Social responsibility is increasingly a must for organizations that want to cement their positive reputations. While many companies focus these efforts outward, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the organization is a critical part of the equation.
DEI ensures companies create environments where every employee feels supported and can thrive. It goes far beyond simple tolerance, aiming to cultivate workplaces where workers are respected and valued for their unique perspectives and backgrounds.
In many cases, DEI training is essential for building such a workplace. If you want to ensure your DEI training program is successful, here are some tips.
Discuss the Difference Between Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
It isn’t uncommon for there to be some confusion regarding what diversity, equity, and inclusion mean, as well as how they differ. As a result, any DEI training needs to include clear definitions for the terms, as well as descriptions of how each concept functions within a workplace. That eliminates any ambiguity, making further discussions easier to navigate since everyone is on the same page.
Openly Cover – and Privately Assess – Unconscious Bias
While much of your workforce likely isn’t consciously biased, unconscious bias is generally present in everyone. Unconscious bias is a byproduct of each person’s upbringing, as the culture a person is exposed to and the people in their lives shape how they view others, at times incredibly subtly.
For a successful DEI training program, you need to openly discuss unconscious bias, including what it is, how it manifests, and its impact on the organization. It’s also wise to have employees privately assess themselves for unconscious bias, such as by using an anonymous inherent bias test. By using a test, workers can learn about their unconscious biases, increasing awareness and creating opportunities for improvements.
Dive into Microaggressions
Often the result of unconscious bias, microaggressions are small actions or statements that marginalize an individual or group. Microaggressions come in many forms, and some even seem like attempts at flattery. The problem is that microaggressions – whether outwardly negative or seemingly positive on the surface – often include an element of bias or discrimination.
In your DEI training program, make sure to discuss microaggressions. Define what they are, share examples of statements or actions that qualify, and describe how such things are harmful to an inclusive culture. By doing so, you boost awareness, making employees less inclined to exhibit such behaviors either intentionally or accidentally.
Cover Bystander Intervention
While many people notice discriminatory behavior, a significant portion doesn’t know what to do when it happens to someone nearby. As a result, they may choose inaction simply because they aren’t sure what approach is best.
By offering bystander intervention training within the program, you’re giving everyone tools to step up if they see or hear anything discriminatory. Include discussions on conflict de-escalation, as well as outlining any available reporting mechanisms for those who feel unsafe stepping in but still want to create a better work environment.
Are You Looking for L&D Professionals That Can Help with Your DEI Training Program?
At Clarity, we have 30 years of experience in L&D, giving us the knowledge and expertise to provide support and guidance for DEI training program development and execution. Plus, if you’re trying to expand your internal L&D team, Clarity can be your candidate search ally, connecting you with top talent right when you need them.
If you want to partner with leading L&D professionals, Clarity Consultants is here. Contact us