Why you need diversity, equity and inclusion training
A 20% higher rate of creativity. 19% higher revenue from innovation. According to the World Economic Forum’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 4.0 report, this is what your organization could be enjoying from improved diversity, equity and innovation.
Bring together a workforce from different backgrounds with a broad range of views and watch the innovation in your organization.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of
✅ What DEI training is
✅ What DEI training should achieve
✅ Why your organization needs it
✅ Different types of DEI training you can implement
✅ How to measure the effectiveness of your DEI training
What is diversity, equity and inclusion training?
Often referred to as ‘DEI training’ or ‘diversity training’, diversity and inclusion learning is a type of training program that aims to improve our understanding of one another, address any biases (conscious or unconscious) and ensure that everyone is treated respectfully at work.
Some of the factors commonly covered in diversity training include:
Backgrounds (e.g. economical or geographical)
Sex and gender
Physical or intellectual disabilities
Get the most out of your diversity training
Effective diversity, equity and inclusion training in the workplace will help your teams to recognize any biases within themselves and, importantly, how they can unlearn them and any associated behavior.
One of the key outcomes of good quality DEI training is bringing awareness to differences amongst your employees and teaching your people how they can embrace those differences.
The ultimate goal is for your teams to work together in a collaborative, inclusive and respectful way.
If done well, diversity training can impact every corner of your organization’s culture. For example, more inclusive job ads will hopefully encourage a more diverse range of applicants. More diverse applicants lead to a more diverse workforce and improved representation. McKinsey found that organizations with an even gender balance can be 25% more likely to outperform their competitors who don’t have the same diversity.
Why do we need diversity and DEI training in our organizations?
Collaboration and innovation
If the same people with the same experiences are always trying to move an organization forward, it can stop innovation in its tracks. With a diverse workforce comes diverse thinking and challenging the status quo.
As part of your DEI training, consider including sections on effective collaboration and leveraging the power of different thinking. How can you draw on the different experiences in the room to create impactful solutions?
‘I don’t feel like I fit in.’ ‘I don’t feel like I belong here.’
These are some of the most common reasons for leaving that come up repeatedly in exit interviews. This can be because your people don’t feel comfortable disclosing their differences in the workplace, let alone having them celebrated, and therefore they feel they can’t be genuinely themselves.
– Almost 50% of LGBTQ+ employees are closeted at work
– As many as 75% of employees feel they have to ‘mask’ something different about themselves at work
– Some research suggests 25% of employees with a disability haven’t disclosed it to their employer or HR department
As humans, we need a sense of belonging. It’s one of our most basic needs. Using diversity training, you can create an environment of acceptance and community. You could be losing out on highly skilled people if you don’t.
A more profitable organization
McKinsey has run several reports around the relationship between diversity and profitability. Their reports indicate that organizations with a diverse workforce are 35% more likely to deliver an above-average profit margin.
In just one example, Harvard Business School studied a highly male-dominated field – venture capital. Firms that hired 10% more women in senior leadership roles also increased their revenue by 10%.
Improved organization reputation and employee experience
A lack of awareness and participation in diversity, equity and inclusion training can have a detrimental impact on your organization’s reputation. And some organizations fail hard.
Tokenistic ‘one-day’ diversity training simply won’t cut it – not if you want to make a real cultural shift. Significantly improve your employee experience (and your organization reputation) by committing to an ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion strategy, including ongoing training.
Enhance your diversity training in 2023
If you want to be an innovator and a game changer, you need innovative, game-changing diversity training to match.
Here are a few ways you can take your diversity and inclusion training up a notch:
Simulation training blends gaming mechanics and human psychology to create immersive, true-to-life situations.
Your teams will be able to interact with authentic scenarios, perfect for diversity, equity and inclusion training. In diversity equity and inclusion training, this may include different scenarios with various avatars so teams can learn more about different backgrounds.
Watch as they climb the leaderboards, taking on their friends and colleagues to be the best, all while solidifying their knowledge and skills.
Microlearning can be described as any module that takes between 2-10 minutes to complete. Super quick. Super easy.
Use this as your opportunity to create quick fire content for your DEI training – quizzes or mini games for example.
Designed to be played multiple times, the repeatable nature of Attensi training aids knowledge retention and will have your teams coming back again and again.
Say goodbye to death by Powerpoint, and hello to microlearning.
Watch your completion rates soar by making your learning mobile.
No more expensive venue costs. No more wasteful resources. It’s time to take learning on the move.
mLearning gives your people the flexibility to complete their training at a time and place that suits them.
Types of diversity, equity and inclusion training
1. Fundamentals of DEI
This is a great place to start for teams who want to understand the differences between diversity, equity and inclusion and how they fit together.
For example, you may start by defining each element and then giving them context by discussing how they fit in to the day-to-day of your organization.
2. Diversity vs inclusion
Understanding the difference between diversity and inclusion is essential to any organization that wants a comprehensive DEI training program.
An organization could be diverse (hiring people of color, different genders or people with disabilities) but not be inclusive.
For an organization to be truly inclusive to its diverse workforce, teams must understand any reasonable accommodations and have the appropriate support and procedures in place.
3. Unconscious bias
We all have unconscious biases, whether we like it or not. And this may be impacting your ability to make your organization more diverse and inclusive.
You can use your unconscious bias training to help your teams understand:
✅ What unconscious bias is
✅ How this may present itself in the workplace
✅ Ways to unlearn these biases
4. Intentional inclusion
A module on intentional inclusion could be a good opportunity for you to help your employees know exactly what actions you’re taking to make your workplace more inclusive.
This is where you may want to take advantage of any customizable or personalized training materials. The more specific you can make your DEI training, the more likely your employees will be receptive to this, as it gives them real-life context.
You may want to include expectations, standards or milestones you expect from all employees.
5. Culture and identity awareness
Culture and identity awareness are prime examples of where DEI training is a process, not a one-and-done program. With cultures and identities always shifting, you’ll want to find training that can be updated and adapted easily to move with the shifting times.
Accessibility is about more than physical access to your workplace. It’s about any software you may use. Use your accessibility training to ensure everyone in your team understands this software so that no one is excluded.
A great example of accessibility in action is the introduction of sign language interpreters to Microsoft Teams.
If you were running training on this, you might ask everyone to learn the functionality so that anyone setting up a meeting can ensure that the meeting is inclusive for deaf or hard-of-hearing participants.
A microaggression is ‘indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group’.
It’s important that members of your team can recognize these and act accordingly. This may be when you choose to utilize simulation training so your people can get comfortable with your organization’s procedures should an incident occur.
8. Inclusive leadership
In a model by Deloitte, they identify six signature traits of an inclusive leader, including:
✅ Cultural intelligence
Think about using this as the basis for your inclusive leadership training.
9. Bystander intervention
Inform teams of any organizational processes they can go through if they see someone being treated unfairly or inappropriately.
Again, you may choose a form of simulation training so that your people can learn to identify any inappropriate behavior, assess how they can intervene and understand how to act going forward.
10. Training and hiring practices
If you want to build a truly diverse workforce, you have to go right back to the beginning and get your hiring and training right.
Because when you hire diversely and inclusively, your organization can reap the benefits – more revenue, better employee experience and employee retention.
✅ How to write an inclusive job ad (learning how to identify unconscious bias and preference hiring will help you here!)
✅ Inclusive interviewing skills
✅ Positive discrimination vs positive action
Measuring your diversity and inclusion success
You won’t know whether your DEI learning has really worked if you can’t measure it.
Here are a few ways you can start to evaluate your DEI and start designing effective DEI learning in the workplace.
Diversity percentage in leadership
Take a look around and evaluate whether you have diverse representation in your management, C-Suite and board of directors. What’s the mixture of genders, cultural identities and lived experience?
From here, you can think about the kind of people that will truly add value and diversity of thinking to your organization (your DEI should never be a tick-box exercise).
Are your employees in for the long haul?
How is your staff turnover? If you’re noticing that you’re losing people quickly, it’s time to ask why that is.
– Are you offering equal access to learning, development and progress opportunities?
– Do your people feel like their lived experiences are supported in your organization?
– Is your workplace accessible for those with physical and intellectual disabilities? And do you have the appropriate support in place?
DEI training in the workplace should always have your people at the center. It makes sense to ask them how they’ve found their training.
Employee feedback is invaluable when it comes to creating training that’s relevant, useful and impactful.
If it’s time to diversify your diversity, equity and inclusion training, you need Attensi. Our game changers are ready to help your organization celebrate your wonderful teams.