Gameplay at the heart of improvement

An innovative board game is helping BSUH to continually improve the experience of its LGBTQ+ workforce, as part of its journey to becoming a Stonewall Top 100 employer.

When Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust  re-entered the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index this year, they were placed at 143 out of 445 entrants.  This is an exceptional result for a returning organisation according to Stonewall, but BSUH want to go further.

“Overall, the feedback for our Trust is very positive, and reflects our increasingly open, fair, diverse and inclusive culture,” said Nick Groves, Director of Service Modernisation within the Trust’s 3Ts project and Convenor of the LGBTQ+ Network.

“However, there is still more to do.  We wanted to find a fun, engaging way to illustrate the LGBTQ+ ‘employee journey’ and some of the challenges faced, as well as sparking ideas for positive change.”

The ‘Journey to True North: Follow the Yellow Brick Road’ game board was designed in-house specifically for the Trust’s first LGBTQ+ Inclusion Conference.

“We developed a gameplay system which combined real-life staff comments, national statistics from Stonewall and other organisations, and elements of chance to enable teams to suggest creative solutions”, continued Nick.

“We had 30 tables playing simultaneously at our recent LGBTQ+ Inclusion Conference, and this produced over 230 different ideas for improvements.  All of these are now being woven into our LGBTQ+ Inclusion plans for the coming year, with a clear ambition from Trust CEO Dame Marianne Griffiths and Board of Directors to be recognised as a Stonewall Top 100 Employer.”

Denise Farmer, Chief Workforce and Organisational Development Officer for BSUH, said: “I’m delighted by the success of the game and the positive energy it created. Tapping into delegates’ creativity and the ‘wisdom of the crowd’, I’m certain we have moved forward further and faster than we could have done in any other way.

“The game was a very creative way of sharing colleagues’ ideas, opinions and hearing more about their concerns. This openness and innovation is something we hold close to our hearts at BSUH, and we will continue to use the Stonewall Top 100 guide as a way of making our colleague’s experience at work the best it can be.”

Called “fantastic”, “amazing” and “a great way to develop ideas” by players, the game is being played by a range of BSUH teams, using its uniquely engaging format to create improvements in their areas.  BSUH is also receiving requests from other trusts who are interested in replicating the gameplay to draw out the wisdom of their own employees and create positive change.