Diversity and inclusion are essential components of any business, allowing teams to create innovative ideas and build more supportive work environments for employees and customers. To consistently achieve diversity and inclusion in the workplace, ongoing training is essential for keeping all employees on the same page and working toward common goals.
However, there is no one-size-fits-all method for effective diversity inclusion training. As a leader, you’ll need to develop a strategy that fits your company’s mission and vision as well as that meets the needs of your company’s desired outcome. Traditional lecture-based training methods can lead to backlash rather than progress, as it makes employees feel forced and wronged. No one wants to feel like they are a bad person. Providing voluntary training with different methods of delivery can better address the needs of your company. In addition, all training whether they be in-person or online must be experiential and facilitated to get the best end results.
While it’s important for employees to fully understand diversity and inclusion, these are large subjects that need to encompass many elements to be truly effective. Hosting one large event and expecting your employees to absorb everything necessary for changing behavior is an ineffective method that does nothing to establish the environment you’re seeking.
Microlearning, however, breaks up the different elements of diversity into smaller chunks, so employees can more effectively learn information and put it into practice. Microlearning also makes it possible to make diversity training an ongoing process. When combined with clear goals, this training style can help you take concrete steps toward progress.
One challenge in diversity training is that people who fit into the majority often don’t understand the impact being part of a minority population can have on someone’s life. Perspective-taking is a training exercise that involves participants imagining they are in the position of a minority and thinking of the challenges these individuals may face.
This type of exercise helps switch the idea of minorities as an “other,” and makes participants feel much closer to people who are different from them. Thinking from another’s perspective can result in more positive attitudes and behaviors – even across different types of groups. The goal of this training method is to get participants to move toward thinking of the “other” as not separate from themselves.
While working with a physical meeting structure can help ensure that workers take the time to come to a training workshop, it may not allow the best access for everyone. Remote workers especially may not have the resources to attend an in-person meeting. Online learning means employees can readily access training whenever they need to.
With accessibility across devices, online learning works to bring training to your employees, rather than the other way around. It also allows workers to delve into the resources when they have the time and space to give diversity training the attention it deserves.
Figuring out what diversity and inclusion training methods will work for you organization will require research and an understanding of your desired outcomes. Working toward better inclusion is a worthwhile process and will differentiate your organization from others both with clients and also when it comes to attracting new talent. When in doubt, MindSpring’s diversity and inclusion programs allow for one-day sessions or several courses over time to help you take the best approach for enhancing your position in the global market for the 21st Century.