Diversity and inclusion training helps address biases and prejudice in the workplace. However, to ensure that you have a successful outcome, you must carry out the training responsibly. 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 steps that can help you implement effective diversity training in the workplace
Step 1: Develop your understanding of diversity and inclusion training
Diversity training is a program that creates awareness of diversity issues and seeks to bring about cohesion in team environments. To be successful, your employees must have the proper tools to maximize their development and performance and to minimize the legal risks that would occur if there was diversity-based discrimination in the workplace.
When you create a comprehensive DEI program, you provide solid ways to engage both respectfully and positively in the workplace while also reducing both discrimination and prejudice based on social factors (gender, ethnicity, age, race, sexual orientation, religion, physical and mental ability, socioeconomic status, etc.). Understanding what you’re striving for is a key component in how successful you’ll be.
Step 2: Extend and maintain diversity and inclusion training over time
Too often, diversity training is a checkbox. It’s offered once when an employee is onboarded to the company, and then it is pushed aside. Instead, your training should be extended over a period of time. This will make it a part of your employee’s daily thought process as they are constantly being trained on diversity and inclusion material.
Step 3: Tailor diversity and inclusion training to your company
While there are overarching principles of diversity and inclusion that apply to every organization, your company is unique. It 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: Plan an integrated approach to diversity and inclusion training
Diversity and inclusion training shouldn’t be a one-stop shop at the beginning of the year. It should be integrated into your company and offered in several formats (lectures, discussions, exercises, 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 workers of all levels
All employees — regardless of their level or status within the company — can benefit from diversity training. And not only should all employees participate, but it’s incredibly necessary to engage senior-level executives to make your diversity training as effective as it can be. Diversity training often requires resources (i.e., money) that upper-level executives have access to. When you have their buy-in, you gain access to the financial means to shine the proper spotlight on these important issues.
Effective diversity training takes time to develop. However, there are several factors that can ensure its success. You should be clear on your goals for what you want out of your diversity training and make sure it’s tailored to your company’s needs. The more customized you make it, the more likely you are to have success!
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