFG) Act are the very carefully thought Five Ways of Working (long term; integration; collaboration; involvement; and preventative). They all describe something that most people with a disposition towards a civilised society would find hard to disagree with. They are logical, sensible and most will agree with them. Possibly the best way to start a mass movement for change, find something that everyone can agree on.

The problematic part rests with human behaviour. As I see it there are broadly two things working against the Act; The System and People.

  • The public services ‘system’ is a complex beast that will respond in unpredictable ways to the behaviours of the people operating within it.
  • The changes in behaviour required by the Act are a seismic shift for many. The current behaviours have been developed over many years and are reinforced by organisational hierarchies and professional status.

It’s a huge challenge (and topic to discuss in a 1000 words) so I’ll try and illustrate my points under three headings:

  1. Correlation is not causation (it’s complicated and complex),
  2. It’s always been about behaviour, and
  3. We need to ‘Nudge not Yank’.

Correlation is not causation

If I could wish for one behaviour change around WFG Act it would be for decision makers to recognise that not all situations are straightforward with obvious answers. A few specific situations are, but many of the challenges we face around the WFG Act are complex (diabetes, multigenerational economic inactivity etc.).

Often the type of analysis used to supports decision making falls into the trap of mistaking correlation for causation when seeking ‘quick-wins’. For example, a successful economy will have a proportion of manufacturing businesses that typically operate out of industrial units. A fact.

It does not follow however that by creating lots of ‘industry ready’ buildings, manufacturing businesses will automatically appear in those buildings and create a successful economy. My colleague, Mark Jeffs, wrote an interesting article about ‘correlation not being causation’ which is sometimes called ‘cargo cult’.

The complex challenges of the WFG Act require decision making behaviours that; recognise complexity, accept uncertainty, the willingness to test different solutions, fail, learn the lessons from failure (out in the open), learn the lessons and move on. For decision makers who are ‘driven to deliver’ and ‘meet performance targets’ this can be a significant behavioural challenge.

It’s always been about behaviour

A phrase for you to ponder on, Hyperbolic Discounting (I can say what I like now, most people will have switched off).

Basically this is a human behaviour where people have a tendency to prefer more immediate payoffs rather than things that happen later on. This is to the extent that our future selves would probably have not made that decision, given the same information. This is also referred to as current moment bias or present bias.

This behaviour hasn’t just been invented to cause problems for the first of the WFG Act Five Ways of Working, Long Term Thinking. It’s been part of the human condition for thousands of years. If you are a prehistoric hunter gather with a lifespan of 30 years, long-term thinking probably isn’t high on your list of decision making behaviours / life skills.

There is frequently a tendency to ‘blame’ the political cycle of elections for short term thinking in public services. This might however be something deeper in human behaviour, a cognitive bias towards the short term. You can learn more about Hyperbolic Discounting in the 1997 paper by David Laibson in the Quarterly Journal of Economics.

We need to ‘Nudge not Yank’

Thanks to Professor Dave Snowden from the Cynefin Centre in Bangor University for developing the thinking around this.

In essence, lots of Public Services have ‘done’ behaviour change to service users over many years. Things like programmes to reduce smoking, wearing seatbelts in cars or even 5p plastic bag charges are ‘done’ to people.

Whilst many of these behaviour change initiates have had huge success, there are a different set of issues around may of the WFG Act challenges, for example the growth in Type 2 Diabetes. The approaches need to be more subtle and based more upon understanding were people are ‘disposed to change’. If people aren’t ‘disposed to change’, any initiative to change behaviour can run into full resistance or things like malicious compliance with unintended consequences. (I’ve written about this previously).

I would argue that to achieve the sustainable behaviour changes required by the WFG Act it is better to facilitate and nudge people in areas where they are ‘disposed to change’, rather than ‘shove’ or ‘yank’ them in areas where they aren’t.

That also represents a behaviour change for many people who will be involved in the delivery of the WFG Act.

Are we doomed?

Probably not, but there are some significant behaviour changes required to successfully deliver the WFG Act and we shouldn’t underestimate what is required.

Here are my Top 3 Tips for anyone involved in decision making and governance associated with the WFG Act:

  1. Accept that lots of situations will be complex and will require a ‘probe, test, fail, learn’ type approach before deciding on a solution.
  2. Surround yourself with people who have a different point of view and different experiences, and listen to them. It might help overcome Hyperbolic Discounting and a number of other cognitive biases (have a look at my post on The Ladder of Inference) for more on this.
  3. When trying to influence behaviour change look for areas where there is a ‘disposition to change’ and nudge there rather than trying to ‘shove’ or ‘yank’ people in the direction you think is best for them.

Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol a Newid Ymddygiad

Llun o gi yn cael ei dynnu ar dennyn

Cafodd y thema o newid ymddygiad y cyhoedd a gwasanaethau cyhoeddus yn gyffredinol ei drafod sawl gwaith yn ein digwyddiad ar Ddyfodol Llywodraethu: gwneud penderfyniadau effeithiol ar gyfer y genhedlaeth bresennol a chenedlaethau’r dyfodol. Yn y blogbost yma mae Chris Bolton yn edrych ar yr heriau sydd o’n blaen ni a sut allwn ni mynd i’r afael â nhw.

“Nid creu’r weledigaeth ar gyfer y dyfodol yw’r broblem go iawn, ond gadael lle rydym ni nawr…”

Dydw i ddim yn siŵr pwy ddywedodd hynny, gallai fod yn gyfuniad o sawl peth a ddarllenais ac a glywais dros yr ychydig fisoedd diwethaf, ac os felly, rwy’n hapus i’w arddel.

Yr allwedd i lwyddiant (a phroblem fwyaf) Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol yw’r Pum Ffordd o Weithio (integreiddio; cydweithio; tymor hir; cynhwysiad; ac atal) a luniwyd yn ofalus iawn. Maen nhw i gyd yn disgrifio rhywbeth y byddai’r rhan fwyaf o bobl sy’n awyddus i weld cymdeithas wâr yn ei chael yn anodd anghytuno â nhw. Maen nhw’n rhesymegol, yn synhwyrol a bydd y rhan fwyaf o bobl yn cytuno â nhw. Efallai mai’r ffordd orau i ddechrau mudiad torfol ar gyfer newid yw dod o hyd i rywbeth y gall pawb gytuno yn ei gylch.

Mae’r broblem yn deillio o ymddygiad pobl. Yn ôl yr hyn a welaf i, mae dau beth yn fras yn gweithio yn erbyn y Ddeddf; y System a Phobl.

  • Mae’r ‘system’ gwasanaethau cyhoeddus yn fwystfil cymhleth a fydd yn ymateb mewn ffyrdd anrhagweladwy i batrymau ymddygiad y bobl sy’n gweithredu o’i mewn
  • Mae’r newidiadau ymddygiad sy’n ofynnol gan y Ddeddf yn newid seismig i lawer. Mae’r patrymau ymddygiad presennol wedi’u datblygu dros nifer o flynyddoedd ac wedi’u hatgyfnerthu gan hierarchaethau sefydliadol a statws proffesiynol.

Mae’n her enfawr (a phwnc enfawr i’w drafod mewn 1000 o eiriau) felly ceisiaf egluro fy mhwyntiau o dan dri phennawd:

  1. Nid cydberthyniad yw achosiaeth (mae’n gymhleth ac yn ddyrys),
  2. Mae bob amser wedi ymwneud ag ymddygiad,
  3. Mae angen i ni ‘Hybu nid Tynnu’.

Nid cydberthyniad yw achosiaeth

Pe dymunwn weld un newid ymddygiad mewn perthynas â Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol, gweld y bobl sy’n penderfynu yn cydnabod nad yw pob sefyllfa’n syml gydag atebion amlwg fyddai’r newid hwnnw. Mae yna atebion felly i rai sefyllfaoedd penodol, ond mae llawer o’r heriau a wynebwn mewn perthynas â Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol yn gymhleth (diabetes, anweithgarwch economaidd dros sawl cenhedlaeth ac ati).

Yn aml, mae’r math o ddadansoddiad a ddefnyddir i gefnogi gwneud penderfyniadau yn disgyn i’r fagl o gamgymryd cydberthyniad am achosiaeth wrth geisio sicrhau ‘enillion cyflym’. Er enghraifft, bydd gan economi lwyddiannus gyfran o fusnesau gweithgynhyrchu sydd fel arfer yn gweithredu mewn unedau diwydiannol. Ffaith.

Nid yw’n dilyn, fodd bynnag, fod creu llawer o adeiladau ‘parod ar gyfer diwydiant’ yn golygu y bydd busnesau gweithgynhyrchu yn ymddangos yn awtomatig yn yr adeiladau hynny ac yn creu economi lwyddiannus. Ysgrifennodd fy nghydweithiwr, Mark Jeffs, erthygl ddiddorol yn dangos ‘nad achosiaeth yw cydberthyniad’, sydd weithiau’n cael ei alw’n ‘cwlt cargo’.

Mae heriau cymhleth Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol yn galw am ymddygiad gwneud penderfyniadau sydd: yn cydnabod cymhlethdod, yn derbyn ansicrwydd, yn barod i brofi gwahanol atebion, yn methu, yn dysgu’r gwersi o fethiant (allan yn agored), yn dysgu’r gwersi ac yn symud ymlaen. Ar gyfer rhai sy’n gwneud penderfyniadau sy’n cael eu ‘gyrru i gyflawni’ a ‘chyrraedd targedau perfformiad’ gall hyn fod yn her sylweddol i ymddygiad.

Mae bob amser wedi ymwneud ag ymddygiad

Ymadrodd i chi feddwl amdano, Diystyru Hyperbolig (gallaf ddweud beth bynnag a ddymunaf yn awr, bydd y rhan fwyaf o bobl wedi mynd i gysgu).

Yn y bôn, ymddygiad dynol yw hwn lle mae pobl yn tueddu i ffafrio enillion mwy uniongyrchol yn hytrach na phethau sy’n digwydd yn nes ymlaen. Mae hyn yn digwydd i’r fath raddau fel na fyddai ein hunain yn y dyfodol wedi gwneud y penderfyniad hwnnw, ar sail yr un wybodaeth. Cyfeirir at hyn hefyd fel gogwydd tuag at y foment gyfredol neu ogwydd tuag at y presennol.

Nid ymddygiad newydd gael ei ddyfeisio yw hwn i achosi problemau i’r gyntaf o Bum Ffordd o Weithio Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol, sef Meddwl yn hirdymor. Mae wedi bod yn rhan o’r cyflwr dynol ers miloedd o flynyddoedd. Os ydych yn heliwr cynhanesyddol gyda hyd oes o 30 mlynedd, mae’n debyg nad yw meddwl yn hirdymor yn uchel ar eich rhestr o batrymau ymddygiad/sgiliau bywyd ar gyfer gwneud penderfyniadau.

Ceir tuedd yn aml i ‘feio’ y cylch gwleidyddol o etholiadau am feddylfryd byrdymor ym maes gwasanaethau cyhoeddus. Fodd bynnag gallai hyn fod yn rhywbeth dyfnach mewn ymddygiad dynol, gogwydd gwybyddol tuag at y tymor byr. Gallwch ddysgu mwy am Ddiystyru Hyperbolig yn y papur gan David Laibson yn y Quarterly Journal of Economics ym 1997.

Mae angen i ni ‘Hybu nid Tynnu’

Diolch i’r Athro Dave Snowden o Ganolfan Cynefin ym Mhrifysgol Bangor am ddatblygu’r ystyriaethau ynglŷn â hyn.

Yn ei hanfod, mae llawer o Wasanaethau Cyhoeddus wedi ‘gwneud’ newid ymddygiad i ddefnyddwyr gwasanaethau dros flynyddoedd lawer. Mae pethau fel rhaglenni i leihau ysmygu, gwisgo gwregys mewn ceir neu daliadau o 5c am fagiau plastig hyd yn oed eisoes wedi cael eu cyflwyno i bobl.

Er bod llawer o’r camau cychwynnol hyn i newid ymddygiad wedi cael llwyddiant ysgubol, mae yna gyfres wahanol o faterion yn ymwneud â heriau Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol, er enghraifft y cynnydd mewn Diabetes Math 2. Mae angen i’r dulliau fod yn fwy cynnil ac yn fwy seiliedig ar ddeall lle mae pobl yn gogwyddo tuag at newid. Os nad yw pobl yn gogwyddo tuag at newid, gall unrhyw fenter i newid ymddygiad wynebu gwrthwynebiad llawn neu bethau fel cydymffurfio maleisus gyda chanlyniadau anfwriadol. (Ysgrifennais am hyn o’r blaen).

Er mwyn cyflawni’r newidiadau ymddygiad cynaliadwy sy’n ofynnol gan Ddeddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol byddwn yn dadlau ei bod hi’n well hwyluso a hybu pobl mewn meysydd lle maent yn gogwyddo tuag at newid, yn hytrach na’u gwthio neu eu tynnu mewn meysydd lle nad ydynt yn gogwyddo tuag at newid.
Mae hynny hefyd yn newid ymddygiad i lawer o bobl a fydd yn rhan o’r gwaith o gyflwyno Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol.

A yw hi ar ben arnom?

Nac ydy, yn ôl pob tebyg, ond mae angen newidiadau ymddygiad sylweddol er mwyn cyflwyno Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol yn llwyddiannus ac ni ddylem fychanu’r hyn sydd ei angen.

Dyma fy 3 cyngor gorau ar gyfer unrhyw un sy’n rhan o’r broses o wneud penderfyniadau a’r llywodraethu sy’n gysylltiedig â Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol:

  1. Derbyniwch y bydd llawer o sefyllfaoedd yn gymhleth ac yn gofyn am ddull o weithredu sy’n galw am ‘ymchwilio, profi, methu, dysgu’ cyn penderfynu ar ateb.
  2. Gwnewch yn siŵr fod yna bobl o’ch cwmpas sy’n meddu ar farn wahanol ac wedi cael profiadau gwahanol, a gwrandewch arnynt. Gallai helpu i oresgyn Diystyru Hyperbolig a nifer o ogwyddion gwybyddol (edrychwch ar fy mhost ar The Ladder of Inference) am ragor ar hyn.
  3. Wrth geisio dylanwadu ar newid ymddygiad edrychwch am feysydd lle ceir ‘gogwyddo tuag at newid’ a rhowch hwb yn y fan honno yn hytrach na cheisio ‘gwthio’ neu ‘dynnu’ pobl i’r cyfeiriad y credwch chi sydd orau ar eu cyfer.

RHP: Great customer service, great employer

A photo of RHP's 5 year strategy mural

RHP’s 5 year strategy mural

It’s impossible to have effective public services without staff that are committed and motivated to deliver them. So how do we go about doing that? Dyfrig Williams visited London housing provider RHP Group to learn more about their approach.

I’ve always been interested in how organisations make the most of their staff. When I worked at Participation Cymru, we noticed that organisations that harness their staff’s knowledge and capabilities tend to be the ones who are good at involving the public when planning their work.

So I was really interested in the work RHP are doing, and when the opportunity came to visit the organisation after meeting their Chief Executive David Done, I was as keen as mustard.

Culture

One of the first things that struck me is the effort that RHP put into building and maintaining the culture of the business. RHP recruit people based on behaviours, and subsequently measure performance against these skills and behaviours rather than qualifications. The assessment centres at interviews focus on that, and once employees have been appointed, all new starters go through a “wow 3 weeks” of induction that ensures that all new starters have the same experience and are aware of the organisations’ values.

Their approach to culture and empowerment isn’t something that just applies to new employees. Existing employees had said that they wanted the opportunity to stay and progress within the organisation, so RHP developed a Climbing Frame approach to staff development that allows existing staff to move up the organisation through promotion, or move sideways through a secondment.

Learning and Development

A photo of RHP's meeting room, which is nicely decorated to provide a relaxed environment

RHP’s meeting room – a bit different to your average one

RHP’s learning and development approach is based on gaps in their business, for example their approach to risk management and decision making. I’ve often felt that the traditional training course approach to personal development is a tick-box exercise (I think only about three of the courses that I’ve attended have genuinely changed the way that I work in about eleven years of working in public services), so it was interesting to see how RHP is favouring a bite-size approach to events that last between ninety minutes and half a day.

This approach includes the Great Place to Think sessions, where external speakers are invited to speak on topics that are relevant to the organisation. Wayne Hemmingway has spoken on creativity and Gerald Ratner spoke about resilience and bouncing back from failure.

The Great Place to Debate sessions also give staff the opportunity to debate contentious issues. RHP is moving into offering five year tenancies, and points from the “All new social tenancies should be offered on five year terms – yes v no” debate informed its approach.

The Live Lounge also harnesses staff’s own learning, as employees lead discussions on their areas of interest, including topics as diverse as social media or politics. Live Lounges are 3-2-1 discussions (held at 3 o’clock, 2 way discussions for 1 hour). One employee who is a personal trainer spoke about health, and another employee movingly spoke about their mental health experiences.

The Good Practice Exchange has been working with public service partners on Behaviour Change Festivals across Wales, including in Bangor, where the Centre for Behaviour Change used gamification to influence attendee behaviour (it’s worth checking out Participation Cymru’s blogpost on this for more details). So I was really interested in how RHP are using the approach to look at how employees react to high pressure situations. They developed games with an external company, where points are rewarded on decisions they made during the game and whether they made the right decisions and the consequences of those decisions. The scenarios were based on what people experience at RHP, so employees could see and empathise with the challenges that their fellow employees faced. And as someone who has a dubious taste in murder mysteries, I absolutely loved how they have used those scenarios to test how staff make decisions under pressure!

I also learnt how RHP have developed RHPedia, an online knowledgebase in the mould of Wikipedia that equips people with the knowledge they need to deal with any enquiries and to deal with specific issues. What I loved about this approach to knowledge sharing is that anyone can add their expertise to the site. The next stage will be to offer this site to customers

And if all that wasn’t enough, RHP also have an internal volunteering scheme. Whilst that isn’t unusual in itself, 107 people volunteer out of the 250 people who work for the organisation (which includes people who donate to support the projects that employees volunteer on).

Benchmarking

If you’ve made it this far through the blogpost, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that RHP is an Investors in People gold organisation. RHP have used the Times 100 to benchmark it’s success in the field, where it came fifth in the UK, and it now uses the Great Place to Work Award. This year, RHP were placed at number one for this award. They also use the Customer Service Index to see what others are doing and what makes them good, whilst also asking customers what a very good service would look like.

And the feedback shows that all this work is worthwhile.96% of employees are satisfied with working for RHP and 83% of customers said they are satisfied with the service they receive. And Geraldine Clarke, RHP’s L&D Advisor told me that “If you want to be great at customer service, you’ve got to be a great employer. You can’t be one without the other.” If you’re similarly looking at how you can make the most of the people within your organisation, we’d love to hear from you.