An example of how sharing one-page profiles can help break the ice and connect people in the workplace.
Written by Dimensions
Stella Cheetham is Executive Director of HR at Dimensions. She was appointed in 2011 and is responsible for making Dimensions an employer of choice and ensuring that our staff receive the training and help they need to provide the best possible services to the people we support.
Dimensions employ 5000 people and everyone writes their own one-page profile as part of the induction process. Staff are encouraged to include them in their e-mail signature footers so they can easily be shared. The Senior Management Team have their profiles on the Dimensions website, and use them in a variety of ways including preparing for meetings with staff, people we support, families and commissioners.
When Stella joined Dimensions, she had not used person-centred thinking tools before but quickly saw the benefit in creating her own one-page profile. She spoke with family, friends and colleagues in order to identify what people like and admire about her. She reflected on what is important to her, and for her, in order to complete these sections.
Stella’s one-page profile is shared widely with people we support, staff and other stakeholders. Stella believes that by sharing her profile before meeting people for the first time it has helped break the ice.
Last year, Stella took over direct management of a team and whilst at a team event sat next to an administrator who had read her one-page profile. In doing so she realised that they both loved the same band. Stella observed “I could have talked all day with this person, and not necessarily realised that we liked the same music, but because of our profiles, straight away we had something in common. By sharing our one-page profiles across the whole team it has helped us all feel more connected.”
The one-page profiles can help initiate conversations at larger events too. Dimensions Senior Management Team visit each of our operational regions yearly for a Forum with people we support and staff. The one-page profiles are shared beforehand, and at one such event, a person we support approached Stella because they had liked her picture and profile and were interested to ask questions about it.
Stella has found the one-page profiles an excellent way of introducing people to each other in preparation for meetings, but also in seeing the whole person, and understanding more about how a person likes to work, and therefore how to support them to achieve this.