Obidike Ukaegbu is a Senior Business Analyst within Public Service Program Delivery (PSPD), a part of the Consult and Transform workstream within Capita Public Services. Here, he tells us about the main challenges for the future of the industry and why diversity has never been more important.
I work within a business unit where our objective is to provide public services for our clients, mainly through local services. The teams I work with provide services to both local authorities and the NHS – so you could say we provide solutions and services to the beating heart of the British public in various capacities, such as revenue collections, benefit payments, transport, community health services and local authority services, such as education, elections and housing. The most interesting project I’ve worked on so far was providing support for the public through the Covid pandemic. I was asked to see how I could use my skills during the early weeks of the pandemic – this was to analyse how best we could support our local authority clients to deliver much-needed benefit services to the most vulnerable in society. I had to learn to use a new system and provide reporting data to be used at the highest level of government on a daily basis. It was very satisfying knowing we were delivering a vital service at a great time of need
The challenges of diversity and inclusion
I would say that the main challenges in the public service industry are in diversity and inclusion (D&I) and the wellbeing of my team. We need a diverse and inclusive workforce at all levels of the industry, because we’re providing service to the public, who are themselves by their very nature, a diverse group. We can only fully represent the public if we fully understand their needs.
Furthermore, the wellbeing of the team – and all employees in general – is essential to delivering services/solutions in a continuous improved manner, where empathy and professional growth are embedded, creating an essential work-life balance for all. Personally, I’m supported by a host of good listeners in my role, which really helps to lead better communication at all levels of the organisation. The management has led from the top by empowering the workforce to be both independent and work collaboratively as a team, trusting in our talents and being supportive, so everyone has the opportunity to grow and achieve objectives and potentials.
I’ve felt supported, but more so, I’ve used my position to support others. I wanted to become a manager to show I could be trusted with embodying the company’s values, while inspiring others and seeing their careers develop through mentorship and coaching. I really wanted to be a part of building the next generation workforce that will go forth and inspire others. Seeing the team grow in capacity and in knowledge, where people are becoming more and more open to share their journey with others, has really inspired me to keep giving back.
I believe that there can be some misconceptions around holding a leadership position, such as seeing leaders as being bossy. I’m challenging this by letting others know that I’m open to talk. Not just about work, but about my personal life, so that others feel that we are all people first and will always remain that way. I also make sure that we invite all members of the team to our interactive events, and that we specially spotlight award nominees and winners in our bi-weekly team meetings and publications. While remote working has been a challenge when it comes to bringing everyone together, wherever there is an opportunity for people to congregate, we all take the chance to gather for social events, which greatly helps the way we all work as a team.
The wellbeing of my team has always been important to me, which is why I think it’s great we have a dedicated team for this within PSPD, with great resources on offer and meetings that are always well attended. The team has a diverse membership, which promotes inclusivity so people can identify with various activities. Plus, there seems to be a good take up of activities through the year and they are well publicised. Employee Network Groups are a big thing at Capita and that makes it a really great place to work. I’m a workstream lead with the Black Employee Network (BEN) and I’ve seen it grow so much due the support we receive from the CEO and the EXCO, which is really fantastic. I’ve seen many of our initiatives adopted by Capita and it puts a smile on my face seeing that we can all collectively make a difference – where there is a will, there is a way!