U.S. companies spend roughly $8 billion annually on DEI training yet accomplish very little. Why? Without accountability metrics and strategy, DEI training alone will not deliver the results leadership hopes for. Driving meaningful change requires more than talking about diversity, equity and inclusion. Action must be taken. Let’s discuss how to make diversity training effective and sustainable for your organization.
What is diversity training?
Diversity, equity and inclusion training (DEI) helps employees at every level and department in an organization learn to communicate better and work with colleagues of different backgrounds. DEI training touches on a variety of subjects, but the most common ones include:
How to make DEI training effective
DEI training can be a powerful tool to promote a more inclusive workplace, but seeing the benefits is another story. It demands effort and strategy. Here are a few of our tips for effective DEI training:
Start with a DEI audit: Before designing a training program, you need to understand your company's specific challenges and where there are opportunities for improvement. An audit can be conducted in several ways, including employee surveys, focus groups, and other assessments.
Tailor the training to your audience: DEI affects everyone differently depending on their culture, position, seniority, lived experiences, etc. Understanding the differences and tailoring the training to your audience leads to better results.
Follow-up: DEI training should be ongoing, not a one-and-done solution. Follow up with employees. What did they learn? Was the topic unclear? How will they apply it to their position? This will help you streamline the content for future training sessions leading to greater impact.
Track progress: Establishing KPIs promotes accountability and transparency. What do you want to achieve? Increase employee engagement? Diverse representation and perspectives within the leadership? Identify the goals, then create KPIs to track the progress.
You must focus on the long-term to create sustainable change within your organization. Diversity training is a long-term investment. We suggest viewing it as a stepping stone to creating a lasting DEI impact for the future. If you need help with DEI training or strategy, contact one of our DEI consultants today.