Routes To Work provides support at NLC Resilience Hub

During these exceptional times, our Routes To Work colleagues volunteered their services to North Lanarkshire Council Community Assistance Helpline, working as part of a multi-agency approach.

to reduce poverty and improve the health and wellbeing of North Lanarkshire communities and businesses by enabling people to access, sustain and progress within employment

The service supported over 11,000 North Lanarkshire residents who were shielding, and involved organising food packages, prescriptions, referral to partner agencies and assisting those struggling with their wellbeing.

Routes To Work’s prime aim is “to reduce poverty and improve the health and wellbeing of North Lanarkshire communities and businesses by enabling people to access, sustain and progress within employment”. As well as our team of 13 staff supporting those shielding, we also had one staff member who took on a volunteering role as a Home Care Worker to support the most vulnerable in their homes.

“We are so proud to be able to assist our community during these difficult times and support our partner, North Lanarkshire Council, with this vital service”.

Celebrating our achievements

Routes To Work is always proud to have an opportunity to celebrate incredible work our team does in the name of our mission. And our Reward & Recognition Scheme is just one way that we can show how much we appreciate individuals’ achievements.

The scheme recognises and values employee contributions that make a difference to the clients to whom they provide a service, or to Routes To Work as an organisation. Nominations are either for employees or teams who have made a significant difference, and clients can be internal or external.

The great aspect of such a scheme is that it promotes and supports a culture where new ideas are shared, good practice and excellent customer service is recognised and the key operating principles of Routes to Work are demonstrated.

Routes To Work allows the following 4 categories of behaviour to be recognised:  Routes to Work allows the following 4 categories of behaviour to be recognised:

1. Delivering excellent customer service

2. Actions above and beyond the call of duty

3. Generating ideas for performance improvements and innovation

4. Exceptional contributions and teamwork.

Importantly, this means that the scheme acknowledges ideas and effort as well as outputs – allowing non-client facing roles such as Business Support & Finance also to be recognised.

During 2020-21 we continued to deliver on this policy of recognition even when working remotely. Across the year we received 40 nominations across the four categories, covering 32 members of staff – some receiving multiple nominations throughout the year – and eight nominations for groups.

We also made the decision to approve a unique nomination for all staff based on the commitment, dedication and effort of our entire staff team to continue to deliver a service to residents of North Lanarkshire against the backdrop of a global pandemic.

This reward took the form of a special reward and Christmas message recognising all of our colleagues’ efforts to role model our vision at a time when it is more important than ever to do so.

Across the year we received 40 nominations across the four categories, covering 32 members of staff

Reward and Recognition Vital Care Support In North Lanarkshire

Julie-Ann’s vital care support is rewarded

Our colleague at Routes To Work, Julie-Ann Murphy received a Reward & Recognition Award for going above and beyond the call of duty when she volunteered to be seconded from our team to support North Lanarkshire Council at the peak of the pandemic.

Her role was to provide vital home care support to vulnerable, elderly and disabled North Lanarkshire residents while they were under difficult lockdown conditions. She completed all of the necessary training and changed her working pattern to match the care sector, which included evenings and weekends.

Julie-Anne exhibited empathy, professionalism, compassion and resilience at all times offering essential personal and emotional care. Her efforts were greatly appreciated by North Lanarkshire Council, Routes To Work and most importantly, the care colleagues and clients that she cared for during her secondment.

Our Newsletter

It was crucial that Routes To Work continued to engage and promote its services during the Pandemic. So, to celebrate our highlights, keep our partners fully informed and promote our services, our stakeholder engagement team created a newsletter.

Supporting Staff Through The Pandemic

With the arrival of Covid-19, back in early 2020, like many other organisations, Routes To Work re-doubled our efforts on signage and hygiene measures in all our offices. But it quickly became apparent due to the transmissibility and devastating effect of the virus, that these measures were weren’t going to be enough to deal with the problem.

Immediately responding to Scottish government guidance, at the end of March we began lockdown, closed offices and instructed staff to work from home. Some staff didn’t have the required mobile equipment and we very quickly set about getting everyone connected. Furlough was used very sparingly, and the Board of Directors made a commitment to put staff and clients’ safety first.

Daily catch-up sessions were held across the whole organisation, to check in with each other and make sure colleagues were well, and the Senior Management Team provided daily communications to keep everyone in the loop. As we came to rely on our ICT and mobile telephony, experts started popping up from teams, sharing their skills and hints and tips with colleagues so we could all make the most of the technology.

As the lockdown extended, we recognised the challenges faced by some staff in coping with the isolation of lockdown. We identified those at risk and made plans to keeping them included, active and upbeat. Most importantly, we wanted them to feel motivated and cared for.

This innovation, together with the increased focus on health and wellbeing meant that staff felt fully engaged and ‘looked after’ by the company.

A good independent measure of both engagement and satisfaction is generally gained from the output of the annual staff survey. As usual, it was carried out in the month of September and because we had a heightened awareness of staff welfare both pre- and post-covid 19, we added questions to our satisfaction survey covering health, wellbeing, flexible working practice / work-life balance and psychological safety.

The onset of lockdown provided a catalyst for a range of innovation which we recognised and celebrated, such as:

  • Developing a blended model of employability services
  • Holding virtual information sessions and client journey check ins
  • Organising coffee mornings for staff, clients and partners
  • Process changes- including and involving staff with information in decision making
  • Extension of electronic and paperless systems
  • Creating ‘Wellbeing’ campaigns for staff including a channel on teams
  • Creating safe space, virtual tea breaks and friendship calls
  • Devoting protected time for teams to celebrate Christmas and other celebrations
  • Holding virtual Training, Learning & Development Sessions

This years’ staff survey had the highest levels of response rate at 93% and the highest levels of staff satisfaction demonstrated in the table below.


I am satisfied with the security of my job


(up by 15% from last year)

I have the support I need to perform well


(up by 13% from last year)

I have good conditions of service


(up by 4% from last year)

I would recommend Routes To Work as an employer


(up by 5% from last year)

What people said…

The survey responses themselves were highly positive, with the clearest trend showing in how much people felt supported and valued throughout the pandemic. Some specific responses mentioned the handling of Covid and how supported people felt

A time for reflection…

Keeping Communications up with our Clients

The Routes To Work client survey showed a clear need to communicate using digital activities, so our online video team created engaging short videos to support wellbeing and employability skills. See them below.