Once you've made a successful diversity training business case, it's time to put your ideas into action. A four-hour annual training probably won't create real change in the workplace. According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), an inclusive culture determines how well diverse teams perform. Ongoing training can help to create cultural change and inspire individuals to live up to values of diversity and inclusion.
Create a commitment to cultural change
Researchers continue to uncover links between diversity and performance. A recent HBR study found that gender-diverse firms are more productive than peer organizations. However, basic awareness of diversity and its benefits isn't guaranteed to make you more productive. There needs to be an overall company shift to a more inclusive culture.
Diversity isn't about knowledge or exposure; it's ultimately about behavioral training. "It requires continual efforts and vigilance toward understanding the nature of one's biases and working on regulating them," researcher Margo Monteith told All Together. A learning management system plays a critical role in reinforcing diversity training by facilitating five key actions.
1. Schedule follow-ups
Behavioral change doesn't happen overnight. Individuals must recognize opportunities to personally contribute to an inclusive employee experience. Deliver follow-up microleaning content frequently in order to reinforce values of diversity and encourage employees to adopt new behaviors.
2. Spotlight diverse voices
Turn individual contributors into grassroots agents for change by encouraging user-generated content contributions to the LMS. Putting the spotlight on individuals can help leaders and contributors understand how women and minorities are experiencing the workplace—this may even spark further peer dialogue.
3. Gather data
Your LMS can help track the long-term impact of diversity training on employee behaviors. Work to understand the attitudes of the workforce and new hires, and measure change after diversity training via surveys and behavioral insights such as completion and engagement. LMS data can improve outreach to at-risk individuals or contributors who are disengaged with diversity initiatives.
4. Promote peer troubleshooting
"What works in tech and many other fields is to present the research in a dispassionate way and allow people to brainstorm their own strategies for interrupting bias," according to Fast Company. Brainstorming instills confidence by putting employees in the role of problem-solvers.
LMS features for social collaboration can help to facilitate regular peer discussion groups about creating a more inclusive workplace. Social collaboration can also be used to create communities for minority employees, even in a geographically dispersed workplace.
5. Strive for transparency
An LMS can create a more transparent culture and foster genuinely inclusive conversations. Best-of-class diverse organizations have a "collegial board culture," and establish transparency by using formal channels to relay information instead of back channeling, as noted by HBR.
Values of transparency are supported by using the LMS to offer easy access to diversity content on demand, including policies, benchmarks and guidelines. Your LMS can also act as a portal for employees to join mentoring and diversity initiatives, which are critical to the success of highly diverse firms, according to Forbes.
Reinforce inclusive culture
No one makes a transition to an inclusive culture after a single round of diversity training. The most effective organizations continually encourage employees to examine their biases and behaviors. An LMS can allow you to be transparent about your commitment to inclusion and offer a wide array of learning tools to change attitudes and behaviors in all levels of the workforce.