Vulnerability is difficult to grasp and its complexity can be a barrier to understanding. This means frontline service staff can lose their confidence and misread their interactions with consumers.
Yet it’s a given that early identification and early intervention lead to better outcomes.
The FrameShift team set out to design an innovative approach to learning about vulnerability that brought together all of their subject matter expertise to:
- Understand consumer behaviour
- Understand the needs of front line staff
- Provide learning in ways that shifts hearts and minds
- Deliver in a creative new digital environment
When that was done:
- A specialist psychologist reviewed it
- A consumer advocacy group trialed it
- They took it to government, regulators and ombudsman
FrameShift partners with the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals (SOCAP) to deliver the program because SOCAP is committed to service excellence across front lines, so they too wanted a program that highlights the importance of recognising, and quickly assessing, consumers in vulnerable circumstances.
The ‘Lilo of Life’ is the central idea in the online learning. Everyone has a ‘Lilo of Life’ with four air chambers representing four areas of life vital to wellbeing and resilience: finances, relationships, health, and a sense of inclusion.
When these four chambers are inflated and steady, they keep us feeling stable and we’re better able to make good decisions to protect our interests. But when some are deflated, we get wobbly and we start to think we’re sinking – and when that feeling comes, both our behaviour and our decision-making also become rocky.
With the ‘Lilo of Life’ once the staff member recognises that the consumer thinks their ‘Lilo of Life’ is punctured and that is causing the consumer to feel as though they are sinking, the staff member switches into techniques designed to help patch the lilo and stabilise the conversation.
The approach explains vulnerability in an engaging and memorable way that normalises the very human experience of vulnerability. It makes it easy to understand – simple but not simplistic. It’s practical and it enables frontline staff to bring themselves to the solution. To have authentic conversations in moments that matter.
In addition, using the concept of the punctures, staff connect vulnerable behaviour with what they can see from a consumer’s history and this enables staff to identify, without judgment, where the consumer might be in the vulnerability spectrum. This allows staff to have fast, effective, mutually understood conversations about a consumer’s situation and needs.
The result has been an approach to vulnerability that works. The users love the understanding and the change this online training delivers and organisations love the potential for early identification of vulnerability so they can assist with their specialist teams and their specialist solutions.