Pen portraits

What is People Experience?

People Experience (sometimes referred to as Staff Experience) is the result of all the interactions we have with others around us – both in the organisation and beyond. When you add all of those interactions up, our overall experience will either feel good, bad or perhaps somewhere in the middle.

Because we’re all unique, we all have different experiences at CWP. However, we all want a positive experience from working here. We expect a positive experience from interacting with our colleagues and team, and in turn they will expect a positive experience from us.  

This made us think – ‘What would we all say is a positive experience for a CWP Colleague?’ or ‘What would it be like at CWP if everything was at it’s best for you?’

We chose to use Pen Portraits as a way to visualise these experiences.

Pen Portraits – What are they?

  • An informal description of a person or group of people
  • They normally contain a list of statements that represent the group or individual
  • They can contain 'hard' variables such as Age, or Job Role, but also ‘softer’ variables such as Attitudes, Lifestyle and/or Character traits
  • They can be used to form an outcome of a piece of qualitative research or may be used to create ‘characters for a point in time or specific purpose.

Please Help Us Create Our First Two Portraits!

We’ve started to work on two pen portraits for CWP colleagues. One for a ‘CWP Colleague’ (which we all are) and one for a ‘CWP Line Manager’ (Which we all have). These are aspirational statements for the kind of experience we want to grow at CWP.

However, these are at a very early stage and we need your help to make them something that everyone feels they can relate to.

Look at the two version below and then please provide your views by answering the questions below:

Click here to see the full version.

Click here to see the full version. 


  1. If the Pen Portraits are supposed to describe ‘what being our best’ feels like for someone who works at CWP, what is your opinion on them? (Multiple Choice, Select One Answer – They need more work, I’m not sure, They’re ok, They’re great)
  2. What do you think is missing?
  3. What would you want to change?
  4. So far we have Pen Portraits for a CWP Colleague and a CWP Line Manager. What other job roles or key positions within CWP would benefit from a dedicated Pen Portrait?

Please send your answers to Simon Platt – Head of Organisational Development