Fair Treatment Service
Volunteers in the Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) launched a new staff-led Fair Treatment Ambassadors Service in April 2017. It addresses bullying, harassment and discrimination by promoting a culture of fair treatment. On offer are named Ambassadors providing early intervention one-to-one support, along with interactive team workshops. This holistic and comprehensive offer is unique to MHCLG.
The Service has had a significant positive impact. Three years of People Survey analysis has identified ‘hot spot’ teams. These have been proactively targeted for the workshops, which are also available on demand to all. Over 700 MHCLG staff – over 40% of MHCLG – have taken, or signed up to take, the workshops since May 2017. Delivery is through the Ambassadors: trained for an initial outlay of £2,500 (exceptional vfm). 92% of feedback says it met or exceeded expectations.
In the workshop, attendees are asked to make a pledge about what they’ll do differently to create a fairer working environment. Pledges include “say(ing) hello to all my team in the morning”, “be(ing) more aware and mindful of my own behaviours”, and “address(ing) an issue immediately if spoken to inappropriately”. Teams have also reported on improving their working culture, including running team wellbeing surveys and arranging follow-up conflict resolution workshops.
Alongside offering workshops, the Ambassadors provide confidential 1:1 support on demand. They report quarterly, whilst maintaining confidentiality, to facilitate identification of trends and monitor uptake.
Notably, six months in, the MHCLG 2017 People Survey recorded:
• 7% rise on those reporting bullying and harassment
• 5% increase in case resolution
• 3% rise on inclusion and fair treatment engagement (now 83%)
MHCLG now performs 4% higher than Civil Service High Performers on the statements that “I feel able to challenge inappropriate behaviour in the workplace” and “DCLG is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace”.