Diversity training is not something you, as a corporation, should just jump into. Thinking about spending money on it? Stop and think for a little bit. You may just be flushing money down the drain if you initiate any kind of diversity training without doing any foundation building first.
A diverse and inclusive strategy should be integrated into your business plan. Very minimal to no changes at all will occur if this concept is not explored before jumping into diversity training. Don’t be one of those organizations that realize this mistake when it’s already too late. If you’re thinking about taking advantage of your organization’s diversity, increase it or simply prevent any cultural misunderstandings, make sure your company is very inclusive in all aspects.
Diversity training is fairly easy enough. However, if this training is not approached in a proper way, people will not learn anything. When they leave, they take with them whatever they learned and just leave your company one less person that can contribute to its success. Furthermore, those who oppose diversity training will be useless with training alone. A multi- faceted approach is necessary to help these people see its importance.
Here are some tips on how you can promote a more inclusive atmosphere.
Diversity training 101: Start with the bug guys
If your leaders cannot be convinced that diversity training and its resulting inclusive system is important, the people under them won’t see it as well. Implementation of inclusion initiative cannot possibly be delegated. Other people may be encouraged to promote it but it must be an initiative that comes from the executive team and CEO. Promote diversity training by including it in memos, conversations, newsletters, and the like.
Diversity training with surveys
Assessment is one of the things you cannot do without when planning it out. Conduct interviews, group discussion, and surveys to pinpoint the strengths, challenges, and areas for improvement in relation to diversity training and inclusion initiatives.
By doing so, you can identify and create a vision and strategy that everyone agrees upon. An initiative will not be successful if you do not know where you are headed. Like mentioned earlier, your guys at the senior management level should also be part of this vision and strategy in diversity training. Without them, you cannot hope to start a change with it.
Utilize the information you gathered in the surveys to improve certain areas such as recruitment, retention, promotion, and performance evaluation. Look at how your current organizational culture works. Try to improve this to be more inclusive.
Disseminate the diversity training vision
A vision that is not known cannot be implemented. So make sure that everyone knows what this vision is via communication and other vision- sharing strategies. Send this message in a manner that will entice everyone to participate. Make it clear how this inclusion strategy being initiated with diversity training can benefit each and every employee, both on the professional and personal level.
Diversity training from top to bottom
Initiating it, much less a culture change can be difficult—but not impossible. You can pinpoint the behaviors and skills your managers need to lead your people into a more diverse environment. You can also facilitate diversity training that includes all levels of your organization. To make it even more effective, set up a measure of accountability for everyone in your organization. Evaluations and compensation are keys here.
Lastly, make it exciting. If people cannot perceive it as beneficial to them, they might not do it.
The speed by which you can start your initiative depends on the size of your organization and its goals. However, if you want something more than just mere compliance, reducing cultural misunderstanding and miscommunication, hiring and retention, diversity training alone will not suffice. So before you start flushing money down the toilet, stop and ask yourself how you can make it last.