DEI training is an effective way to enhance productivity, morale, and good external relationships. DEI courses span a wide range of topics, and should be provided to the entire organization. At the heart of an effective DEI program are L&D courses that match the nature of DEI challenges within the organization.
What Is DEI Training?
Training for DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiatives is meant to increase acceptance of DEI concepts at all levels of a company. An HR department can hire according to DEI objectives, but the reality is, ensuring that these employees are properly welcomed and supported requires company-wide L&D.
Why Is DEI Training Important?
DEI training gives companies numerous advantages:
DEI is desired both by society in general and investors in particular. Consumers tend to support brands that are seen as participating in social issues. An effective DEI program can reduce unacceptable workplace behavior and resulting risks such as lawsuits and bad press. With DEI standards becoming a legal issue for some companies, many investors are requiring that firms set targets for diversity.
Younger generations in particular believe that corporate DEI sets a positive atmosphere in the workplace as it tends to encourage stronger social connections. Companies that focus on DEI are 2.6 times more likely to engage and retain staff. Alternately, employees who feel that DEI efforts are not going far enough score 12 points lower on the Workforce Happiness Index.
When HR takes a meaningful approach to DEI issues, organizations can achieve exceptional financial results at a rate that is more than double those of poor DEI performers. This is because inclusive business practices give companies a stronger reputation among job seekers, provide a clearer strategic direction, and increase important success factors such as retention, engagement, and teamwork.
Types of DEI Training
DEI programs occur on two basic levels – employee training courses and strategic, organization-wide learning.
For employees, common DEI courses include:
Unconscious bias training
This involves making individuals aware of prejudices which they were not fully cognizant of and teaching them how to adopt non-judgmental attitudes towards the DEI community.
Related to unconscious biases are microaggressions, which describes language, actions, and attitudes that are insulting to marginalized communities. Microaggressions are often intentional and result from problems such as structural racism and racial privilege. Training in microaggressions involves awareness and pre-emption.
Employees need to take an active role in combating racism. Anti-racism training teaches people how to move out of their comfort zone and confront harassment and discrimination, even when they are not directly involved.
“Allies” are employees from privileged groups who support people from marginalized groups. Allyship training gives allies the skills they need to understand when and how to help.
Hiring and promotion awareness
DEI communities are by nature disadvantaged, and the unconscious bias that many have towards them means that marginalized people need a step up when it comes to their careers. To ensure that disadvantaged people get the opportunities that they deserve, managers and HR staffers often need to reset their attitudes.
Getting Everyone on Board with DEI
Courses like those listed above address individual knowledge levels, but for DEI training to be truly effective, it requires a holistic approach. Understanding the commitments necessary for a meaningful DEI initiative in itself requires instruction from a professional in this field.
Because DEI is a complex issue, companies need a common language as a framework for discussion. There are many barriers that affect marginalized communities of which privileged employees are not aware, so intensive education is required.
This translates to courses that are inclusive and accessible, while being supported by management to ensure participation. Just as any L&D program requires resource allocation in terms of time and funding, so too DEI training courses call for proper scheduling and learning materials.
Management has other responsibilities as well. Leaders require specialized DEI-centered communications courses to turn them into role models. In addition, HR and management must work together to implement comprehensive DEI actions such as incorporating diversity principles into onboarding, talent development programs, and reward structures. A high-level DEI coach should be able to provide training regarding all of these issues.
GrowthSpace – Diversity of Expertise, Not of Quality
The increasing prevalence of DEI training has resulted in a large number of instructors of varying levels of skill. GrowthSpace allows organizations to match DEI requirements with the top experts in the field. With a scalable, technology based solution, GrowthSpace enables organizations to hire only the best trainers, mentors, and coaches as a way to maximize the quality of DEI initiatives.