If you feel overwhelmed with diversity and inclusion training, trust us, you are not alone. It’s common for businesses to be confused about where to start and how to align their efforts. Further to this, this area of HR also can be known by different names. It may also be known as:
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
- Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) or
- Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA)
When it comes to learning, diversity and inclusion (D+I) training is not the same as learning the new iOS on your iPhone; there are many layers to this topic, and ensuring you are focused on the right areas for where your business is at in their D+I journey is key.
Diversity and inclusion training acknowledges the attributes of employees that make them different, which encompasses ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, race, color, socio-economic status, physical or mental abilities, and age.
As this affects how employees work together, it goes past being diplomatic and emphasizes the need to accept employees’ uniqueness. When the core of the training is focused on inclusivity and considers the essence of your employees and their perspectives, you know you are on the right track.
Knowing all of this, how do you identify the proper diversity and inclusion training for your organization?
Work With Common Goals
When it comes to any objective, having the end goal in mind is key to ensuring you stay on pace towards your target. The same goes for D+I training. Think about the fundamental learnings you want your employees to have, and then work backward when identifying courses, facilitators, and topics. Again, don’t get too overwhelmed. Working with a consultant can help create a training plan to learn in stages by grasping the foundations of D+I first.
Challenge Unconscious Biases
Unconscious bias is the cornerstone of understanding the value of diversity and inclusion. Unconscious biases are social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their conscious awareness. When we have bias, we are casting judgments on people without knowing who they truly are, leading to incorrect conclusions and ideologies on that person. To tackle this, you need unconscious bias training to learn about the impact and origins of this topic on a deeper level. You need the tools to overcome and not let it affect your D+I roadmap.
Don’t Forget About Inclusion In The Process
Hiring more diverse talent is an excellent step in your D+I goals, but your efforts don’t stop there. You also need to ensure you are thinking of ways those employees can be more included and have a sense of belonging in the organization. Inclusion accepts and celebrates different ways of thinking, approaches to solving problems, and mindsets.
Set Training Priorities
The more tailormade the training is, the better. It would be nice to take on every available training known to man, which would lead to information overload and analysis paralysis. Do a training needs assessment to set the right training priorities, which will help you pick valuable topics.
Don’t Be Restrictive With Your Language
Your employees are grown adults, and as you can guess, they wouldn’t like to be told what to do. Instead of communicating that they will need to be more open and accepting of diversity, help them understand the importance of creating a diverse workplace. It’s tricky but can be achieved by listening to their viewpoints and understanding of diversity, creating learning plans they can be a part of, and being open to feedback during training.
In addition to identifying what type of training you should start with, it’s also good to look at how training can be executed. Long gone are the days where training needed to be done classroom style. Training has now been modernized to the following:
Microlearning: It sounds like a buzzword, but it’s actually a very effective method as it gives room for immediate consumption. Here, materials are broken down into bits and communicated as their needs arise.
Video games: Any successful training should involve problem-solving sessions. Through simulations in gamification, employees can interact, learn and apply what is being taught.
M-learning: The current global pandemic only further alerted the need for mobile learning as it has dramatically increased in popularity. This has to be the ultimate convenience as any day, anytime on any device; employees can access diversity and inclusion training materials. Learning is usually quicker and more accessible through this method.
Diversity and inclusion training are paramount to your organization’s well-being as it makes diverse employees feel like a part of a common goal. Not only will this lead to better employee engagement with employees putting in their best, but there will also be a higher retention rate and lower turnover. Creating a culture of belonging and inclusion is crucial as we continue building organizations and working with vendors and clients worldwide.