More freedom to practice, tighter grip on data

At Mayday Trust, we recruit PTS Coaches using a highly values-based approach so that the organisation can trust coaches to take on unusually autonomous roles, with a lot of freedom to act for the coach and the individual they are working with. We recruit people who love to reflect, share their work and communicate with their peers, and provide opportunities to do that regularly, which reduces the need for the expensive and time-consuming processes which many organisations use to check and monitor their staff. People can come to coaching on their own terms, with more choice about what information they share with us, and we enable them to set and change their goals, rather than doing that for them.

All that freedom could lead to us having an unclear picture of what the impact and outcomes of the work is. So that freedom for people to choose and control support relationships at the practice end, has to be matched with an unusually strong focus on tracking outcomes and learning which sits behind that practice. Many organisations which collect a lot of data, are also rigid in the services they offer and how they manage staff, but if data collection is done effectively, and it is showing that support is working, it should allow for more rather than less autonomy. One of the ways we collect data on outcomes is using WEMWBS scales. Ashraf Hamzah, Head of Social Impact at Mayday Trust, describes our journey to introduce WEMWBS and reflects on its value in this blog for the What Works Centre for Wellbeing. Lilly BroujerdiĀ and Shauna Hemphill, who are coaches with Mayday Trust in East Northamptonshire, reflect on what it’s been like to use the outcome measuring approach in real life, its limitations and what we’ve learned here.

One thought on “More freedom to practice, tighter grip on data

  1. Carly April 13, 2022 / 11:48 am

    Thanks for sharing this, really interesting and a great blog from the team. Some of the challenges the PTS coaches have had I’ve experienced when using the scale in previous work. It looks like some of the language of the scale has evolved already since my last experience. It’s always a conundrum when it comes to human centred work and “proving” the impact. I haven’t explored this for a while but always wondered if there was a more creative way to evolve something like the WEMWBS so that it can be more human, the validation bit is still an issue though. Given me a lot of food for thought as I have held a bit of a pet peeve on WEMWBS!

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