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How to Develop Diversity Training That Is Effective

Creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace is not only the right thing to do but also good for business. While countless companies created DEI initiatives or released a press release saying they were taking action, the numbers don’t lie. PwC’s Global Diversity & Inclusion Survey showed 75% of respondents citing D&I programs as a priority, but only 4% are succeeding in key dimensions of successful D&I programming.

We have seen a significant increase in the number of companies that have invested in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training within the past couple of years. While many employees have attended training on unconscious bias, anti-discrimination, or microaggressions - these one-off or sporadic training prove ineffective, many times resulting in the vocabulary learned being misused in the workplace. It’s no longer acceptable for companies to make half-hearted commitments or hold one training session conducted by HR. Companies must invest in comprehensive training and equip their employees with the resources and support they need to succeed.

What is DEI training?

Diversity, equity and inclusion training, also known as DEI training, D&I training, or just diversity training, help employees, managers, and leaders become aware of inequalities, biases, etc. It also gives you the necessary tools to address these situations and helps you change behavior and perception. DEI training can be done in-person, virtually, or through self-paced online learning platforms.

Depending on the type of training and the platform, training can be customized to address any issues that are prevalent within the organization. Training topics can include:

  • Allyship

  • Unconscious Bias

  • Discrimination

  • Equity vs. Equality

  • Inclusive Hiring Practices

Benefits of DEI training

Numerous studies have shown the countless benefits associated with investing in effective and comprehensive diversity training. Some of the benefits include:

Increased Employee Engagement & Retention

Organizations with comprehensive training plans see an increase of 30-50% in employee engagement and retention rates.

Better Decision Making

Studies have shown that diverse teams make better decisions 87% of the time. Diverse teams also make decisions faster than individuals.

Gain a Competitive Advantage

78% of people believe diversity, equity and inclusion give a company a competitive advantage. Customers prefer to buy from brands that stand for DEI and that they think are authentic in their messaging.

Increased Financial Performance

Companies with highly racially and ethnically diverse teams are 35% more likely to outperform their industries' median financial returns. Gender-diverse teams are 15% more likely to have higher financial returns.

Creating Effective Diversity Training

Diversity training needs to be effective to drive any real change within the organization. How do you create an effective diversity training plan?

First, you need to understand where your company is at in its DEI journey. Have you conducted an audit? Held a training? Or are you just getting started? Once you have determined where you are, you can begin creating your plan. Here are some of our tips for creating an effective diversity training plan.

1. Be Realistic

Developing an effective training plan and seeing the benefits from your efforts do not happen overnight. DEI is a long-term strategy. By setting realistic timeframes and goals (let’s be honest, you probably aren'tlet'sindustries'It'sPwC'sdon'tit's going to change your company's culture through diversity training, but we can help with that!), you make sure that you are setting yourself up for success.

2. Communicate With EVERYONE

Once you have set those realistic goals and timeframes, don't forget to communicate them with everyone in your organization, from your C-Suite to your floor workers. Everyone should be clear on expectations and what to expect for your DEI training plan to be effective.

3. Measure Your Progress

If you aren't sure about how many training sessions you conducted, who attended, and how it went, you aren't really making any real progress. By measuring progress and getting feedback, you can continuously improve your training and identify any areas of concern.

4. Get Comfortable With Having Uncomfortable Conversations

Let's be honest, who really wants to admit in a room full of their coworkers that they are biased? But to make a change and address our own biases, we need to get comfortable with having these uncomfortable conversations. We also need to create safe spaces to have these types of conversations free from judgment.

5. Include EVERYONE

Just because you are in the C-suite doesn't mean you don't have biases or can't benefit from a training session or two. While almost every major company has bias training, very few actually send their executives through it.

6. Be Committed

While investing in DEI training is a great start, it will not change your organization's culture. If you want to see real change or fix any issues - you need to examine every aspect of your business for gaps. Look at the big picture and the steps you need to take to accomplish it.

Getting Started With DEI Training

Diversity, equity and inclusion training has many benefits to a company. It isn't just a box to tick off of your to-do list. It is an opportunity to hold yourself accountable and make a change in your organization.

Training programs are often the start of a longer DEI strategy that examines every aspect of the business, finds gaps and addresses them. A comprehensive DEI strategy goes beyond training and should be prioritized by the CEO as part of the overall business strategy.

Ultimately, the way forward begins with you. Be proactive with diversity, equity and inclusion training in your organization. Our DEI training services are designed to help you develop an inclusive and fair company culture, we offer a variety of training solutions to fit your organization's needs.

You can take advantage of DEI training with FIG Strategy & Consulting today. Give our team a call today at (800) 834-4946.


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