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5 Keys to Effective Diversity Training

By: Erich TollDiversity Training
3:000 Comments
Effective Diversity Training

Diversity and inclusion training boosts businesses, by helping them prevent workplace problems caused by biases, prejudices and more. But to enjoy a successful outcome, you must ensure the training is effective. This means clarifying your goals, defining behavioral standards, empowering underrepresented groups, engaging all levels of the company, and so much more!

To avoid common pitfalls, here are 5 keys to implementing effective diversity training in the workplace.

Step 1: Be Clear About Goals

Diversity training is designed to create awareness of diversity issues, and foster cohesion in team environments. To be successful, your employees must have the proper tools to maximize their development and performance. Your company also needs to reduce legal exposure by preventing diversity-based discrimination in the workplace.

When you create a comprehensive DEI program, your employees learn skills to engage both respectfully and positively in the workplace. They also need to learn to reduce both discrimination and prejudice based on social factors (gender, ethnicity, age, race, sexual orientation, religion, physical and mental ability, socioeconomic status, etc.). Understanding these goals will help ensure your success.

Step 2: Make D&I Training Ongoing 

Too often, diversity training is a checkbox. It’s offered when when a newly hired employee is onboarded, but then quickly forgotten. Instead, your training should be ongoing and over time. This will make it a part of your employees’ daily work habits, as they constantly learn new skills for equity, inclusion and belonging.

Step 3: Customize D&I Training to Your Unique Organization

While there are overarching D&I principles that apply to every organization, your company is unique. Your workplace has challenges that apply specifically to you and your employees. To address these, you should look inward to assess the specific issues that your company is facing. Then, use your diversity and inclusion program to specifically address those.

Step 4: Use Integrated Multi-Facted Deployment

Diversity and inclusion training shouldn’t be a one-stop shop at the beginning of the year. Rather, integrate into your company culture by offering D&I learning in varied formats (online, software tools, facilitator training, routine communications, employee groups etc.). When you vary how you present the information to your employees, it’s much more appealing to the group.

Step 5:  Include All Employee Levels

All employees — regardless of title or level within the company — will benefit from diversity training. Not only should all employees participate, it’s essential to engage senior-level executives to permeate DEIB throughout your culture. Diversity training often requires resources (i.e., money) that upper-level executives can provide. When you have their buy-in, you gain access to the financial means to shine the proper spotlight on these important issues.

Make Diversity and Inclusion a part of your workplace all year-round with our Online Diversity Calendar or our Canada Online Diversity Calendar for Canadian organizations. 

Final Thoughts 
D&I training is essential to business success. But there are several factors that can ensure its success. Be clear on goals, and tailor your training to your company’s needs. Practicing these 5 keys will go a long way to ensuring your success!

Effective Diversity Training FAQs

What is the most effective diversity training?
The most effective diversity training is typically interactive, tailored to the specific needs of the organization, and goes beyond mere awareness to foster understanding and empathy. It incorporates real-world scenarios, encourages open dialogue, and includes ongoing evaluation and follow-up to measure its impact and make necessary adjustments.

What are the key elements of an effective diversity training program?
Key elements of an effective diversity training program include clear learning objectives, engaging content that addresses unconscious bias and cultural competence, a safe environment for discussion, opportunities for self-reflection, and strategies for participants to apply what they’ve learned in their daily work.

What is effective diversity?
Effective diversity extends beyond just numerical representation; it encompasses an inclusive culture where people from diverse backgrounds are valued, respected, and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and talents. True diversity is reflected in both the workforce composition and an organization’s commitment to fostering an equitable and inclusive environment where everyone can thrive.

What are the three approaches to diversity training?
There are three primary approaches to diversity training: awareness-based training, skill-based training, and motivation-based training. Awareness-based training focuses on raising awareness of diversity issues, skill-based training equips participants with practical tools to address diversity challenges, and motivation-based training aims to inspire people to embrace diversity and actively contribute to an inclusive workplace. The most effective programs often incorporate elements of all three approaches.

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