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Employees with Communication Disabilities


Award winning programme for employees who stammer

A bespoke programme designed and delivered by Anne Ayre and Louise Wright for BAE Systems, Military Aircraft was described as revolutionary and won a Chairman' SIlver Award for Innovation..

An employee who stammers helped the management and development team at BAE Systems, MAD, identify the need for specialist training. They recognised that the mainstream assertiveness and communication skills courses they offered did not meet the specific needs of employees who stammer.

Aware that research shows that people who stammer are often working below their potential they believed it made perfect sense to support the development of these employees by funding a workplace programme:

“We’re committed to giving everyone the chance to meet their full potential. Through this training we’re not only helping their personal development but also, because of their increased contribution, the business will benefit too.” Organisation and Employee Director.

Key to the success of the programme was the workplace delivery with the involvement of managers and colleagues. This was overt recognition of the fact that the impact of stammering spreads beyond the individuals who stammer. The workplace delivery contrasts with the traditional approach, usually sited within the NHS or adult education for people who stammer.

Delegates appreciated the workplace focus: “Best place to do a course like this at work, because it gets to the central part of the problem.” They recognised that it made it easier for them to contribute, for example in meetings: “The mere fact of people knowing in the work environment takes a lot of pressure off you.”

Delegates also appreciated the bespoke and flexible nature of the programme: “My personal objectives changed through the course and were constantly met.”

Managers recognised their essential role: “As the manager is part of the team and may contribute from time facilitator to coaching, I cannot see how the process could be completed without his help.”

The colleagues played an equally important role: “Gives the delegate somebody close at work to confide in, someone to turn to for help with making fellow workmates aware..... I personally gained considerable satisfaction from the whole exercise.”

Increased awareness enabled colleagues provide practical support: “We have all learned to be more patient and understanding. The problem is no longer a taboo subject.”

Managers felt that the time and cost of the programme were justified in terms of improved performance. Some recognised their people management skills had developed in ways that benefited other individuals within their team.

Overall delegates and their managers and colleagues agreed that the programme had made a positive contribution to their team’s achievement of business objectives. Two managers summed it up: “It was an excellent course and well worth the effort.” and “I enjoyed participating and found value from time with both Anne and Louise.”

Enhanced performance through effective and confident speaking in the workplace: our innovative programme for individuals who stammer.