First impressions count…

At PSS, employing the right sort of people is a pretty big deal to us. We’re interested in those people who truly care about the people who use our services and want to make their lives better. We put lots of effort into our recruitment process, finding the really good eggs who’ll help us provide the best services possible. Once they start at PSS, we like to make sure they’re up-to-speed on all the great things we do here (and that’s a lot – so it takes some time). One of the ways we do that is through a staff induction day, where we get all of our new recruits together to introduce them to PSS.

It goes without saying that our number one priority is the people we support – and that’s something we make sure the new kids on our block understand first and foremost. Afterall, they’re why we get up every morning with a spring in our step and why we try to be the best version of ourselves every single day. They know exactly what makes good service, what makes bad service and what it feels like to be in their shoes. So, when we were looking at refreshing our induction to make it even better, we wanted to make sure that those views came through loud and clear and that people had the opportunity to tell their own stories.
Lucky for us, a selection of people who use our services very kindly volunteered get involved, by hosting their own mini workshops at our induction day. They’ll have the opportunity to explain what they’re looking for when it comes to the support they receive, what the PSS service they use does for them and give our new team members and insight into their world.

We tried it out for the first time last week. Here’s what happened!

Terry, who uses our Making Days South service in Garston and Michelle, who uses our Wellbeing Service were the first two people to volunteer themselves for induction duty. They sat down at two tables in our Big Learning Room at PSS HQ and each chatted to a small group of our new recruits.Terry has a learning disability and wanted to explain to the group some of the ways that he likes to be supported, along with some of the fantastic stuff he’s been given a taster of at Making Days South. He’s been coming to the day centre for a number of years so had lots of insights to give people into how we can learn from the people we support. He came armed with a board of photos that he’s recently shot across Liverpool as part of his involvement in the photography group at the centre. He also talked about the ways he’s been making a stamp on the way the service is developed in the ‘Getting it Together’ committee that he’s a big part of. Everyone took a lot away from his session and asked him some questions about how he’d like PSS to be shaped in the future.

Michelle, who uses our Wellbeing Service, gave an extremely moving talk about her journey with the service. She struggles with her mental health and needs some support to discuss her feelings and find positive outlets for real life fulfilment. Last week, she found the confidence to honestly and openly tell the group about the difficult experiences she’s gone through in the past and how she has grown since being a part of our Wellbeing Centre service. Michelle now volunteers with the service and uses her first-hand experiences to provide peer support to other people going through similar situations. It’s fantastic that she can share her expertise and life experiences for another good cause on top of this – in helping our staff to fully understand the impact that their work can have on people’s lives.

After the success of this first new style induction, this workshop structure will continue to be used for all new members of staff. We’ll invite people from different services to come and introduce themselves and give PSS people the best start in their new job. Because we have so many different services, providing a whole host of different support packages, it’s really important to us that our teams can understand these more. And that goes for people working on the frontline supporting people and people behind the scenes working in one of our offices. We’re all working towards the same objective of helping people change their lives for the better – no matter what life throws at them; and a little bit more understanding goes a long way in making this happen.

A massive thank you to the Terry and Michelle for sparing us their time and their wisdom for this invaluable learning and development session.