Solvd Together pilots an Inclusive Teams Handbook with Legal & General who sought to drive conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion to impact business culture over time.
Solvd Together’s expertise and collation of research helped L&G to further recognise that a diverse and inclusive workforce is beneficial for all; and is the responsibility of all employees, across all levels.
“The most effective diversity programmes: spark engagement, increase contact among different groups, or draw on people’s strong desire to look good to others.” (HBR, 2016). With this in mind, the toolkit was designed with practical steps for any employee to facilitate conversations on a number of ‘DE&I areas’, such as race, mental health, LGBT+, disability and more. Conversations could be run in direct teams, project teams or even within employee resource groups/DE&I networks.
We piloted the toolkit with four teams across the business, with one team acting as a control group. The pilot ran in April and May of 2021, with a short pre and post survey sent to both participants and the control group.
All pilot conversations were facilitated by a L&G staff member who conducted three conversations selected from the Inclusive Teams toolkit
Solvd Together provided the handbook to Leaders and Champions alongside a series of short videos that discussed how to introduce and facilitate each conversation. We drafted emails that facilitators could adapt and send to their teams in advance to help them prepare (if necessary), and we offered weekly check-ins to help facilitators prepare for the conversation and answer any questions.
After the teams completed their 3 conversations, Solvd Together ran focus groups with each team. Individuals in the majority of focus groups expressed some initial anxiety about the prospect of having conversations about DE&I. However, after the first conversation this had largely dissipated and most participants enjoyed the conversations and found them both interesting and enlightening. One individual commented: “When I first heard about it, I felt maybe slightly tentative, because you never know what to expect. In some of my earlier roles I did some [similar] exercises. I think they had the same intentions… but weren't so good. And so I thought let's see how it goes. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was.”
We asked the teams how they wished to move forward with the conversations after the pilot. Many teams said that they wanted to continue with more conversations from the toolkit and “...that rolling this out to the wider business is an excellent way of supporting inclusion / building an inclusive culture.”