Speaking Out Training: An Interview with Midland Heart

Published on: Thu 25 February 2016 by Admin

One of our favourite things about the work that we do is forming watertight partnerships with customers. It allows us to truly understand the nuances of an organisation and get stuck into designing and delivering tailored training solutions that align with ambitious business objectives and the specific needs of the organisation’s staff and customers.

Midland Heart is one of the top ten housing and care organisations in the UK, owning and managing more than 32,000 homes across 54 local authority areas. We have worked with Midland Heart since 2013 on the design and delivery of in-house training that aligns with their focus on Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, including sector-leading ‘Speaking Out’ training.

We previously interviewed one of the projects sponsors, Claire Bonnet, to find out what the project was all about…

What is your role at Midland Heart, Claire?

“I am the Diversity and Inclusion Officer and based at our head offices in Birmingham. This means I work to improve Equality and Diversity for employees and work across the nine protected characteristics. No day is the same in this role; I get to work on promoting equality and diversity events for staff, attend career fairs for sixth formers and lead on the equality and diversity training for the organisation!”

What is the scope of the work Midland Heart has engaged RightTrack to do?

“Midland Heart has asked RightTrack to deliver some key projects to ensure the messages of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is delivered and understood by all employees. These three strands are key to Midland Heart and run through all of the services we deliver to our customers.

The initial phase of the programme saw Lynne Hunt, Righttrack’s Senior Equality & Diversity Specialist run a series of focus groups with managers and staff. Findings were reported back to senior management teams and informed the design of a series of new programmes including:

Lynne has also participated in:

  • Running focus groups to inform revision of Equality Scheme
  • Revising and updating Equality Scheme
  • Feeding back progress on Speaking Out to diversity steering group”

Speaking Out training is something new in L&D. What’s it all about?

“Simply, to create a culture where employees feel confident to challenge inappropriate behaviour in an informal and open way amongst each other and our customers.”

What is your favourite bit of the programme?

“It has to be the toolbox kit that was created for employees to take away – this is an easy way to remember the key elements to Speaking Out and how to implement it in the workplace.”

What results has Midland Heart seen so far?

“The statistics of the Speaking Out training definitely speak for themselves:

  • 100% of our staff felt the trainer had a good knowledge of the subject

  • 2% of staff who attended the training felt it was relevant to their role at Midland Heart

  • 6% of staff understand what is meant by ‘inappropriate behaviour’

  • 9% understand what is expected of them and how to challenge inappropriate behaviour

  • 2% state they now have increased confidence to challenge inappropriate behaviour

This is from a pool of 250 employees that have filled out our survey; we consistently see these high results from Righttrack!”

What business impact do you expect?

“In the long term we would hope to see a decrease in the amount of formal grievances that are raised amongst employees – whilst the number of grievances is not particularly high for the size of our organisation we would like employees to feel that they work in an environment that is transparent.”

And finally, what’s your favourite things about working with Righttrack. Would you recommend them to others seeking an in-house training consultancy?

“RightTrack 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, to attending stakeholder meetings to ensure departmental heads understand how training is impacting on their employees.

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!”