A leading mental health charity is rolling out vulnerable adult training to staff at full fibre broadband provider Fibrus.
Over 100 Fibrus team members – a third of its workforce – have successfully been trained by Inspire Wellbeing on how to work with vulnerable adults as part of their day-to-day role in customer services.
Covering topics like emotional intelligence and empathy, reflective listening, supportive communication techniques, managing challenging conversations and developing a person-centred approach to customer needs, the training has helped employees identify signs that a person may be vulnerable. It is also designed to improve how staff communicate with vulnerable individuals.
With an emphasis on the importance of breathing space for vulnerable customers, it’s critical for the company to think about an individual’s capacity to make a decision before proceeding with wider conversations about its services, according to Maria Moreno Diez, Senior Specialist in Learning and Development at Fibrus.
“As Fibrus has a high volume of employees who interact with the wider community on a daily basis, we are committed to engaging with the public in an appropriate and compassionate manner,” she said.
“That means it’s important all of our different teams – whether they be customer service, installations or network operation centre engineers – undertake such training. Sometimes it won’t be about making a decision but rather how we handle the interaction with a vulnerable adult, making sure a message is clear and understood.
“We have also undertaken a mental health awareness module and incorporated information about learning disabilities and substance abuse – issues that could impact how a vulnerable person makes a decision.”
Inspire Wellbeing’s Group Director of Care and Support Alex Bunting said it’s encouraging to see Fibrus provide this training to staff.
“Everyone is aware of the rising cost of living and we’re all on the lookout for better deals on utilities that can save us money,” he said.
“A person needs to be in the right frame of mind to make decisions that impact their health, their wellbeing and their finances. Not everyone is able to take in complex information on the doorstep or on the phone and weigh up the pros and cons of a particular course of action.
“It’s encouraging to see companies like Fibrus take their responsibilities as a service provider seriously by taking progressive action to ensure staff are aware of the vulnerabilities that customers, and potential customers, may have.”
Speaking after completing his training, fibre ambassador Daniel McKinless said the training was both vital and worthwhile.
“I am a great believer in treating people as you would like to be treated,” he said.
“The guidance around how to recognise a person who may be vulnerable and to ensure that we are patient and clear in our communication was particularly useful. The training as a whole certainly gave me something to think about when it comes to treating people with dignity and respect.”