MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
Our work with the MOD started in 2003. We strive to transform how military and civilian staff perform by creating positive, inclusive workplaces. Working across MOD agencies including DIO, DBS and DE&S, our bespoke programmes use a variety of interventions, designed in the context of the various disciplines and functions of the target audience. We have also delivered specialist conference sessions for the MOD’s SCS and HR teams.
We are mindful of the complexity of working in environments that engender a mix of different cultures and modes of operation. We also bring in best practice and the latest thinking from other sectors.
We painstakingly conduct extensive research into the each organisation’s workplace experiences. Our step by step, face to face approach means that we are confident that we have and will continue to push the boundaries and positively impact on creating inclusive workplaces where individuals are valued and teams are committed to achieving the common purpose.
DEFENCE BUSINESS SERVICES
Defence Business Services (DBS) is a shared service organisation providing HR, finance, security vetting and information services across the MoD. There are multiple sites across the UK each performing different operational roles and presenting unique micro-cultures and identities.
The combination approach
DBS asked for our involvement in furthering their ‘Defence Diversity and Inclusion Programme’ by exploring behaviours and culture. Starting with the senior team conference, we went on to design a roadshow to travel around the country. Delivering to key sites, the Creating an Inclusive Culture programme offered a combination of engaging and non-threatening learning approaches aimed at all staff. Informed by our detailed research, each set of events was tailored to reflect organisation-wide issues, as well as those specific to each location including staff feeling valued, training needs and customer interaction.
The events enabled staff to explore what an inclusive culture looks like; recognising the value and importance of diversity and inclusion in relation to the service they provide and increasing awareness of the issues that might prevent them from creating an inclusive culture.
The events were a great success with nearly 100% saying they would recommend it to a colleague, describing the training as thought provoking, engaging, realistic and valuable. Attendees said that the training helped them to think about their own language and behaviour and agreed they are now more aware of the importance of D&I at work. Many suggesting it should become a mandatory training programme.
“We engaged the services of the Garnett Foundation within DBS as we looked to address inclusion within the workplace. The sessions were more meaningful than generic training courses because of the in depth research into each workplace they visited and the staff found the format incredibly powerful, insightful and the overwhelming feedback was that the sessions had a potent impact.”
Andy Boylan, DBS Engagement Manager
Invited by the MOD’s Defence Statistics department to deliver a bespoke training programme for their personnel, we carried out diagnostic research to identify the precise issues within the department. We then set about designing an intervention to promote the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace for a broad range of job roles, ranks and grades in two different geographical locations.
Following informal interviews where both problematic and successful working practices were discussed, we were tasked with creating a programme which involved a combination of tailored scenes and skills development practice to raise awareness and stimulate discussion around collaborative working, acceptable behaviour and reducing bullying and harassment.
Having established the existing culture, behaviours and performance within both departments in the two locations, we designed workshop sessions which involved a healthy mix of discussion, debate and engagement. The interactive training featured scenarios reflecting the departmental culture and focussed on challenging inappropriate behaviour and creating more joined-up, inclusive departments. Finally, an action plan for change was formulated and implemented to encourage and sustain models of good working practice.
Participants described the workshops as engaging, thought-provoking and informative. 92% of delegates affirmed that the event had made them think about their own language and behavior and 100% fed back that they would recommend the training event to a colleague.
“Certainly the most professional workshop I’ve had to attend at the MOD.”
“Very enjoyable, interactive event.”
“Brilliant event that raised behaviours/issues that are relevant to our work.”
With 92% of delegates saying the event made them more aware of their responsibility to create an inclusive culture at work, the training provided managers and team leaders with the actions necessary to promote and sustain the positive outcomes and to create a platform to share good practice over the two distinct locations.
DEFENCE SCHOOL OF ELECTRONIC AND MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
The Defence School of Electronic and Mechanical Engineering (DSEME), is part of the Defence College delivering technical training to Soldiers, Royal Marines, Airmen and Offices from all three services, consisting of a number of units.
Working closely with DSEME we tailored a highly interactive programme around the Army’s Respect for Others value. This provided a platform to bring together military personnel, civil servants and contractors to explore the similarities and differences between their working practices and the importance of a shared culture that enabled them to work collaboratively and productively together. The sessions challenged perceptions, assumptions and acceptable behaviours, and their collective and individual responsibility to create an inclusive, respectful culture regardless of rank or grade.
We delivered bespoke whole force Diversity and Inclusion training, entitled ‘Together we can’. The events consisted of central sessions, running concurrently with leadership sessions (specifically for subordinate unit/Command Group personnel, including civilian contract managers – ESS, Interserve, Babcock, Centerprise). Over 400 permanent staff attended the programme.
“DSEME are on a journey and this training experience provided the staff an opportunity to view, review and discuss/debate ‘inclusive leadership and respect for others’ across the Whole Force, question themselves and the organisation.
You know the training has had a positive impact when the staff are still talking about the training opportunity a week later! MOD Lyneham is a challenging site, C3000 personnel; staff and trainees and therefore Whole Force training is absolutely vital. The training opportunity has been outstanding – focused, professional, thought provoking, education and just what we required, thank you and my experience in dealing with The Garnett Foundation throughout was very positive.”
Lieutenant Colonel Gary Connolly, Chief of Staff
DEFENCE EQUIPMENT & SUPPORT
Part of the Ministry of Defence, Defence Equipment & Support is a mix of 11,500 civil servants and military personnel located across the UK and abroad ensuring that the UK’s armed forces have all the equipment and support they need for operations. Following the results of a safety culture survey in 2016, the findings determined that there were a number of notable areas for improvement and development, particularly in identifying a blame culture and managing the impact of organisational change on safety.
We were asked to deliver a short training programme under the strapline “Delivery Focused; Safety Driven” to support the foundations of a just and fair safety culture. We were required to address areas of concern practically and realistically in order to promote and encourage staff commitment to preventing error, the embedding of and consistent approach to safety, an overall commitment to improvement and the means to undergo fair investigation without persecution. We devised a carefully crafted piece of live theatre based around a courtroom scene involving the client as both the prosecution and the defence. This provided a good platform on which to present factual information and discuss its implication and relevance to delivering a safety culture. The audience voted on whether the accused was guilty or innocent of the case against them.
“Overall we are looking to build a ‘just safety’ culture whereby people feel they can put their hand up to honest mistakes and we can learn from them rather than being persecuted.”
Paige Muxworthy, Quality, Safety & Environmental Protection, MOD Abbey Wood
“You know the training has had a positive impact when the staff are still talking about the training opportunity a week later! The training was outstanding and my experience in dealing with Andy Garnett and his team throughout was very positive.”
Lt Col Gary Connolly, Chief of Staff, DSEME