Link Housing Group

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Programme

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Programme

Summary

The long-term delivery of a bespoke half-day workshop designed to help the workforce of a significant Scottish housing association to take positive action to maintain an inclusive workplace.

Context

Link was formed in 1962 and is a registered Scottish Charity, owning and managing over 6,000 social housing properties throughout Scotland and via a number of subsidiaries.

They are an equal, inclusive and ‘Disability Confident’ employer, having been awarded Investors in Diversity and ranked 25th in the National Centre for Diversity’s Top 100. Link participates in Stonewall Scotland’s Diversity Champion scheme and has signed the ‘See Me’ pledge to tackle the stigma attached to mental health issues.

In the years prior to working with Eliesha, Link Group had made note of significant progress in legislation, best practice and guidance for employers and an increased media focus on equality, diversity and inclusion and sexual harassment practices and cases. They wanted to embed this formally with a bespoke training programme and continue to take positive action to maintain an inclusive workplace where all staff are recognised and valued regardless of their identity or characteristics (protected or otherwise), and where barriers that prevent people from feeling at ease are reviewed and removed.

Requirement

In response to the context above, Link’s steering group (consisting of representatives from the Human Resources, Learning & Development and EDI teams) outlined a requirement to develop a specific informal and interactive workshop. The half-day EDI workshop was designed to provide all staff with Link’s behavioural expectations at work, whilst providing them with the skills and knowledge to be respectful of differences and the confidence to raise concerns.  The intention was to ensure participants left with the understanding of these expectations and behaviours, and in turn were able to transfer these skills to service users, tenants, suppliers and other stakeholders.

“The unconscious bias was a great section, and really made me think about the way I see people. I really loved the trainer, she was great at explaining everything and you could tell she was listening to people and held no judgement to anything that was said, it felt like a really safe space because of her and she made it so easy to follow on. It had a really personal aspect to it which really helped people think about it more”

– Workshop Attendee, Link Group

Solution

Eliesha engaged in a collaborative scoping and design process to outline the precise learning outcomes that were desired and produce a High Level Design and set of training materials that were enthusiastically approved. 

To date, Eliesha’s experienced and subject matter expert trainers have delivered more than 100 half-day workshops to more than 650 staff, including managers, employees, workers, volunteers and Board Members. The training was so successful and received so well, that this delivery is well beyond the 46 initially scheduled workshops. Instead of concluding in early 2020 as planned, the course is ongoing and has been built into the Link Group Induction process for new employees.

The programme has been through one redesign, to expand the materials with the latest thinking and best practice. Previously titled Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, it is now Link Group’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging.


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