Nurturing the Workforce

by Kate Dowling

These blog posts document the work being done by the Nurture the Workforce team from January – Dec 2020. They record their working process, insights, ideas, focus and final service design – Hug in a Mug!

Sorting barriers and enablers

After the group had identified the three focus areas for Relationships First, we moved into our working groups. The groups then worked to describe their theme and decide on a name.

Kate  /  7th September 2020

Fleshing out our research focus

At session 2 (held on 4th February 2020) our aims for the ‘Nurturing The Workforce’ group were to:

  1. Agree our plan for the research (who, where, when, what)
  2. For everyone to feel confident in the process they are going to work through over the next 2.5 days and know what jobs they would be doing and what support they have

Kate  /  7th September 2020

Planning our research

At Session 4 held on 25th February 2020, the Healing Trauma group focused on pinning down the focus of their research. The group decided that they wanted to speak with members of the workforce. Our goals for the evening were to clarify the purpose of the research, and the content of the interview in order to achieve the goals of the research.

Kate  /  7th September 2020

Research and analysis

The research interviews took place on 5th and 6th March 2020 and were led by Charlotte and Kate. Over the two days, they spoke to:

  • 2 x Employment and Training co-ordinators
  • 1 x Revenue Officer, Revenue and Benefits Service
  • 1 x Accounting Support Assistant, Revenue and Benefits Service
  • 2 x Housing Officers
  • 1 x Receptionist, the Denny Hub
  • 1 x Multi skilled advisor
  • 1 x Housing Needs Support Office

Kate  /  7th September 2020


Our ideation day was held on 14th March at Carronvale House and the aims of the day were:

  1. For everyone to have loads of fun!
  2. For everyone to feel reconnected to the project vision and values
  3. To revisit the themes that each group prioritised
  4. For each group to have rough ideas that respond to their themes needs/insights
  5. A prioritised set of ideas for each group to take into prototyping

Kate  /  7th September 2020

Finding our focus again

When Covid hit, we took a long break and when we came back we looked at our ideas with fresh eyes!

    Kate  /  13th Jan 2021

    Revisiting our Persona

    We spent time working to redraft our persona so that she was more in keeping with the befriender Hollie-Ann had worked with.

      Kate  /  13th Jan 2021

      The Falkirk Nurture Tree

      Revisiting our persona Gill prompted lots of conversation about the need for a nurturing culture at Falkirk and led us to the idea of a ‘nurture tree’ at Falkirk Council. The tree could help a worker like Gill develop nurture in her practice and also make sure that Gill is a nurtured member of staff.

        Kate  /  13th Jan 2021

        Prioritising Gill’s Needs

        At this stage, we still had a lot of ideas and we needed to whittle them down! To do this the group prioritised Gill’s needs by picking 1-2 needs from our research which they felt were most important for us to focus on.

          Kate  /  13th Jan 2021

          Building and finalising our idea

          From the 4 ideas that the group took forward, the group decided at the core was an approach to nurture which Falkirk Council should adopt at all levels. The group then worked through an idea framer tool.

            Kate  /  13th Jan 2021

            Developing our story

            We moved on to thinking about how we could bring to life our ‘Hug in A Mug’ approach in a story format, specifically in a video. 

              Kate  /  13th Jan 2021

              Our Service Design Concept and Policy Prototype: Hug in a Mug

              Our service design proposal is for a new Nurture Policy that allows Falkirk Council to implement nurture at all levels. Through our research we know that being nurtured at work looks like; knowing how staff feel, knowing how best to support them as individuals and them knowing how best to support themselves.

                Kate  /  19th Feb 2021

                Evaluating our idea

                As a final step in our project, the team completed an evaluation of the ‘Hug in a Mug’ policy. First of all we went back to Gill’s identified needs…..

                Kate  /  19th Feb 2021