Individuals, teams and departments play a critical role in ensuring that DEIB is effectively delivered through learning initiatives. However, a lot of organisations run isolated training events, which feedback has shown, lacks authenticity and sustainability. When Human Resources and Learning and Development teams work together to better think through what the complete journey to diversity and inclusion looks like, we see better outcomes.
In this blog post, we will explore the key steps that learning departments/teams can take to deliver DEIB through learning, including developing a comprehensive learning strategy, tailoring learning programs/journeys to meet the needs of the organisation, and promoting a culture of inclusivity and through open communication and psychological safety.
Whether you are just starting to explore DEIB in the workplace or are looking for ways to enhance your existing initiatives, these 10 points will provide you with valuable insights and actionable strategies for creating a more inclusive and equitable workplace culture.
- Develop and implement a comprehensive diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) learning strategy. This should include a mix of formal and informal learning initiatives. As well as creating a training curriculum that covers topics such as unconscious bias, communication, and inclusive leadership as well as providing online learning resources to support embedding the learning.
- Design DEIB-focused learning programs that are tailored to your specific needs as an organisation. This involves conducting ‘climate’ assessments and surveys to identify areas where employees need the most support, or creating customised learning journeys that are tailored to specific roles, departments, or functions to ensure they are contextualised and related for your people.
- Upskilling/reskilling managers and supervisors on how to create and maintain inclusive workplaces, and holding them accountable. By recognising and addressing bias in hiring, promotion, and performance management, as well as providing tools and resources for creating more inclusive team dynamics.
- Provide specific development opportunity training on the impact of unconscious bias on the workplace. This might involve providing interactive workshops or online learning content to help employees identify their own biases and learn how to overcome them.
- Highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion in organisational goals, strategies, and policies. Incorporating DEIB goals into performance metrics and objectives, as well as developing policies and practices that promote more inclusive workplace practices, but it’s key that DEI&B initiatives continue past the recruitment and interview stages to hiring and promoting a diverse pool of talent.
- Offer learning opportunities to help employees understand cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives. Offering guidance and opportunities for employees to understand topics such as cultural variances, the history of marginalised communities, and effective communication strategies for working with diverse groups.
- Promote and celebrate diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Recognizing and celebrating cultural and religious holidays, and showcasing the positive impact it can have on your organisation at all levels.
- Create a safe environment for employees to speak up and share their experiences. Creating anonymous feedback mechanisms, conducting surveys and focus groups to gather feedback, and promoting effective communication in a psychological safe environment.
- Encourage open dialogue between all employees. By providing opportunities for employees to share their experiences and perspectives, creating mentoring and coaching programmes, and fostering a culture of open communication and transparency. Ask yourself, is anyone not being represented? Are voices being heard?
- Measure and track progress of DEI&B initiatives to ensure they are meeting the desired objectives. Conduct regular assessments, temperature checks and surveys to measure the impact of the training and development initiatives, identify and track key metrics such as diversity representation and retention rates, and continually refine DEIB strategies based on ongoing feedback and analysis.
It’s fundamental to remember that there is not a one-size-fits all approach to DEI&B, each organisation, team, and individual is different in their way of thinking, working and collaborating so everything we do needs to be inclusive and empowering for all parties.
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