New ways of working discussed in Team Talk

Date Published: 30 June 2020

There was a slight shift in emphasis in the latest Team Talk. 

Previous Team Talk discussions have focused on the immediate impact of working during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, how services have coped with the changes and the beginnings of discussions about how our office space can be best used. 

In the latest Team Talk, Chief Executive, Jim Savege prompted colleagues from across the council to consider whether our services need to adapt to meet demand in the ‘new normal.’ 

Jim Savege said: “I was really pleased with the conversation amongst colleagues about how we as an organisation communicate with our communities. Have our communities’ needs changed as a result of the pandemic? We need to consider what worked well before the Coronavirus and what we have done to adjust to the changing world, we now find ourselves in. 

“Are there functions we have traditionally performed that are no longer vital? I am encouraging each service to carry out an impact assessment so that we can all take stock of what has happened. 

“The Team Talks will play an important role in cross council conversations amongst colleagues which will shape how we as an organisation become more flexible and agile and adapt to a new way of working in the ‘new normal.’” 

Please take a moment to complete a short questionnaire about the latest Team Talk. Your feedback is useful and helps shape future Team Talk events. 

A recording of the latest Team Talk is available on our YouTube channel. Please continue the conversation in the One Aberdeenshire Yammer group.  

The next Team Talk takes place from 12pm to 1pm on Thursday, July 9. A link will be circulated shortly. ​

Team Talk transcript 

In the questionnaire feedback it has been mentioned it has been difficult to read the instant messages in the YouTube recording. Here is a transcript for anyone wishing to view the recording: ​

Jonathan Moyes 09:15:

Good morning everyone! Thank you for taking the time to join the Team Talk this morning. If you aren’t speaking please remember to mute your mic. We are hoping to get underway at 9:30am. Please take a moment to complete a short questionnaire: <> Your feedback is really important as it shapes future Team Talks. 

Oliver Deeming 09:23:

I cannot hear this call is any one else having difficulties?

Jonathan Moyes 09:25:

We'll be underway in around five minutes. 

Jonathan Moyes 09:28:

Please remember to mute your mic if you aren't speaking during the talk. 

Sandra Murdoch 09:29:

Good morning

Jim Savege 09:29:

morning :-)

Jonathan Moyes 09:29:

Good morning Sandra. 

Karen Donald 09:29:

Morning All :) 

Jonathan Moyes 09:29:

Morning Karen. 

09:30 This message wasn't sent to Wilma Tod.

Good morning Sandra. 

May Vanni 09:30:

Good morning Karen 

Nicola Twine 09:30:

(wave) Morning (coffee)

Ann Stewart 09:30:

Morning All!

Glynis Buchan 09:30:


Aleksandra Sidorenko 09:30:

Morning to everyone.

Denise Thomson 09:30:

Good morning

Katy Jones 09:31:

Good morning!

Jonathan Moyes 09:31:

Morning everyone! 

Alexander Falconer 09:48:


Lynne Gravener 09:48:

Yes I think that makes sense

Denise Thomson 09:48:

makes sense

Ashleigh Eaton 09:48:


David Anderson 09:48:


Nicola Twine 09:48:


Ann Stewart 09:48:


Sandra Murdoch 09:48:


Jill Duguid 09:48:


Samantha Rawlins 09:48:


Michael Stephen 09:50:

In your opinion is there a lot of hope for the next we'll say 5 years?

Michael Stephen 09:52:

What can we do as workers to help to save the councils and ourselves future?

Jonathan Moyes 09:52:

Do you think there might be a disconnect to what services consider as important and what communities think is important? 

Nicola Twine 09:53:

Planning and delivery must be needs and evidenced based - with our communities, understanding them through quality relationships and discussions - not just clumsy consultations (which can be costly and damaging). What do they need for work, education, adjustments, adapting and family and community survival moving forward?

Jillian Wood 09:53:

(y) totally agree Nicola

Michael Stephen 09:55:

(y) The same

Sandra Murdoch 09:55:

I feel we have to take the public with us. Help reduce resistance and honesty.  

Jillian Wood 09:57:

some departments do it well like CLD but many departments dont do it well at all and have consultations but their minds are really already decided

Jillian Wood 09:57:

how do you promote community spirt instead of just the same 30 people from a community doing everything?

Susan Cochrane 10:00:

Quite agree Jim - if Communities want to get out there and cut the grass/ clear snow/litter pick whatever - we should be encouraging them.

Sandra Murdoch 10:02:

Methlick has been amazing at keeping public spaces clean, tidy and cutting grass the past few weeks.

Samantha Rawlins 10:04:

I agree Sandra. I think to encourage communities to continue the good they have been doing, is to ensure we don't tie them up in red tape but work with them to allow them to undertake tasks safely but empower them at the same time

Ann Stewart 10:04:

Agree Susan - we keep the path outside our house tidy (clearing up other people's rubbish!), tidy up weeds along the path outside our ground, and also clear the path and part of the road off our drive of snow in the winter-time.

Susan Cochrane 10:05:

I think in general we are resistant to change - this situation has shaken us all up!

Ann Stewart 10:05:


Sandra Murdoch 10:05:

Totally agree, One Aberdeenshire has been trying to do this I think

Susan Donald 10:05:

I think we're flexible but I don't think that we're good explaining or managing expectations.

Nicola Twine 10:06:

there are opportunities to be advanced on within all of this for sure! 

Nicola Twine 10:07:

Leadership conversations bringing in all levels of leadership, creativity and solutions - that are accessible and can get through power dynamics

Fiona McCallum 10:08:

I think we aspire to be flexible but sometimes may feel confined by bureaucracy - we need to grasp this opportunity to make some difficult decisions

Michael Stephen 10:09:

We need to make our LLA services a bi t more flexible and less rigid in attracting customers. Let's see how that works. There seems to me speaking to customers and potential ones not that easy to hire the halls for instance.

Jim Savege 10:09:

agree Michael, absolutely

Jillian Wood 10:09:

i do not think the public always realise how tight budgets are and how we prioritise or why some decisions are made over others so i think we really need to publicise the council and be open about how decisions are made blow our own trumpet.

Karen Donald 10:10:

Whether C19 happened or not, I really think we need to be much clearer, stronger, in the message to the public on what we do. The days of the Council fixing everything or being responsible for everything are long, long gone. We simply don't have the funds anymore. The public simply expect too much from our resources simply because they pay their council tax. A lot of people still think like this I'm afraid. How you change that, I haven't quite worked out yet but I'm trying!  

Jillian Wood 10:11:


Fiona McCallum 10:12:

needs to be a recognition that not all our communities are the same and may be different solutions for different area

Susan Cochrane 10:14:

Fiona is right in that one size does not fit all. School transport is a case in point. It isn't safe in rural areas for kids to walk to school along single track lanes - but in our towns? We have a national crisis with overweight children so surely this is a way to improve fitness and save money?

Michael Stephen 10:16:

Agree Susan(y)

Ashleigh Eaton 10:17:

I think it needs to be a team effort. Everyone, every service needs to do their part to help in any way we can in this financial crisis 

Sandra Murdoch 10:18:

Totally agree Ashleigh

Margaret Khan 10:19:

Susan is correct. More walking, it would make sense and would be financially beneficial. 

Samantha Rawlins 10:19:

There are hyperlocal sites that could be utilised too as they have a greater reach than printed paper and is also more instantaneous

Nicola Twine 10:21:

good point Ashleigh

David Mccubbin 10:23:

In Peterhead, as part of the Peterhead Town Team, we have an initiative called 'Positive Peterhead' where across services we pull together positive and constructive stories about what services are doing in and for the town and the community. It works well and our messages get shared through corporate comms, social media, news releases, newsletters and by the community through their networks. We have a monthly regeneration column in the Buchan Observer newspaper and similar in Banff, Macduff and Fraserburgh.

Fiona McCallum 10:25:


Michael Stephen 10:26:

Just your continuing support

Ann Stewart 10:27:

Being open and having open discussions like this is good - hope they continue.....

Jonathan Moyes 10:28:

Thank you for taking part in the Team Talk this morning. I hope you found it useful and enjoyable. Please take a moment to complete a short questionnaire: <> Your feedback is really useful as it shapes future Team Talks. See you at another Team Talk soon!  

Nicola Twine 10:28:

yes - it's been a useful discussion and well managed (first one I've been to - encouraging, thanks!). Keep things open, inclusive, welcoming and encouraging of participation, solutions and creativity at all levels :-)

Ono Ileladewa 10:29:

Thank You

Ann Stewart 10:29:

Thanks Jim - have a good day/week everybody!!

Fiona McCallum 10:29:

thanks Jim 

Peter McAllister 10:29:


Ailsa Cunningham 10:29:

Thank you

Ashleigh Eaton 10:29:


Gary Lock 10:29:


Angela Robertson 10:29:

Thank you.

Aleksandra Sidorenko 10:29:

Thank you

Andrew Mcintyre 10:29:

Thanks Jim (y)

Lesley Duthie 10:29:

thank you another interesting discussion

Jim Savege 10:29:

cheers folks :-)