As a result, we wanted to create and facilitate opportunities for British Land to:
- Raise awareness around unconscious bias in decision-making and its adverse impact on talent retention and progression.
To do so, we brought in our team of role-playing actors. Our acting team worked alongside our consultants to design, script and rehearse a set of bespoke workplace scenarios that set out how inclusion and inclusive leadership directly tie in to British Land’s own strategic goals.
Competitive advantage – how inclusive working cultures attract and retain diverse talent
To drive senior buy-in to the diversity and inclusion agenda, we started by working with the Executive Committee to determine a collective view of what inclusive leadership looks like. We focused on raising awareness of the business benefits of diversity and inclusion specific to British Land in the sector they operate in and the culture they wanted to build. We then rolled out sessions to all British Land’s People Managers, as well as all staff.
Our live experiential approach using actors allowed us to explore various scenarios of recruitment, retention and progression, including:
- How patterns and behaviours are formed, and the impact of stereotyping on organisational fit and access to opportunities
- How it feels to be excluded at work, and the impact this has on team performance.
To embed the learning from each scenario, we invited participants to actively engage with our actors in real-time. This allowed our facilitator to draw out greater insight into the root causes of the behaviours at play in each scene. We also gave participants the chance to direct the actors to replay the scenarios in a more positive and inclusive light, highlighting the differences inclusive working can make. The acted scenarios then served as a launchpad into facilitated discussions and exercises on the practical steps to take to mitigate unconscious bias at work.
Our actor-based sessions were very well received all round, with feedback including:
- “Great sessions. Interesting, informative and inclusive! Good to get thinking in different ways.”
- “Great presenter, really engaging and talked about topics I could relate to.”
As a final part of each session, all staff at British Land committed to a pledge to building an inclusive culture and laid out a plan for how they were going to do it.