What is basic D&I training for employees?  - Enspark

What is basic D&I training for employees? 

April 18, 2022

Group of employees in a team huddle

Diversity and inclusion training is becoming a necessity for today’s organizations. Not only does it help ensure that teams can function at their best, it is a key component in both attracting and maintaining great talent. More employees are reporting that they look at a company’s diversity practices when considering them, and a recent Glassdoor study found that 37% of employees would not apply for a job at a company where there are disparities in employee satisfaction ratings among different ethnic/racial groups.

Studies have also found that basic D&I training for employees often falls short when it comes to results and long-term changes in personal biases and organizational practices. Looking to implement new training in your organization? Here are some things to consider before you get too far. 

Ready to get started now? Click here to speak with a member of our team about our microlearning D&I video series. 

Make it unique to your team

It is important that your basic D&I training for employees is catered to your organization, your organization’s culture, and the needs of the various teams. For instance, training for management on hiring practices will be different from training for programmers or analysts on microaggressions in the workplace. 

Where have issues come up in the past among team members? Where can your organization do better in recruiting talent from people with more diverse backgrounds? Where have there been inclusion issues in the past? Offering training to improve existing structures will help you see clear results. 

Know what you want to accomplish

One common objection to basic D&I training for employees is that it is a waste of time or simply that they fail to be effective. One big reason training of any kind fails is that the objectives are unclear or lack transparency. Are you providing D&I training because you think it reflects well on your organization, or are you truly clear on how you want this information to benefit your employee’s work experience? 

Some possible objectives to use as a starting point might include: 

-Ensuring that all team members are being utilized and that they feel comfortable contributing

-Preventing discrimination against team members and customers 

-Helping team members and management identify discrimination and harassment

-Helping team members and management respond to discrimination and harassment

-Supporting your team in communicating more effectively 

-Training employees in recognizing their conscious and unconscious biases and how they show up in the workplace

-Helping white employees understand the minority experience and how to be a good ally

What is important to your organization? Once you get clear on your top priorities you can design ongoing basic D&I training to be effective in addressing them. 

Grow over time

An effective basic D&I training for employees is ongoing. Just like any skill vital to ongoing success at work, strengthening one’s understanding about the importance of an inclusive workplace and how to be a part of it is crucial for impact. 

An integrated approach to diversity and inclusion may include basic D&I training for new employees as part of their onboarding, quarterly training on new topics or concepts, training as issues in the organization arise, training as social issues gain attention in the media, and new training as team members advance in the company. 

Make sure that employees understand company policies and approach to diversity and inclusion

One common reason D&I programs and training fail is because of resistance from employees and the attitudes of those participating. One way to encourage engagement and enthusiasm is to help your employees to understand what you are trying to accomplish as well. Be transparent with them about the environment you are trying to create and how you are trying to improve their work experience. 

Forbes contributor Janice Gassam Asare says that resistance can also be reduced by an integrated, “preemptive” approach to D&I training, rather than requiring participation in a training following a scandal or incident in the organization, which feels inauthentic. 

Are you integrating new policies and practices in your organization or physical workplace in an effort to make it more welcoming, accessible, or inclusive? Communicating with your team about these changes and how they relate to your D&I objectives is a great way to build understanding and enthusiasm for training as they come along. 

Evaluate over time

Some of the most common advice for basic D&I training is to put measures in place to evaluate effectiveness over time. This, combined with the integrated approach mentioned above will ensure that team members are aware of the importance of your D&I initiatives and will allow all of the trainings and programs to build on each other. 

Just like integrated training, ongoing evaluations can and should take many forms. It might look like adding it as an agenda point during management meetings, surveying employees, having third-party evaluations, following up with team members during quarterly performance reviews, and getting feedback from new employees or recruits. 

Want to start building your basic D&I training for employees? Our micro-trainings are engaging, user-friendly explainer videos that make a big impression on viewers. Or, we can work with you to create something for your organization (or a combination of both!). Contact us here to set up a time to speak about your D&I goals.