Steer Clear of These DEI Training Mistakes!
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training is a business initiative aimed to educate staff members and cultivate a safe environment for everyone in the workplace. It is a strategy that should be taken seriously before the planning phase even commences. Still, mistakes are bound to happen. Here’s a list of the most common DEI training mistakes so you can hit the ground running when it’s time to implement your own diversity initiative.
7 Typical DEI Training Mistakes
1. No Long-Term Impact
It is highly common for companies to create Diversity and Inclusion initiatives that last from a couple of hours to a couple of days. While ensuring that your employees don’t have too much on their plate so they can complete their assigned tasks without risk of burnout is a good leadership practice, employing only a few hours of DEI training can render your strategy completely ineffective in the long run. DEI training has to cover a well-rounded curriculum to ensure that there’s a long-term impact. In short, DEI training is not just another box to check off the list but an investment for your company; allow for a more extensive implementation timeframe so it can be done correctly and effectively. Or even better, employ an ongoing DEI strategy to optimize results among your teams.
2. Missing Targets
Any training initiative with no clear targets is destined to fail. Avoid this common DEI training mistake by setting your goals from early on. What does your company want to achieve with DEI training? Do you focus on diverse hiring but not talent retention? Is your staff satisfied with your training initiatives? Providing answers to these questions can help you create the blueprints of your objectives to figure out what you really want from your DEI initiative. Having clearly set targets can also help you track the progress of the program and measure its results; the data can aid in reforming the program if there are any kinks along the way.
3. Lack Of In-House Contribution
Your employees can be your best resource pool. Selecting and allocating the appropriate resources to effectively launch a DEI training strategy can be a time-consuming process, and ignoring what your own staff can contribute to the process is an enormous waste. Some of your employees may have a background in Social Sciences, others may regularly volunteer within their communities to facilitate positive change, and others may provide lived experience testimonials to supplement your material. Detect your in-house Subject Matter Experts (SME) that can aid in creating a well-developed DEI training program and ask for their participation. In-house contribution not only minimizes the cost, it also brings a familiar note to your diversity initiative that can greatly boost engagement levels among your team.
4. Short On Resources
Not having a roomy budget set for your diversity training is another mistake companies easily make. DEI training is an asset that requires a well-developed curriculum and a variety of resources in order to be successful. Defining your budget should be one of the first steps of the process. Align your objectives and your needs with your available training budget to decide what nature your DEI program will take, where it will take place, and how long it will last. And even if you don’t know where to start or what to include, you can always choose to outsource. An external partner or vendor may help in allocating the necessary resources for a successful DEI strategy within your budget range.
5. Absence Of Feedback
Failing to consult your team to collect and analyze their feedback is another DEI training mistake companies are prone to making. Discussing the training program’s process with your staff should be done at every stage. Before you start planning your strategy, ask your employees what they want to achieve through their DEI training. During your planning, collect advice from your SME—whether in-house or outsourced—to ensure that the chosen curriculum, the objectives of the program, and the select resources all align with your mission as an organization. After the launch of your DEI training, set regular check-ins with all participants of the program to gather feedback on the process, the instructors, the material, and any areas of improvement they may have detected during the first sessions.
6. No Connection To The Company Culture
Maintaining dated company mission statements that exclude a clear definition of what diversity and inclusion mean for your company can have a major impact on your talent retention and job satisfaction rates. Moreover, the goals of your DEI training should be directly aligned with your objectives as a people-first company. Company culture is a means to put your DEI training material into practice and create long-term, positive habits for your workforce. What better way to make your DEI initiative a practice with tangible results than embedding it in the very foundation your company was built on?
7. Not Involving Leadership
To incorporate a successful DEI training program, you have to start with your leaders. Leading by example is always a good leadership practice, especially when it comes to starting DEI strategies. Upper management has to contribute and continuously participate in your diversity initiatives so that all employees understand its significance. In addition, leaders themselves must constantly reconsider and reform their leadership style to encourage confidence in their abilities, promote inclusivity and enhance team collaboration. After all, starting a DEI initiative means that your company advocates for no one to be left out.
Creating and implementing a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative aims to drive positive organizational change and form a safe and inclusive work environment for all your employees by educating your workforce. Ensure that your initiative is well-rounded and well-developed by avoiding the most common DEI training mistakes listed above. It shouldn’t be an afterthought but an ongoing strategy that aims toward the constant betterment of your company’s processes. Start now by checking out the top content providers for DEI initiatives to help you launch your own efficient diversity training program for your organization.