Nita Clarke OBE is a Director of the Involvement and PArticipation Association and co-chair of Engage for Success.

We spoke to her about how she has created a culture of empowerment and accountability at IPA.

1. Tell me a bit about yourself.

I’m a former senior official with UNISON, worked for Tony Blair at No 10 2001-2007, Director of the Involvement and PArticipation Association, co-author of the Engaging for Success report 2009, and co-chair with the wonderful David MacLeod of the national Engage for Success taskforce, and proud of the movement it has spawned.

2. What’s your top tip for creating a happy and engaged workplace?

It’s the people, stupid. Regard your people as the solution not the problem, have faith in them to come up with the answers to the challenges you face, listen to and respect them, and give them something to believe in.

3. Could you give me one example of how people responded to greater trust?

Trust is when the values of an organisation are reflected in the behaviours and creates a culture of confidence and positivity where people feel they can speak out when things aren’t right. and come up with suggestions for improvements.

4. What have you done to create a culture of trust at your organisation?

I’ve tried to empower the team at the IPA to do what they do best in their areas of expertise, while creating an atmosphere of mutuality and solidarity.

5. Could you give me an example of what you’ve done to give staff greater freedom and autonomy?

No micro-managing, but plenty of team discussion about mission, strategy, and day to day operations, so everyone feels as empowered and as accountable for success as everyone else.

Nita will be speaking at 2017 Happy Workplaces Conference on 14th June, a day which will be full of new case studies and practical ways that you can create your own happy and engaged workplace.

Have a look at the 10 core principles of the Happy Manifesto and download your free PDF copy, or contact the Happy team for details of our culture change programmes and executive coaching.


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