Reverse mentoring and unconscious bias training are two tools that Mitie used to train its executive leadership team in diversity – which could become standard tools across the FM industry.
The company’s use of the tools has led it to be named Top 50 Inclusive UK employer for the third year running.
Mitie said its executive team had worked with members of its six diversity networks as a part of the unconscious bias training and reverse mentorship schemes,
Meanwhile, relevant reading materials and guides had been rolled out to all Mitie line managers and to colleagues on the front line.
These efforts are underpinned by company-wide initiatives, such as launching ‘Count Me In’, Mitie’s 12-month campaign to promote conversations on inclusion, offering diversity awareness modules for all employees and organising internal events to mark important dates, including Black History Month and Pride Month. This year Mitie also launched its ‘Big Equality Summit’, an online forum chaired by Mitie’s CEO, Phil Bentley.
The Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers List recognises businesses that are working to create a diverse and inclusive workforce by promoting all strands of diversity, such as age, disability, gender, sexual orientation and race.
The list is compiled by a panel of expert judges, following a review of the businesses’ efforts to promote inclusion across a number of areas, including recruitment and training.
Mitie joins the list of well-known brands, such as Talk Talk and E.ON, also ranking in the top 50.
Bentley said: “This announcement is clear proof that our efforts are having a positive impact and demonstrates our commitment to being the voice of our people and be the standard-bearer for the FM industry”.
He added: “However, there’s still much more that we can do. We’re committed to continuing this work to ensure Mitie is a company where colleagues from any walk of life can bring their true selves to work and offer every individual the opportunity to succeed.”
Jo Simovic, COO, Umbrella Training, said: "Reverse mentoring is actually critical to business success. It not only supports top management to understand what the challenges actually are on the front line, but also humanises senior execs to those who won't ordinarily have an insight into how decisions are made within an organisation.
"A well-documented 'Iceberg of Ignorance' study found that CEOs of larger organisations only know 4 per cent of what's happening on the front line, middle managers 9 per cent, and supervisors 74 per cent. These are startling statistics.
"The challenge organisations have to bridge these gaps are vast. This lack of awareness both from the top down and bottom up not only lead to disengaged workforces, but also mean lesser productivity and business performance.
"Reverse mentoring gives organisations a real opportunity to bring people together and create a 'lived-in' understanding across all levels. If you are able to recognise an issue at all levels, the problem-solving and decision-making process will be far more efficient and effective."
“While this is starting to gain momentum in some FM businesses, we are actively encouraging organisations to use apprenticeships as a means of embedding reverse mentoring to enhance their performance.”
Andrew Hulbert, managing director for Pareto, added: "We’ve used reverse mentoring within Pareto from the outset.
"As we were set up by a couple of young entrepreneurs we knew from the beginning that the way we would grow this business was to employ people who were better than us and let them show us how to run the business.
"What this lead to was bringing in exceptional talent within FM and letting that talent show us the best way to run things.
"Ultimately we just set up an inclusive vehicle that encouraged diversity and gave opportunities to people, who normally wouldn’t get them in traditional FM.
"This enabled reserve mentoring to become part of our day to day and very organically grew to be engrained in our culture."
Image credit | iStock