DEI Know-How: 4 Resources to Help Improve DEI Training in Your Place of Work

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k

Only 36% of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) leaders believe their organization has been effective when creating a more diverse workforce, according to Gartner research.

At the same time, for nine out of 10 Fortune 500 companies, equity is stated as a corporate value, a Harvard Business Review team found.

So, where’s the disconnect? While many businesses want to put DEI at the center of their culture and strategy, too often, they don’t know how to make it effective. How, then, do you not only implement a DEI training program but ensure that it has a positive impact on you and your team?

1. Start with your own employees.

To make DEI training effective, you need buy-in from your team. Start by looking at what your employees really want. For example, administer surveys asking your team members to identify what they believe is working in terms of DEI and what could be improved. Ask for suggestions and ideas for how the organization can promote inclusivity and build up its diverse culture

Consider initiatives you could implement together with your employees, such as establishing Employee Resources Groups (ERGs). When your employees have a hand in strategizing and shaping your DEI programs, they will have a real role in bringing about change.

2. Look to experts and leadership.

Culture starts at the top. Your existing leadership should model the values you want to be infused throughout the organization. Additionally, consider attaining the support and help of experts. Today, many organizations are bringing a chief diversity officer (CDO) on board to define a direction for DEI efforts, craft a policy, and otherwise ideate and maximize the impact of diversity programs and initiatives within the organization.

The CDO will also play an important role in working with your other leaders to set the tone for the rest of the organization.

3. Align your mission and values.

DEI should be central to your mission and values as an organization. Look at your overarching goals and consider how diversity plays a role and supports the larger objectives — and vice versa. Ask yourself questions about how DEI can uphold your values and further your mission.

Again, your team and leadership will play a role in shaping this. You want to ensure that theory and practice go hand in hand and that diversity is emphasized as a critical goal.

4. Use the data.

Internal and external data both have plenty to offer in terms of facilitating and furthering your DEI goals. For one, internal assessments and benchmarks will allow you to see how your programs and initiatives are paying off and what you need to do to improve in terms of diversity and inclusion. Establish KPIs and SMART goals early on so you have measures of the impact of your work.

Remember that DEI training is an ongoing process. You cannot move the needle on the process without continuing to assess the impact of your process. Continue to monitor the data and find ways to improve — that way, you will truly create an organization that prioritizes diversity.

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is an editor and writer based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab-mix Hercules. She primarily focuses on education, technology and career development. She has worked with Penguin Random House, Fairygodboss, CollegeVine, BairesDev and many other publications and organizations. Her humor writing has appeared in the Belladonna, Weekly Humorist, Slackjaw, Little Old Lady Comedy, and Points in Case. She also writes fiction and essays, which have appeared in publications including The Memoirist and The Avalon Literary Review. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.

What’s your no. 1 piece of advice for improving DEI training at your place of work? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!