Diversity, equity, and inclusion training is an integral component of creating an inclusive culture. Employees will likely remain with an organization that acknowledges and values their unique identities while respecting any differences among employees.
Attaining this can be challenging. Many popular contemporary DEI programs seem designed to make white participants uncomfortable by placing blame for perceived wrongdoing on them, such as saying “America is a melting pot”. However, such efforts should not be seen as counterproductive – rather, they should serve to increase understanding between individuals from diverse backgrounds.
1. Educate Your Employees
To foster an inclusive culture, employees need to be educated on how to be inclusive in their everyday work lives. Diversity and Inclusion Training is one way of doing just this – offering workshops or classes on the importance of inclusion as well as how best to implement it into daily routines.
Training employees on inclusivity helps eliminate unconscious biases – attitudes or stereotypes that shape our perceptions and decision-making – that erode the chances for inclusive interactions among different social identities, leading to discrimination or exclusion. Training not only educates employees on its significance, but it also shows them how their actions may contribute to marginalized groups becoming isolated from society.
Diversity training can also help address company policies or procedures that violate fairness standards, such as hiring practices, promotions or performance evaluation processes. Diversity training also educates employees on how to be allies by challenging biases themselves, amplifying marginalized voices, and taking steps towards creating inclusive environments.
Unfortunately, not all diversity and inclusion training is equal. Some companies only institute diversity and inclusion training after an incident becomes public and there is backlash from the public. While high-visibility events such as these might raise awareness, they don’t always result in changes to behaviors or results; to achieve maximum impact from training programs they must be ongoing and supported by management.
Many companies struggle with building diverse workforces and don’t know where to start. The first step should be assessing your diversity and inclusion initiatives – you can do this through employee surveys with demographic metrics as well as open-text questions about experiences at your company. You could also conduct focus groups or interviews with managers or direct reports to gain an idea of what’s working well and where improvements need to be made.
Successful companies prioritize inclusivity by providing ongoing education to employees and having leaders who live the promise of inclusion – sending an unmistakable signal that inclusion is more than a superficial concept and more likely to influence behavior within your workforce.
2. Create an Inclusive Environment
Diversity and inclusion training is a critical step toward creating an environment of inclusivity within your workplace, but its success relies on more than simply talking about diversity and inclusion – it requires an in-depth knowledge of who makes up your employee base, as well as any impacts policies and practices have on each identity group represented within it.
One way of accomplishing this goal is by conducting an audit of your company’s processes and identifying any areas for improvement. Once identified, set SMART goals aimed at increasing inclusivity within these areas and check in regularly with progress updates.
One key component of inclusiveness is learning to speak inclusively. This means using gender neutral language and accepting inclusive pronouns, for instance. Furthermore, inclusive speech means avoiding discriminatory or offensive speech and making sure all employees feel welcome within the workplace regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, age or physical or mental ability.
Finaly, it is crucial that organizations create an atmosphere which fosters open dialogue about these issues. This can be accomplished through diversity and inclusion mentoring programs, employee resource groups (ERGs), or any activities which bring people together to discuss how differences make for stronger teams.
Companies that embrace diversity are proven to be more innovative and successful. People from various backgrounds provide different viewpoints that help identify problems more quickly than their counterparts would alone.
Studies show that millennials tend to favor employers that take diversity and inclusion seriously and offer diverse cultures, so it has become more critical than ever for companies to invest in diversity equity and inclusion training.
When starting to create an inclusive workplace, it is best to seek professional assistance. Just as an accountant would help manage finances for your business, enlisting an inclusion and diversity consulting firm as the solution will ensure training is effective and your diversity goals are being achieved.
3. Embrace Diversity
Companies benefit both socially and financially from diversity within the workplace. Studies indicate that businesses with more diverse teams earn greater revenue. Furthermore, organizations that offer diversity training experience lower employee turnover rates and reduced hiring costs per hire.
Diversity training serves as the cornerstone of an inclusive workplace that enables employees from various backgrounds to feel welcome and included. This fosters a stronger sense of loyalty and commitment among workers, leading to higher productivity levels overall and better-positioned businesses to adapt and weather any economic hardship.
Businesses must focus on diversity initiatives and invest in appropriate training programs in order to see results from them. Committing long-term to these training initiatives will yield optimal results.
Leadership teams should set an example and show their team members that they value diversity at work by creating an open and collaborative work environment and being willing to listen and consider new perspectives from employees of all backgrounds. Furthermore, diversity goes far beyond race, gender and ethnicity: it encompasses age differences, educational/technical aptitudes languages beliefs political beliefs socioeconomic backgrounds sexual orientation identity social cultures disability as well as more.
An effective way to foster a culture that embraces diversity is to develop and implement training programs like those provided by CoachDiversity Institute. These training courses aim to educate and empower leaders as well as employees across an organization while offering tools and resources necessary for creating an inclusive workforce environment.
Building an inclusive workplace may seem impossible, but it is doable. By investing in DEI training, instituting an inclusive recruiting process that attracts candidates from diverse backgrounds and fostering an environment that celebrates difference, organizations can achieve their desired workplace culture. For more information about creating truly diverse and inclusive cultures contact CoachDiversity Institute now.
4. Create Accountability
Setting goals is an integral component of any DEI strategy, and it is even more critical that team members fully grasp them. Furthermore, it’s helpful to ensure your definition of diversity, equity and inclusion makes sense for your organization – one approach is identifying which words best capture its core values.
Step Two should focus on finding an efficient means of creating accountability for these goals. While this could take many forms, company leadership should make every effort to actively promote them – for instance if employees see that their CEO supports DEI efforts they’ll likely embrace them with greater ease.
Establish peer-to-peer support structures as another way of creating accountability. An Inclusion Circles group could serve as one such example – comprising senior leaders from different departments who meet regularly to collaborate on diversity and inclusion initiatives, providing safe spaces for discussions while forging relationships that support a more inclusive workplace environment.
Mandatory diversity training can be an effective way of raising awareness, but in order to generate tangible results it’s also crucial that a plan be in place that delivers tangible results. As such, setting long-term goals and prioritizing areas that require attention are two steps that should be considered when setting out on this journey.
If there is an imbalance between those from underrepresented communities who apply to your business and those interviewed or promoted, this should be addressed immediately.
Accountability in DEI strategy will not only help your organization meet its long-term business goals more easily, it will also make employees feel valued. After all, loyal workers tend to stay with companies they believe are doing good work in creating a more equal world – if your workforce doesn’t feel this way then perhaps some changes need to be made; from mandatory diversity training sessions or targeted efforts for improved hiring practices it is imperative that each member feels they belong as part of a valued team.