Inclusive Growth Show

Diversity Includes Everyone: A Bespoke Approach

April 11, 2023 Episode 97
Inclusive Growth Show
Diversity Includes Everyone: A Bespoke Approach
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, I talk to one of my clients, Andrew Myers, a leadership and culture consultant who works with the Medical Protection Society. We explored the impact of taking a train the trainer approach to rolling out my Diversity Includes Everyone training.



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/Speaker 1: Welcome to the Inclusive Growth Show with Toby Mildon, future-proofing your business by creating a diverse workplace.

Toby Mildon: Hello there. Thank you ever so much for tuning into this episode of the Inclusive Growth Podcast. I'm Toby Mildon. And today I'm joined by another one of my clients. We've been doing a few of these podcast interviews where I'm catching up with clients of mine. And today we're joined by Andrew Myers. And Andrew is a leadership and culture consultant working inside the Medical Protection Society. And I have been working with Andrew and his team for a few months now where we have been rolling out my Diversity Includes Everyone Training, and we've taken a very different approach to normal, because normally I would go in with my team to deliver this training, but having met with Andrew and his team, he really wanted to build up that internal capability and capacity within the MPS. So we did a train the trainer approach where I went in and I coached his team on how to deliver the training for themselves so that they could build up that internal capacity. So in this episode we'll be catching up with Andrew to find out how that's been going and what results they've got. So Andrew, it's lovely to see you. Thanks for joining me.

Andrew Myers: Yeah, hi. Yeah, thanks for asking me Toby. Good to see you.

Toby Mildon: So Andrew, just before we get into the thick of it, can you just let us know a bit more about who you are, what your background is, and what the Medical Protection Society is all about? 

Andrew Myers: Yeah, sure. Well, for myself, I've probably worked in development now for sort of about 20 years or more. And I've been at Medical Protection Society for just over seven years. Previous to that I've worked for law firms and and also finance companies as well. So, I guess here at MPS we are what's known as a Medical Protection Organization. In fact, we're the world's leading member owned. So we're owned by our members. We're not-for-profit, and we are there for doctors, dentists, and healthcare professionals. I guess the purpose of us existing is really to protect the careers, reputation, financial security of our members. And we've got sort of 300,000 members around the world and we are there to make sure that that things run smoothly for them as much as possible. And that if they're do counter difficulties with their practice, that they can contact us and we can support them through it.

Toby Mildon: That's brilliant. So obviously, the main piece of work that we've been doing is the Diversity Includes Everyone training for your team. Before we get into it, I think, let me just explain to the person listening to us today, what that training normally entails. So the training really is designed to help people understand that everybody has a stake in creating a more inclusive work environment. That diversity is not about those group of people over there at arm's length, that everyone has a responsibility. So first of all, we have a conversation about what we actually mean by diversity and the needs to be representative of the communities that we serve or that we work in, and how we have to shift conversation to being a lot more inclusive. We do an interactive survey, which is always quite eye-opening for participants to understand what their experience is like within the workplace compared to their colleagues.

Toby Mildon: And they often find out that their colleagues are feeling very different to them. 'Cause obviously they're looking through that kind of lens of their own experience. And then we do a deep dive into three key areas that create a more inclusive work environment. So we look at unconscious bias, we look at privilege, and we look at microaggressions. And then we wrap up the training by having a conversation about how diversity and inclusion helps your organization to grow and what that kind of strategic alignment is with your organization, but also how if you have them, it can help bring your values to life. Now, some organizations will have an explicit value around diversity and inclusion, and then some organizations will have some implied values about diversity and inclusion. So in a nutshell, that's what the training is. So, Andrew, what first attracted you and the Medical Protection Society to this training for your colleagues? 

Andrew Myers: I think there was a number of reasons really. We sort of already started work in various areas on this. We've got a Diversity Equality Inclusion forum, which we set up in 2020. It's a colleague led forum and that was sort of there really to get them, to contribute their own experiences, learning, share ideas, research, best practice. And we've also had sort of, I think we've got seven now, colleague led inclusive networks that have sprung up. And what we wanted to do is help build on that awareness and that understanding, and build on the good work that had already been done. And there were a couple of areas where we identified that needed addressing, which link in really to some of the things that you were saying there. So I guess one of them was how we could better support our managers for one, which many of them are really good awareness and eager to think about what they can do to have that sort of inclusive way and how they work.

Andrew Myers: Others recognized the importance of inclusion, but were less aware of what difference they could make or what impact they could make. Or perhaps they were worried as well about openly discussing certain subjects and saying the wrong thing. So we wanted to help give them a bit of a common vocabulary and understanding and confidence to be able to do some of that. But probably more into what you were mentioning there was the other challenges that, I think whilst kind of leaders and HR we've got responsibility to set the tone and direction and strategy inclusion, as you said, is the responsibility of everybody in the workplace. And most of that hiring and reward and promotion and decisions around that are made by the managers and the leaders in the business and not by HR or exec. So managers have a big impact and that's why we roll it out first to them. But the relationships and the day-to-day working and that inclusion is the responsibility of everybody. And so that's why we've extended that to roll it out to all colleagues.

Toby Mildon: Yeah. And how many people work for the MPS, and which countries are you based in? 

Andrew Myers: We have about thousands employees. The majority of that is UK based, but we do also have employees in South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, Hong Kong, Ireland. So, we do have different people in different countries. And again, that was the important factor to us in terms of what we delivered here that we wanted to have that experience for everybody. So, it was making sure that we could sort of cater to be able to do that.

Toby Mildon: That's brilliant. And I know that part of our work together was that we modified the content to make sure that it was suitable in all of those markets. So, for example, the kind off-the-shelf training that I do, we talk about the Equality Act within the UK. But we did make sure that we reference a quality legislation in the other countries that you operate in. So, why were you particularly interested in taking the train the trainer approach? It was quite interesting 'cause normally obviously, we just rock up and roll out this training. And it was actually through consultation with you, 'cause I think you and your team said, "Why can't we do it as a train the trainer?" And I was like, "I hadn't even thought about that approach before." So, [chuckle] thanks to you and your team for showing us an alternative way of doing this. But why was that approach important for you? 

Andrew Myers: As I said, we've got about 1000 people, we're not a big corporate. And because of what we do, and what we're involved in terms of that sort of protection, doctors, dentists, etcetera. There's a very, I guess, caring, that care is reflected in our colleagues and in our culture. It's a very caring, supportive and personal culture. And what were really important, or what was important for us, I guess, was having that personal approach. And that's kind of what we felt from you fitted with us, that you had a very personal approach that your ethos kind of fitted in with ours, it reflected our values, you understood us and we felt that colleagues would get it. And I guess how we deliver that out to people is part of that really, it's an approach that we've taken with other training incentives that we've done. That we have a lot of passionate people out there. And they've got a voice.

Andrew Myers: They know what they want to say, they sort of really happy to get involved in that. We've seen that already through the networks and the forums that we have. But actually, they were quite happy to stand up and say, "Yeah, I'd like to get involved in this." And I think by running it, it builds that capability, I'm always aware that when we work with ExTell partners, we do that for a reason as we did with yourself. It's to bring in that expertise. We always look at it and we said, "Do we have the capacity to do it? Do we have the knowledge to do do it? Where do we need to bring in that expertise?" And we knew that we needed to do that here. But we wanted to also build that internally.

Andrew Myers: And I think firstly, because when we have colleagues that themselves then are going out and giving that message, that is a very strong message. They're talking to their people about this. So, although I and my colleagues, in what we do are part of those people, it's different. They're not HR, and it's always better I think that actually they feel this is coming from our own rather than this is a HR message. That's why we wanted it to build that capability now. And it also gives us that sort of longevity of it as well that we could continue to sort of roll that out, and use those people and that they could relate very well to all our colleagues. So yeah, we have used it, we've used it that sort of approach previously with resilience training. And also we're currently doing that with menopause training here with... We've got a great sort of program on menopause, which is run by a number of people. Again, I'm involved in that, but it's run by a number of people here that have that sort of passion and experience internally.

Toby Mildon: Yeah, I really like that, because a lot of organizations I talk to, say, "How can we make this sustainable?" And I think you've accomplished that by upskilling your people, and building that internal capacity. And then the other thing you were saying around upskilling people across the business, because diversity and inclusion is often seen as a HR matter. But actually it should be the responsibility of everybody in the organization, a bit like health and safety. So, it's really good that you can build those skills and capacity across the business rather than it just coming out of the HR team.

Andrew Myers: It's a very sort of educated sector I guess, that we work in, and it's built on the expertise specialists. And so, we have a lot of doctors, dentists, and lawyers as much as anything else. But there's lots of different people here, and what they want is the facts. And we are not the experts in this, but we've also made that quite clear, that we're passionate advocates, and we're allies. But we talk about, we talk about you for instance, I guess, and we are clear about your expertise. And also we wanted people to be reassured that this has come from your expertise and experience. It's not just something that L&D have made up. Not that I ever do that you understand, but you know what I mean? It comes from a legitimate source. And I think that's sort of really taken their interest.

Toby Mildon: That's really cool.

Speaker 4: If your company has a great diversity and inclusion strategy, if your organization has an amazing work culture where productivity is peaking, if the best talent in your industry are working for you, if all your employees are happy and feel included, then feel free to skip this message for about 30 seconds and continue listening to the podcast interview with Toby. But if you feel that your company is lacking in any one of these areas, your employer reputation is taking a hit. Toby Mildon is one of the UK's lead in diversity and inclusion experts who has helped top companies like Deloitte, the BBC, Sony Pictures, and Centrica, as well as numerous scale of businesses who want an outstanding inclusive culture. To go further in your diversity and inclusion journey, log on to Toby's webinar at www.mildon.co.uk/free-webinar to accelerate your company's diversity and inclusion strategy in 40 minutes. Thanks for listening. And now back to the podcast interview with Toby.

Toby Mildon: Could you just explain to the person listening to us now, what process we went through, and how we built up this program in MPS? 

Andrew Myers: Yeah, sure. So I guess internally as you say, we wanted to do this as a train the trainer network. So we went out to the different networks that are mentioned there. So as I say, we have a whole variety of different colleague networks, and they were the first place that we went to to say, "Look, this is what we're doing. This is what we're trying to achieve, and we'd like people to be involved and partner us in delivering this out to the organization." And we kind of asked people to put themselves forward to do that from those different networks. Also in there, there was a criteria, we wanted people that actually felt confident with being able to do that as much as anything and that they had facilitation skills. That was the key thing we were trying to say to people, you don't have to be an expert in this.

Andrew Myers: You're gonna get some training and Toby's gonna support us through this, but we want you to sort of be confident that actually, you can go into a virtual room of people, I guess, and facilitate this. So we got a lot of response from that and we narrowed that down. We did 15 people and then we took five people from our HR people and culture as we call it, but I guess HR. And then the other 10 were from out the business and we partnered up together and then obviously we did sessions with yourself. So the first thing is that obviously you delivered two of these sessions, so they all got to see that and to shadow that. And then we had some follow up sessions with yourself where they got an opportunity to ask questions and anything that was worrying them, which I think everybody at that stage was a little bit anxious 'cause it was all very new.

Andrew Myers: But it gave us, again, a chance to bounce off of you and get your sort of thoughts on it. We shared the materials with them and then from there we did the sessions with yourself, which were sort of rehearsals I guess, in which they each did pieces. So they all got a chance at doing different pieces of the session and they got a chance to practice that, they got feedback from yourself and that was immensely helpful. And even for me that's... How arrogant is that of me. Even for me. [laughter] But I consider myself a seasoned professional at this. But again, it was great. I learned a lot of you, I learned a lot from listening to you and really enjoyed that kind of process. And I think everybody did, all the facilitators that did that really got a lot out of that from being able to share the other sessions from you.

Andrew Myers: And then we sort of got people to go off and practice it. We partnered them up with so that actually there were two people delivering every session so that it wasn't too strenuous for them that, they felt they had some support, they weren't totally on their own. And what we did is sort of said, look, if you want us as two people to get together and have a rehearsal or run through and decide which bits you feel most comfortable with, who's gonna do who is gonna do what. And then we got them to go out there and do it, which I think for most of those that don't usually deliver sort of training probably was a little bit scary and they probably felt nervous about it and probably more so because they themselves are experts in what they do and they probably felt a little bit, well, I'm not an expert in this and how well will it go down? 

Andrew Myers: But it went down well. And that's been good. And I think this is one of the other things really that was useful for us and we felt from the approach from yourself was the kind of support when we looked to other providers, we didn't kind of want to, "Here's the training, here's the materials, hope you get on well with it." And it was important I guess, that we had that touch, and that's what we kind of felt from you. There's that personal touch there. So you set up a WhatsApp group with the facilitators, so if they had questions or concerns that they could obviously contact back to yourself. And we've also got some sessions set up with yourself coming up very shortly in actual fact, I think where they get a chance to come back and having delivered the sessions to come back and say, "Well, this is what I've found," or, "This is what I'm struggling with," or anything else where they can sort of bounce off of you for that.

Toby Mildon: Yeah. No, it was really good. And I really enjoyed working with the team through the process. And I think what worked well was that we had 15 facilitators, but they were put into groups of three. So each group had a people and culture lead who was kind of like the rep, and then they could then work in their trios and support one another in that kind of learning triangle, which I quite liked. And then as we were doing the rehearsals together, we were creating a live document on the fly, which is where we were collecting all of the kind of the reflections, the learnings, the best practice, the guidance. And then that document obviously is now doing the rounds or circulating. But it did address a lot of the things that I had spotted in the rehearsals in terms of how the content was delivered, the way that the sessions would be facilitated, all of that kind of thing. So I thought that was quite good. The person listening to us right now might be considering rolling out their own training, not necessarily the diversity and inclusion training that we are talking about, they might be thinking, "Well, actually this is a pretty good approach for another one of my learning and development programs." What would've been your key learnings along the way of taking this type of approach? 

Andrew Myers: A couple things. One thing is that it means more... I always feel it means more when it comes from their voice, and so it's probably not something we take in everything, but we do it. So the resilience workshops I mentioned previously did those, a couple of years ago, and we used people, and again, we had leaders and managers going out and people who weren't leaders, managers going out talking about resilience, which, it just lands better from that. So I think that's one of the things I take from this. But also not to underestimate, A, you are building that capability internally and you're bringing those skills, so you're keeping the skills within the organization and growing those skills within the organization. But not to underestimate either how good people are when they do this and how much more it means kind of coming from them. And I think that's another thing that's really important, that they're really enjoying. Anyone where I've done this for the different stuff with a train the trainer approach. They've enjoyed being involved and they've got something out of it and they've learned something out of it. So it builds in as well to their own development.

Toby Mildon: Yeah. And it's funny 'cause you said that you and your team learned a lot from me, but I actually learned a lot from you and your team as well. Because normally it's me just rolling out this training, but in mentoring and coaching your team, they were showing me different ways of doing things. They had a different perspective on implicit bias, for example, they came up with different case studies and examples that could be shared in the training. So it was actually a two-way learning process. I learned a lot from you as well.

Andrew Myers: Yeah, well that's good. I'm glad you say that. And I think it was, I think that's been... It did feel very organic in that sense as well. And I know that kind of with the slides and things that we used as the supports is that they've been very organic. And usually, we'd put quite a tight control over, that we're all using the same things, everything. But I kind of let that move a little bit because I just found that different people use different bits and it helps them express it in the best way and got it across from themselves in the best way. And so I'd even say that there's two or three different versions of the slides going out there. But the important thing is that the end message that we've got across with that as being useful and as you say, I think that comes out of their different perspectives.

Andrew Myers: I think that was actually one of the useful things as well as, you mentioned that document that was shared as we went along, that was really useful in helping do that, because as you sort of experienced different people and you gave them feedback and probably from sort of things that you saw with them, it just grew did that, so that it did become a little bit of a bible for looking at thinking, "Oh, that's really useful to know." "That's really good to think about when I get into that." So we kind of had that group learning off it. But a again, as you know, once people go out there 'cause you delivered that so much yourself, once they've gone out there and done that a few times they start to learn. And we played with it a little bit. We said, "Oh, let's put a breakout here and then next time," "No, let's try a breakout on this one and just see what worked." And, again, I don't think everybody does this, but I added another little video of one of the bits that we found and that we just thought, "Yeah, that works. I've kind of kept that bit in." It has been a very organic learning thing for us as well.

Toby Mildon: Oh, brilliant. So now that you've started rolling this out, this training out across the organization, what are some of the results or the impact that you are beginning to see? 

Andrew Myers: Firstly and foremostly, the take-up has been good on it, which is always encouraging because people will soon talk to each other and say, "Oh well, I won't bother with that." "Oh that's good." So, and both with managers and colleagues sessions, they're filled up really, really fast. We did mandate it for the managers because if that was important that they all attend. So where about 160 managers go through that. But it's optional for colleagues as fast as surf sort of put sessions up that they're getting booked up and that's good. We've kept the sizes smaller those, but the feedback coming from them is positive. Both in the sessions after the sessions and in the evaluation. The majority of people have said that they've found it insightful, they've found it useful that there's some things they've said kind of, "Yeah, I've never thought about this before, this is interesting." But not everyone and that's fine, and we have to listen to everyone's feedback and we have to be honest with ourselves and where it takes us.

Andrew Myers: But the feedback scores of being good on that. And so I'm sort of encouraged by that. But I think more importantly what we're also seeing is we are seeing more hits on our academy where we have our materials of people looking for resources on diversity inclusion. It's one of the things we sort of mentioned afterwards, go on here, have a look at this. So we can see that happening. We've also, I've had people email me, others in the team have had people email me. So apart from the sort of feedback just with positive stories and feedback as to things they've done afterwards and kind of what's happened for them.

Andrew Myers: And there's been a lot of anecdotal feedback in terms of individuals and teams saying, where they've taken this on board and what they've done. And one of the things as an example is we, some time ago really started what we call inclusion moments, meetings where if you're having like our team meeting for instance for our team is a monthly meeting. We've spent 15 minutes at least of that, have an inclusion moment. And it'll be a subject to do with some sort of D&I thing. We have a pack that people can use. But quite often our team particularly we find we're fed in by things that have come up in the news. I think the last one we talked about was pronouns and pronouns on badges and all these sorts of things.

Andrew Myers: So the idea of it is really just to, I guess, socialize some of these to get people talking. And in the manager sessions we were really encouraging 'cause some manager says, "Oh, I struggle with that, or my team struggle with that, or I'm not sure what to do with that." And we kind of encourage people to do it and that seems to be happening more, which is good. But the other thing that we're doing now with colleagues is we're saying, "Oh look, are you having these?" And some people said, "Yes, it's really useful," and others have said, "No." So we've said, "Okay, go back and tell your manager can we do this?" Offer to set off the conversation, offer to bring in a subject. So we are seeing it sort of, I guess as I say, socialize more and that awareness is growing, which is great.

Toby Mildon: Brilliant. I'm so pleased to hear that. And well, Andrew, thank you ever so much for taking time out of your busy day to have a catch up and share what you've learned by taking the train the trainer approach with us and the positive impact that that's having on the leadership and the culture of your organization. If the person listening to us now wants to follow your work, maybe they want to reach out to you and ask you a question, how should they do that? 

Andrew Myers: Yeah, by all means, probably LinkedIn is the best way to follow us. So if you've got LinkedIn, you can look up NPS. We have a lot of things go out and we will have things about this going out too. But also myself, Andrew Myers, I'm on there and they can link with me by all means.

Toby Mildon: Excellent. Thanks Andrew and thanks again for taking time out of your busy day to have a catch up with us.

Andrew Myers: Yeah, thank you for inviting me and thank you for your support.

Toby Mildon: You're very welcome. You're very welcome. And thank you for tuning into this episode of the Inclusive Growth Podcast with Andrew and myself. Hopefully you've taken away some fresh learning for yourself, maybe train the trainer as an approach that you want to take for your own diversity and inclusion training. It's a great way of being able to build up that internal skillset, that internal capacity, as Andrew was talking about. It's a really sustainable way of being able to deliver training to your people so that you can really improve the leadership abilities and the culture of your organization. So hopefully you've taken away some useful advice, things that you can implement straight away in your own organization.

Toby Mildon: By all means, if there's any way that me and my team can help you, then please do reach out to us and have a chat with us. The best way of getting a hold of us is through our website, which is www.mildon.co.uk. You can also contact us through LinkedIn as well. Until the next time, I look forward to seeing you on the next episode of the podcast. And until then, take good care of yourself. Cheers.

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Speaker 1: Thank you for listening to The Inclusive Growth Show. For further information and resources from Toby and his team, head on over to our website @mildon.co.uk.