Peer Networks, what we all learned and why it is worth the time to get involved.

by | 17 May, 2021 | Blog

Last year Pym’s Consultancy was very privileged to have had the opportunity to run a Peer Network for business leaders in Lincolnshire who worked in the health and care sector. 

Peer Networks ran as a series of interactive sessions delivered between December 2020 and April 2021, along with three and a half hours of one-to-one consultancy support for each member. 

Running a peer support program in health and care during a pandemic seems like a good idea (after all, if there was ever a time when business owners were under pressure, it was this period), but also a terrible idea, because finding time for leadership support, while meeting all the needs of staff, patients/clients, and businesses seemed an impossible task.

Fortunately, eleven business leaders took up the offer, and we shared 18 hours of Peer-to-Peer support.  As a facilitator, it is my job to help people rethink their problems with the group’s support and find constructive ways forward for personal and business development.  It was great to see group members attending subsequent sessions and sharing their progress with business and personal goals.  As people got to know each other, they also shared advice and support outside of sessions through their WhatsApp Group, and the closer they got, the more open they became, and the more fun was had.  As well as support, advice, and a safe space, the Peer Network was a place to make new friends and laugh (quite a bit).  The group not only supported but inspired each other.

Topics discussed included staff recruitment and retention, staff management, building more constructive and effective relationships, social media and business promotion.  The blend of companies from dental practices to charities and care providers really helped give new perspectives to a range of problems, meaning that members were returning to work with plans for improvement, then sharing their success and progress with the group at future sessions.

I described facilitating this group as a privilege, and it was, especially as I also provided some of the one-to-one support for individual members.  As a consultant, I am often aware that those who need the business support the most are often those who can least afford it, so it was great to provide advice, signpost, and actively support individuals with their business needs at no cost to them.  In three and a half hours, we can cover a lot of ground from sourcing grants, to how to find and respond to public sector tenders, or even understanding your personal profile and how to adapt to build better relationships.  Another consultant provided three and a half hours of advice on Marketing and Social Media.

Was it time well-spent?  Outcomes from being part of the Peer Network included:

  • Creating new marketing and Social Media Plans resulting in increased visibility and awareness of businesses
  • New management infrastructure and processes to build stronger working relationships
  • Better engagement of staff and compliance with working practices
  • Grant funding for business growth projects
  • Enhanced reasoning and problem-solving skills
  • A new network of peers for ongoing advice and support

I am really excited to be able to run further Peer Networks for Health and Care this year and can’t wait to meet all the new members.  I believe it is time well-spent, not to mention an opportunity to laugh, share and support one another.  If you have a business address in Lincolnshire and work in or with the health and care sector, why not get in touch and join us? Book a discovery call today to find out more.

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