Stevenage Borough Council believe all staff have a vital part to play in creating an inclusive and fair working environment. Working with staff across the Council we designed a tailored interactive training session using scripted scenarios developed from the research carried out with a cross section of staff and customers. Reoccurring themes arising from research involving staff and customers included;
- A need to refresh staff members with current E&D policy
- Reflection on changing demographic of Stevenage
- Single Status and its impact on morale
- What behaviours support/contravene the new 6 values?
- Feedback – how do we do it effectively individually and collectively?
- Diversity in the ‘Internal’ customer – exploring assumptions and prejudgments. How can our internal behaviour reflect the new values?
- Communication – how can we communicate smarter and work smarter? Are we listening to the internal customer as much as we listen to the external customer?
The VIBE training sessions were designed to take a collective step towards embracing diversity and the Council’s new values. With a strong focus on improving services, we helped raise awareness and increase understanding of the individual and collective responsibility for diversity, particularly in relation to behaviour standards and working collaboratively towards a common purpose. The VIBE model explored the right time, place and level, and enabled staff to practice the skills needed to give constructive feedback and have difficult and testing conversations.
The majority of delegates agreed that this training gave them more confidence to give feedback constructively. The programme was well received with nearly 100% of delegates saying they would recommend this it to a colleague. Nearly 90% agreed or strongly agreed they were more aware of diversity at work and would recognise and think about their own language and behaviours to support the Council’s values.