Renfrewshire Council

We value learning

We value learning to help us innovate, improve and deliver better services.

Our latest case study from senior planning and policy officer, Jamie Gardyne.

Watch Jamie's video here:

We learn from each other, we're open to new ways of working and we're better at engaging with our communities"

Jamie has worked for Renfrewshire Council for 12 years, beginning as an assistant transportation officer, moving to regeneration in 2014 and now working in a temporary role in the planning and policy development team supporting children's services. Jamie describes his current role as collaborative, educational and satisfying.

LEARNING is evident in what we do, every day...
I've always learned a great deal from the teams and colleagues I work with across the council. In those teams, they have always been very receptive to new ways of doing things or new technologies which provide greater insight or help focus our activities in a more efficient way. I think we've also got a lot better at evaluating what we do so that we can see where our successes are, we can see where the gaps are and things that haven't gone so well so that we can seek to do better next time. Ultimately we engage with the community, with our service users to make sure that what we set out to do is achieving those aims. I think we learn from each other, we learn from technology and the people who use our services.

Our values are important to me...
They provide the focus for everything we do and should be the principles we uphold as we interact with our communities, They also give me and my colleagues a common purpose.

My day can be quite varied...
And recently our team has been doing a lot of work to report and provide insight on the activities within children's services.  I've also had the opportunity to support the implementation of new social work case management software called ECLIPSE, with a recent highlight being organising a film shoot outside Renfrewshire House - it was good to be back!
    
I'm really proud to work for Renfrewshire Council
I love the fact that I live here and I'm working to make Renfrewshire the best it can be. I want it to be a great place for my kids to grow up in too.  

If I could change one thing about working here...
It would be helping people to easily understand how the council operates. It can take a while to get to know the structure, governance and procedures of the council but that's mainly down to the fact it's a big organisation.  I've been lucky enough to work across different services and over time have developed a decent understanding (though I'm still learning) but I'd like to have known what I know now, just a bit earlier in my council career.

My biggest achievement to date...
Would be surviving lockdown with my children! Aside from that, I'd say when I was in my late teens I did some solo backpacking around Europe.  Before that, I wasn't the most confident person and I learned experiences like that make you appreciate your inner resilience.

When I do get some spare time...
I'm lucky to live in a one of the many beautiful parts of Renfrewshire and I enjoy going walks with my family in our lovely country parks. I also enjoy road and mountain biking, exploring local routes and enjoying the scenery.

A surprising fact about me is...
I can't change bed sheets without getting trapped in them! I simply can't figure it out. It takes me about 20 minutes to change one set of bedding. 

For me, #LivingOurValues...
Is about being open to change and seeking opportunities to broaden my knowledge. It's about thinking holistically when looking for solutions to problems and being as helpful to our communities as possible. 
 


Kevin Milliken

 

In the latest instalment of our Living Our Values series, procurement assistant Kevin Milliken tells us why learning is so important to him.

Watch Kevin's video here:

 Learning is really important to me... It's part of your journey of life. It defines who we are."

Kevin has worked for Renfrewshire Council for almost 5 years. He began as a Modern Apprentice Clerical Assistant in Abbey House, before supporting HR & OD with the development team in Customer and Business Services. In October 2019 Kevin started his current role as a procurement assistant in the Corporate Procurement Unit and describes his role as exciting, challenging and meaningful.

LEARNING is so important to me...
It's part of the journey of life and it defines who we are. Working with colleagues in HR & OD on the implementation of new management programmes, I got to see just how this development opportunity was appreciated and enjoyed by hundreds of our staff. I feel it re-defined the council as a learning and development establishment and a platform for opportunity. The saying - you learn something new every day - is 100% true here.

A typical day in procurement usually involves...
Keeping track of the various projects we are working on, lots of emails and engaging with clients, contractors and service providers. Aside from all that, there's really no certainty as to where the day will take me! There's been a lot of work with construction contracts recently as that industry starts its recovery process.

If I could change one thing about working here...
I like a challenge. So, I'd like to see us all challenge ourselves more. I want us to challenge who we are as an organisation and how we deliver our services. That's how we'll learn.

My biggest achievement...
Happened earlier this year when I was selected as the 2019 Young Achiever at our Staff Recognition Award. It really meant a lot me because I felt it recognised both my efforts as a staff member and the work I've put into charity projects over the last few years.

For me, #LivingOurValues means...
Trying, every day, to be the best of myself and for that to be reflected in my relationships with my family, friends and colleagues.