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.
Make Diversity and Inclusion a part of your workplace, 365, with a Diversity and Inclusion Calendar.
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.
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!
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