Published on Wed, 01/07/2020 - 09:33
By
Fiona McInnes-Craig
Team Zoom photo

Transforming the way we work

One of the things that makes Thresholds’ courses so powerful is the intimate, conducive atmosphere we create when we are all in a room together. The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown took us all by surprise, and when we were instructed by CSL to start delivering modules virtually, we were seriously concerned about whether we could do that!

 

We had a frantic week of investigating various virtual platforms, as well adapting our modules for virtual delivery.  After much research, we agreed that Zoom had the best functionality to replicate the face-to-face experience.  We did look at MS teams, as we know that is the preferred platform for Government, but Zoom gives a much better participant experience.  The Thresholds team worked round the clock to get all five CT modules, ready for virtual delivery, creating digital workbooks, replicating flipchart information to slides, and getting our heads round the tech. Amazingly, within a week we were ready.  Go team!

 

While some participants chose to wait until face-to-face delivery could resume, the majority were really grateful that their career development would not have to be put on pause. We were mindful that many civil servants had enormous pressure around additional workloads, and others were suddenly having to juggle work with caring responsibilities or home schooling.  We wanted to ensure that no one missed out, so we’ve also embarked on the creation of ‘catch-up’ resources and videos for anyone who can’t attend the virtual event.  These will be available soon via our website so watch this space.

 

Initially we weren’t at all sure how it would all work. To our surprise and delight, attendance levels at the virtual modules have been really high – frequently 100%. It’s even more important when times are tough to take time out to reflect on your own career and personal development, and participants have really appreciated having the space to do that.  In spite of some initial scepticism (from the team as well as from participants), the benefits reported by participants at the end of the facilitated days have been wholly consistent with the face-to-face experience.  The vast majority of feedback has been really positive!

 

Thank you for making it feel as though we were all in the room together. The facilitation was amazing.... The biggest takeaway was having the opportunity to reflect on personal priorities in the current situation.

 

The group has really come together in a way I wasn't sure would happen virtually.

 

The session worked really well. I could focus on my tasks well on Zoom and am grateful to the helpful feedback from you and my colleagues. Thank you for running the session in these difficult times, it was very helpful!

 

I thought that it worked brilliantly, including how you managed the process and how the break out rooms worked. I do not think that the day could be improved on and am very grateful to you all for finding a way around the problem

 

It’s important that we are responsive and adaptable, and able to focus on participant needs.  The fact that we have exceeded expectations has greatly enhanced the reputation of Crossing Thresholds as a great course.

 

We couldn’t have anticipated being in this situation, or that making the shift to virtual delivery would have been so worthwhile!