Midland Heart: Unconscious Bias Training

The Story

Midland Heart is one of the top housing organisations in the UK, providing affordable housing to over 70 000 customers. The business has a clear commitment to its values and the development of employees and wanted to work with a provider to expand their suite of existing equality and diversity training. The solution they sought was one that offered new approaches while being flexible, practical, sustainable and cost-conscious.

Excited to have won the project after a rigorous tendering process we kick-started with our tried and tested familiarisation and research process to get under the skin of the organisation, delve deeper into the development needs and mold the required solutions.

New material was created for several training courses. These included a re-design of the existing Equality and Diversity programme, creation of a Recruitment and Selection module for internal trainers to facilitate, and significantly a ground-breaking Unconscious Bias workshop.

Unconscious Bias training is new to Midland Heart and is designed to make a significant impact on self-awareness, communication and behaviour. Bringing new concepts such as ‘affinity bias’, ‘micro-inequalities’ and ‘priming’ the new course it set to reinforce the organisations achievement of its values.

“I’d absolutely recommend RightTrack as an in-house training consultancy; RightTrack have worked tirelessly to ensure we are happy, Lynne Hunt consistently delivers training that our employees are happy with and the whole team are lovely to work with! They have been fantastic in keeping me up to date with everything training related (thanks Vicci!) and ensuring I am up to date with the information they have, from attending stakeholder meetings to ensuring departmental heads understand how training is impacting on their employees….”

Claire Bonnet, Diversity and Inclusion Officer (former), Midland Heart

 

The Programme

Welcome, and introduction to unconscious bias

  • What is unconscious bias and how can it impact on organisational and individual decision making? (some facts and figures that will surprise!)
  • Activity: Things aren’t always what they seem

Identifying unconscious bias

  • Activity: Our UB hotspots

Autopilot thinking

  • Activity and discussion: to illustrate how we are all vulnerable to autopilot thinking
  • Tips: Some bias busting tips

Types of unconscious bias – and how they can impact on your organisation

  • Affinity bias
  • Social comparison bias
  • Confirmatory bias

Bias hurts! Micro-inequities

  • Graphic film clip and activity showing how discrimination (conscious or unconscious) can cause hurt and damage

Self-fulfilling prophecy

  • Activity: Stating the Prophecy: A graphic interactive session which illustrates the power of self-fulfilling prophecy
  • Tips: Some more bias busting tips

Priming

  • How just the sight of a ‘prime’ can stimulate an unconscious response that is at odds with our conscious view
  • Activity: photo exercise to illustrate the power of primes
  • Tips: how to strengthen against unconscious primes

Plenary Session – Managing our own Unconscious Bias

  • A round up of hints and tips explored during the day and a few additional pointers to take away
  • Commitment – what will I take away from today?
  • Final questions and comments

 

The Partnership

Forming a long-term partnership with our customers is one of our favourite things, and having worked closely with Midland Heart for a number of years, we have become what feels like an extension of the team.

In addition to the Unconscious Bias training, we have run focus groups to inform the revision of Midland Heart’s Equality Scheme; designed an Equality & Diversity in Recruitment & Selection programme (which we trained and handed over to the internal development team); and designed and delivered ‘Speaking Out’ training across the whole business.

“The work we are doing with RightTrack is all part of a journey. It’s about having a culture that supports equality, that supports diversity, and gets the message across that it’s ok to speak out and that it’s ok to raise issues informally…”

Ruth Cooke, CEO, Midland Heart

The Trainer

 

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