CAMBRIDGESHIRE COMMUNITY SERVICE NHS TRUST
Cambridgeshire Community Service NHS Trust (CCS) invited us to research, design and deliver a face to face bespoke training solution for all staff to explore perceptions, behaviours and reflections on diversity and inclusion and how they impact on the way they work together and with service users.
CCS provides primarily children’s community services, sexual health services, physio and dental services across East Anglia. With a prevalence of increasing workloads and subsequent aspects of change which impacted, unconsciously, on how people interacted with each other, CCS required a training programme to foster cultural change within the workplace.
The overarching objective for this project was to open up a dialogue around diversity and inclusion and explore what it looked like in terms of how the organisation worked operationally, and the role of individuals and teams to provide inclusive services for all.
As the programme was to involve so many staff, it was imperative to start with the senior Leadership Team. A conference involving over 80 leaders, was delivered to explore the importance and competencies of an inclusive leader and how this impacts on the culture of the organisation. Communication, role models and leadership by example were also explored.
We were required to develop a programme which would involve a combination of short scenarios, some involving service users, that would mirror reality for the participants. The interactive workshops help to build empathy and reflect the issues highlighted in our intensive research. These would provide the backdrop to challenge perceptions, stimulate discussion and raise awareness.
The main aims were:
- To create an inclusive culture
- To energise staff to strive for excellent patient care
- To explore the impact of negative language and behaviour on colleagues and patients
- To promote acceptable behaviour standards
- To challenge personal pre-conceptions and deal with difficult conversations
- To encourage staff to see themselves as front line gatekeepers in the delivery of an excellent experience for all patients
- To support staff to understand and implement equality and diversity within the work environment
- To develop a personal action plan to bring about change in the workplace
We devised a training package that was designed to equip delegates with the tools and confidence to address unacceptable language and behaviour, greater consciousness around their own behaviours, promoting an inclusive culture and promoting leaders as role models.
The training allowed individuals to raise issues, actions and concerns from the sessions and we were able to identify reoccurring themes. Through facilitation, participants were able to determine a common view regarding what was and wasn’t acceptable in terms of behaviour.
Garnett Interactive identified further areas to be addressed and was able to make suggestions to embed learning from the sessions.An individual feedback and recommendations report was sent to each location where the training was delivered. This provided a valuable ‘climate assessment’ of what was happening in the locations in terms of morale, practice and issues.
Participants were asked ‘Do you understand the value of an inclusive workplace’ – 59% said they did at the start of the training, this rose to 89% by the end of the course.
Many recommendations came out of the training from ways to anonymise feedback to promote role modelling.
Each manager received a Team Action plan generated during the training. Following up on these at team meetings and 1-1s would be vital to further the learning and explore issues as a team, to ensure the training was sustained and to help embed cultural change. Line managers explored feedback from staff regarding team practices to ensure staff felt valued and shared workloads.