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How to Create Effective Diversity Training

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Regardless of business size, diversity and inclusion is now a top priority. Organizations over the past few decades have made this abundantly clear, and they’ve shown this through their dedication to DEI programming. Today, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a company that doesn’t implement some form of diversity training. But is it effective diversity training?

This training is one of the best ways to address biases and prejudices within a workplace. However, for it to be effective, you need to tailor it to your company’s needs. Here are all the tips you need to transform your current program.

What is Diversity Training?

Diversity training intends to create awareness of diversity issues and to bring about cohesiveness in team environments. You can generally categorize this training into “awareness-based” training and “skill-based” training. Let’s look more closely at what each of these types of training do.

  1. Awareness-based training homes in on sensitivity and awareness. It focuses on how essential diversity is in a business and allows employees to see the prejudices, cultural assumptions, and biases that they hold.
  2. Skill-based training equips employees with the tools to move from the awareness stage to the proficiency stage. It improves their ability to communicate with others, interpret cross-culture differences, and just otherwise manage workplace diversity.

Top 4 Tips for Effective Training

Here are some tips for the successful implementation of training at your organization.

  • Clarify your training goals

Before you begin training, think critically about your objectives. What is it that you want your audience (employees, supervisors, etc.) to take with them after this training? What do you want them to incorporate into their daily work practices? If you don’t know what you want your employees to get out of the training, it can’t possibly be effective.

  • Get support from all levels

Diversity training requires resources. Who provides access to those resources? Upper management! To implement a successful diversity training program, you must have support and buy-in from all levels of your company, including upper management. As you begin to plan your program, be sure to engage all levels (including your C-suite executives) so everyone at the company benefits.

  • Understand the learning experience

Diversity training may be a new experience for some of your employees. Learning this information can be an adjustment of thought, and therefore, you may see some people struggle with their thought process as they begin to grow in their understanding. This is okay! Just make sure you set guidelines in the beginning that everyone should be respectful and tolerant throughout the process — not everyone is starting from the same place. What can also help is including a diversity calendar as a reminder to all employees and help alleviate that learning curve.

  • Conduct a feedback survey

Following any training, you should conduct a post-assessment or feedback survey to evaluate your employees’ training experience. What worked during this training? What didn’t work? What were your employees’ largest takeaways? Did any of your objectives seem to fall through the cracks? Use this knowledge to continue to develop and improve your training.

Final Thoughts

Diversity training can help make your company more understanding, welcoming, and inclusive. Creating an effective program requires clear goals, well-defined standards, an abundance of patience, and engagement from all levels of the company. You’ve got this!


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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.