How to Get Diversity and Inclusion Training Right

Summary:

What’s the difference between diversity and inclusion?

How do diversity and inclusion training programmes benefit businesses?

What to remember in your DEI training programme


How to Get Diversity and Inclusion Training Right

When done correctly, diversity and inclusion training (sometimes referred to as diversity, equity and inclusion training) offers organisations a wide range of benefits. However, it takes a lot of thought and work to get it right.

If your organisation is looking to implement DEI training in the near future, what advantages can you expect to gain, and what do you need to remember in order to make it a success?

What’s the difference between diversity and inclusion?

While diversity and inclusion might sound similar, there’s actually a key difference. In fact, it’s possible to have a diverse workplace that’s not inclusive.

Diversity refers to the demographics and identifiers of your workforce. Things like their race, ethnic and cultural background, religion, gender and sexuality.

By contrast, inclusion refers to the policies and procedures that ensure diversity within the workplace works. For example, you might have a number of differently-abled employees, but all of your team building days are built around physical activities. 

Having allies in the workplace is also key to ensuring diversity and inclusion is successful.


How do diversity and inclusion training programmes benefit businesses?

You’re not going to be able to make diversity and inclusion a success unless you invest in diversity and inclusion training programmes, but what are the benefits on offer to businesses that get it right?

Research has found that diverse teams outperform non-diverse teams when it comes to both creativity and decision making, and this has a big effect on how these organisations perform compared to their competitors.

The staff of diverse workplaces were 45% more likely to report growing their market share, while they were 70% more likely to capture a new market. A broader range of perspectives and viewpoints helped those organisations to capture the business of a broader range of people.

What to remember in your DEI training programme

Here are the top six things you need to remember in order to make your DEI training programme a success.

Ensure it’s ongoing

One of the biggest mistakes your organisation can make is running a diversity and inclusion training programme once or twice a year. To be effective, DEI training needs to be an ongoing effort.

Include diversity and inclusion as a key element of the onboarding process for new hires, run regular DEI workshops for your teams, and consider putting together a diversity calendar. This calendar can include different religious and cultural events (not just Christmas), as well as monthly themes. For example, are you recognising Black History Month, Women’s History Month or Pride Month? Putting it into a diversity calendar is only the first step, but it will help to facilitate programmes and events.

Secure organisation-wide buy-in

Diversity and inclusion training won’t be successful without buy-in from your employees, but you need to secure that buy-in from every level of the organisation, right up to the board level.

Employees model their behaviours on the company’s culture and the behaviour of their leaders, so it’s essential that senior management are onboard with the organisation’s diversity push.

Set clear training goals

You can’t arrive at your destination if you don’t know where you’re going. That might sound like a cliche, but it’s true for everything your organisation is trying to achieve.

Your diversity and inclusion efforts won’t succeed without knowing what you’re trying to achieve, so set clear goals around your DEI training. You can then assess the value of specific DEI programmes and events based on whether or not they contribute to those goals.

You also need to think about the goals of each specific session. What do you want attendees to take from it?

Invest in the right materials and resources

Everyone learns in different ways. Some people are visual learners (graphs, diagrams and charts), auditory learners (lectures and podcasts), reading/writing learners (reading text and writing it down) and kinesthetic learners (learn by doing).

With this in mind, you need to invest in the right materials and resources for your workforce, as well as what’s most suitable for the specific goal of the training.

Invest in new technologies too. Online diversity training can be cost-effective and efficient, while it’s also a great solution for the increasing number of remote workers organisations now employ.

Ensure it’s engaging and be patient

Your employees won’t value or learn from DEI training if it doesn’t engage them, so avoid repeating the same things over and over again. Expert talks can be useful, but if that’s all you do, workers will start to switch off—particularly employees who aren’t auditory learners.

Implement a wide range of training, including interactive tools, in-person team activities, workshops and fun events and activities, and remember, be patient.

It takes time to cultivate effective change, but the return on investment will be significant, so don’t give up on DEI training before it’s had a chance to yield benefits.

Implement an inclusive employee benefits platform

An employee benefits platform is a great way to reward performance and support talent acquisition and retention, but again this needs to be inclusive. This all comes down to the range of benefits you’re able to offer.

The Sodexo Engage Employee Benefits Platform offers an award-winning range of benefits that will be valued by your entire workforce. It’s an all-in-one solution that can be accessed wherever and whenever it’s needed, and keeps everything in one place. It’s easy for your employees to use, and delivers an incredible range of offers, discounts, and more.

Our benefits platform is designed to enhance every aspect of your employees’ wellbeing, while we’ll work with you to ensure the benefits you choose are aligned with your wider strategy, including your diversity and inclusion goals.

To find out more about how we can support your organisation’s inclusion efforts, get in touch with the Sodexo Engage team today.