May 6, 2022

Leveraging Training to Promote DEI: Improving Workplace Culture

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When it comes to workplace culture, ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are at the forefront is essential. In fact, a report from Zippia found that 50% of American employees want their company to invest more energy towards promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. However, while most organizations understand the importance of implementing these structures, they’re not always confident in how to put them into action effectively. 

We’re taking a closer look into the value of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, the steps to employ and maintain these ideas successfully, and how a learning management system can help accelerate your training initiatives. 

Why is promoting DEI important in the workplace?

Whether we realize it or not, we tend to gravitate toward those who are more like us — which can create a dangerous unconscious bias at work. Not only does this bias lead to high turnover and an unsatisfied workforce but it also costs $64 billion annually, according to the Impact Group. Diversity training — for employees, managers and executives — is necessary to open up an organization to new perspectives and unique solutions. Focusing on diversity and inclusion from the hiring process to communication and leadership can provide companies with a host of invaluable benefits along the way.

The benefits of DEI in the workplace

A resolute focus on DEI leads to:

  • Higher employee retention.
  • A greater readiness and ability to innovate.
  • Increased opportunity to hire from a diverse pool of talent.
  • Higher revenue growth. 
  • Improved workforce performance.
  • Better decision-making skills. 
  • Improved corporate accountability.

Driving innovation through diversity and inclusion

employees agree that performance is managed to motivate them do outstanding workInclusive cultures are
1.7x more innovative
than those that aren’t.

One of the most substantial competitive advantages that diversity and inclusion provide is improving innovation within your organization. According to Fundera, inclusive cultures are 1.7 times more innovative than those that aren’t. This allows employees at all levels to utilize and develop their skills, creativity, knowledge and experience to the fullest extent.

Not only does this innovation foster a more open environment where employees from all walks of life feel comfortable sharing their ideas and experiences but it also gives companies a significant edge within constantly evolving markets.

While these advantages surely speak for themselves, it’s impossible to reap these benefits without the proper training to support them. 

Creating and implementing a successful diversity training program

Because dedication to improving diversity and inclusion can span all aspects of an organization, there are many options in terms of training content to consider. 

Diversity and Inclusion Training Content Examples
  • Unconscious bias training: This refers to the social stereotypes about certain groups or people that individuals form without conscious awareness. Training in this area is intended to help employees recognize, manage and minimize these quick judgments about people’s character, talent or ability. 
  • Recruitment training: DEI starts with the hiring process, and it’s often necessary to ensure the experience is comfortable and accessible to a broad scope of talent. Many organizations are already focusing on this strategy, as Ideal found that 57% of recruiters have strategies to attract diverse candidates — so it’s critical that your organization is keeping pace with these initiatives.
  • Managerial training: Managers play a huge role in ensuring DEI is incorporated into every aspect of their company. Training can often aid in fostering awareness of diversity issues as well as how to bring about cohesiveness in diverse teams. 
  • Career progression pathing: Career pathing involves providing access to career opportunities and encouraging mentoring and job rotation. These paths should be accessible to all employees and utilize workers' unique experiences and talents to forward their careers.

The content that will be most beneficial can vary from one organization to another. But, with improved tools and solutions like an LMS, this training can be holistically approached for more effective results.

Using an LMS as a tool for change: fostering workplace diversity and inclusion

While the training aspect of DEI is understandably important, it can be difficult to know where to start. But, an efficient learning management system, like Absorb LMS, can help you successfully implement these training initiatives.

Using an LMS as a powerful tool for change can benefit your organization by helping you:

  • Recruit diverse talent: An LMS can support managers and executives in recognizing unconscious bias. Moreover, it can teach them how to effectively reduce this bias throughout the workplace — from the hiring process to beyond. 
  • Develop minority and more inclusive career paths: One of the most advantageous aspects of an LMS is the ability to create individualized learning paths for employees. Ensuring all workers are provided the opportunity to grow their skills and talents not only nurtures their unique career paths but often leads to higher retention, satisfaction and engagement. 
  • Foster an open environment of collaboration and support: While not a formal style of learning, specific LMS features — such as forums and comment sections — can open the lines of communication within an organization. Employees should be empowered to share their thoughts and ideas while receiving sufficient support throughout the process. This leads to vital knowledge sharing, as well as strong working relationships and improved collaboration across teams. 
  • Measure training initiatives: An LMS provides critical analytics and automation to advance diversity and inclusion objectives. Management can monitor all of the aspects mentioned to understand what works and what still needs to be done.

With actionable and measurable efforts, a competent and effective LMS is a key factor in supporting your organization’s DEI training initiatives.

Reinforcing an inclusive culture after diversity training

While implementing proper diversity and inclusion training is vital to organizations, reinforcing this training frequently will prove equally important. Creating a commitment to change involves continual efforts and vigilance toward understanding DEI in the workplace for successful long-term results.

Extended efforts to reinforce this training might include:

  • Following up after training
  • Focusing attention on diverse voices in the company
  • Promoting openness and social collaboration
  • Fostering transparency and inclusivity
  • Measuring and tracking data to understand impacts and recognize further DEI opportunities
  • Frequently optimizing your DEI program

Employers and managers need to be deliberate and strategic to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. An LMS can be a valuable tool to implement and follow through with these changes — impacting learning, attitudes and behaviors at all levels of the organization. Are you ready to start initiating these training efforts? Request a demo from Absorb LMS today. 

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