Drama-based Case Study

Mental Health Awareness Week - Large Consultancy

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week we were asked by a large consultancy firm to provide drama-based training on mental health. We prepared a 1.5 hour session, which took place over a lunch period that used a mixture of facilitator led learning, group activities and scripted scenes with 2 professional actors.

The session engaged delegates in a journey through mental health. This covered the definitions and symptoms of 9 mental illnesses; we focused on the signs and symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety in an office environment and how colleagues, line managers and HR professionals can improve support before absence from work occurs.

The addition of professional actors to training brings a difficult subject matter to life, and helps delegates to see that mental illness is not just about other people, it's about us. The session was practical, support focused and gave delegates tools to use to support their own mental wellbeing as well as those around them.

All staff drama based training - London Train Operating Company

To create an impactful training program that had lasting behavioural change for all 1400 rail staff we had to think creatively about the delivery. Through understanding the business needs, organisational culture and building a trusting relationship with the client we designed an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 1-day program using two actors and one facilitator.

The program focused on behaviour, impact and opportunity, and covered the Equality Act, bullying and harassment, understanding difference, unconscious bias, workplace banter, inclusive language and culture. We used a mixture of facilitator led, group activities, self-reflective learning, discussion, acted scenes and actor/delegates interaction.

All our training programs start with understanding the delegate’s needs and learning styles. By using actors in realistic workplace scenarios we are able to hold a mirror up to the delegates own behaviour and in a safe and non-threatening way help them to become an inclusive employee.

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Quote from the client:

"[We] used the drama based E,D&I training in order to support and foster an inclusive culture amongst our employees and customers, we were fully committed to ensuring that we were an inclusive employer providing inclusive services to our passengers.

We opted for the drama based sessions as we fully wanted to achieve the most innovative and inclusive approach in delivering key messaging in a short space of time. All employees were expected to prioritise and attend the training including directors, the feedback from employees was that the training was very engaging and impactful it really enabled our employees to fully understand the impact unconscious biases had on their actions as well as the impact of banter in the workplace.’’

Strategic Labour Needs &Training Manager

Using ‘Banter: balancing wit and wisdom’ to drive your desired outcomes

‘Banter: balancing wit and wisdom’ is one of our most popular workshops and over the years that we have been running it we have seen how it can drive a range of different outcomes based on the client’s needs. Here are three examples:

1. Reacting to bullying and harassment

A global restaurant chain had incidents of inappropriate banter leading to claims of bullying and harassment in a particular group of restaurants. The supervisors, managers and area managers, as part of the disciplinary process, were provided with this training. The objective for the organisation was to equip the managers with the knowledge, skills and understanding to achieve the behaviour change demanded through the disciplinary process, reducing risk of the behaviour reoccurring and successful claims against the business.

2. Bullying a successful team

With a recruitment agency we focused on how to strike the right balance between a fun, humorous culture and one were banter did not escalate or offend. This session explored personal sense of humour, issues relating to context and risk and individuals left the session with a greater understanding of each other and how to get the best out of an inclusive team.

3. Improving line management relationships

Using our highly skilled role play actors we focused on how banter in a team effects the line management relationships, when and how line managers can be involved and how to tackle inappropriate banter within your team. By using actors line managers could practice their skills, try out different ways of setting standards and communicating and learn from each other about how to best manage workplace banter.