What is DEI training and why is it so important? DEI stands for diversity, equity, and inclusion. A successful DEI training is designed to encourage and enhance positive interactions between diverse groups of people. It’s also designed to help reduce prejudice, discrimination, and to teach people of all backgrounds how to thereby create a more inclusive workplace.
Interesting DEI Statistics
“Organizations in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians.” – McKinsey & Company
“Companies which are diverse and inclusive are said to have 2.3x higher cash flow per employee over a three-year period.” – Deloitte
“Companies which value diversity, inclusion, and belonging are deemed to be 6x more innovative than their competitors.” – McKinsey & Company
Five Steps to Successful DEI Training
1. Set Goals Based on Your Team’s Needs
It’s best to begin by clearly conveying to your team why DEI training is important. Then meet with your entire organization and ask them to address the hard questions even if they are uncomfortable. For example, “What do you think is missing from our team’s culture and how could we improve it?” and “How can we better meet our team’s needs?”
Your team probably has different education levels, different job functions, and different views about everything. Therefore, you should find ways to capture those facets of your team and incorporate them into one company culture. This will help each team member to become more empathetic to each other’s views, more self-aware of his or her own views, and how to incorporate all that into a more culturally competent team. This can easily be achieved with DEI training.
2. Identify Unconscious Bias and Work to Overcome It
Express to your team how unconscious bias can negatively impact the entire organization and team performance. Once you’ve identified unconscious bias and talked about its impact on performance, you can teach strategies for reducing unconscious bias and explaining the benefits of inclusive thinking and behaviors.
3. Companywide DEI Training
You can’t just train the workforce on DEI training. A successful DEI training must be across the board from your frontline workers to the organizational leaders. Your employees will model the behaviors exhibited from the top down.
When you include everyone in your DEI training and give everyone a chance to voice their thoughts on different issues, this practice instantly makes the company more inclusive. When you address your organization collectively, you will be building an organization-wide culture where everyone will learn and grow at the same time and at the same level.
It’s also extremely important that you have a publicly stated written policy to support your DEI training. You need to be intentional about your actions and how you expect those actions to match your organizational values.
4. Develop a DEI Training Program That Uses a Multi-Touch Approach
All people learn and absorb training differently; therefore, it is important to develop a DEI training program that uses a multi-touch approach. You could start with a verbal introduction to DEI. Then show a webinar that reinforces the material you verbalized. You can then gather everyone together to talk about what each person gathered from the material you just presented.
Next, you could have each person tell a story about different issues they’ve encountered in their lives and how they perceived them and reacted to them. Doing this will help others understand how each person views what they’ve been through, which leads to a more cohesive path forward. Lastly, you can have an interactive session. To do this, you simply split people up into groups and have them perform real-life interactions in front of their peers using the training they’ve just received.
This will help each person see what diversity, equity, and inclusion look like firsthand. This will also give each person in the organization an opportunity to practice the training and receive positive feedback on their performance. Why is this important? You probably already know from your management training that if you want people to excel and perform as expected, you should always recognize what you want to be repeated. And that’s what positive feedback does.
5. Evaluate Your Efforts and Adjust Where Needed
You should have systems in place that will allow you to measure the progress of your DEI training. You can do this by not just looking a how many of your employees represent diverse audiences, but also by measuring the turnover of underrepresented groups and finding out why those people chose to leave. You can do this by using employee climate surveys.
These surveys will tell you whether people chose to leave because they didn’t feel included, due to harassment, or discriminatory behavior. This information should then be shared anonymously with the entire team along with additional training to continue building towards a more inclusive, supportive company culture.
Strategies for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
There are several steps for DEI training and other strategies that can be used to help move your team towards more effective diversity, equality, and inclusion.
- Unconscious Bias Training
- Organizational Assessments, Audits, and Benchmarking
- Employee Resource Groups
- Guest Speaker Presentations
- Talent Recruiting and Development
- Mentorship and Sponsorship Programs
- Supplier Diversity Strategies
- Inclusive Branding and Messaging Campaigns
Using these types of specifically choreographed DEI training methods will help with creating a highly inclusive, highly productive, and highly profitable culture throughout your organization.
If you want more information about DEI training and the steps for DEI training, please Contact Elevated Diversity today. We have a team of subject matter experts that is 100% minority-owned. And we are certified by the National Minority Supplier Development Council. Reach out today and let’s take this journey together.