Building a Culture of Respect

Equipping staff to effectively challenge inappropriate behaviours and truly live a culture of respect

The Project

Steps was commissioned to design and deliver an engaging learning event for all in-house staff who interact with high-powered officials as part of their working life at this leading public sector organisation and to help implement their newly re-launched Respect Policy. Ultimate aim: for working relationships between officials and in-house staff to improve.


  • Increase confidence in dealing with challenging behaviour
  • Recognise and identify bullying behaviour in high pressure situations
  • Understand the Respect Policy and its escalation processes

Our Approach

A period of confidential research interviews with a cross-section of staff gave us insight into the structure and culture of this unique organisation.

We got to know our mixed audience and what was important to them.

Inspired by their challenges, we blended interactive drama with group work and discussion topics, engaging the participants to explore the policy and see it come to life in their world. We carefully designed separate versions of the programme so that it resonated with the many different worlds within the organisation (managers, cleaners, trade union reps and specialist HR groups) each of whom have specific responsibilities.


We successfully delivered the programme to over 800 people in just three months. Feedback and engagement were consistently very positive, illustrated by the high levels of attendance which were way beyond the expectations of this particular client.

Participant feedback showed:

  • 22% increase in confidence in dealing with challenging behaviours
  • 95% rated the course excellent or good
  • 97 % rated the facilitators excellent or good