How to Plan DEIB Training Sessions for Your Workplace
When was the last time you experienced something at work that really resonated with you? Guru recently had a DEIB learning session with Christine Ramsay, the Founder and CEO of Ignite Inclusion LLC. Her talk, The Extraordinary Power of Neurodiversity, helped educate employees on neurodivergent individuals.
To say that we all learned a lot would be an understatement. Employees were engaged, happy to participate, and eager to learn. Some even opened up and shared their own stories and experiences with neurodiversity.
We love seeing this energy, acceptance, and openness at work. That’s why we want to help you facilitate DEIB training at your company.
The benefits of DEIB training
Pleasant feelings and bonding moments aside, DEIB training is good for your company’s bottom line. The numbers don’t lie. A study from Research and Markets revealed that inclusive teams are 35% more productive and that diverse companies tend to earn 2.5x higher cash flow per employee. DEIB training has been shown to improve the strength and effectiveness of a workplace. Organizations that take time to foster diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces also tend to have reduced employee turnover. In fact, businesses that employ strong DEI measures are 2.6x more likely to increase employee engagement and retention.
Overall, DEIB training can do a lot to help teams and employees feel more empowered at work. Training that involves bystander intervention modules can help everyone model good behavior at work. Management can gain an understanding of how different factors can affect recruiting, hiring, work assessments, and promotions. Employees can feel more accepted and understood at work and may even feel a little pride in knowing that they work for a company that reflects their values.
How to bring DEIB training sessions to your company
Planning a DEIB training session can be rewarding and important work, but it also takes plenty of time, thought, and expertise to get right. If you’re ready to start planning DEIB training for your workplace, we have some tips that can help make your first one a success.
Talk to employees
You may have an established DEIB council at work that’s in charge of planning all DEIB-related activities. Or maybe you’re new to DEIB and are eager to start holding workshops and talks. Regardless of where you’re at in your DEIB journey, employees will play a significant role in deciding what work and topics you take on.
Consider sending out a survey to the company to see what DEIB topics interest them. Ask questions to see if there are any groups they’d like to learn more about, skills they want to develop, and questions they may have about your DEIB work and goals.
Commit to your work
Education around diversity, inclusion, and belonging shouldn’t be a one-and-done thing. Companies committing themselves to DEIB will need to keep up with training and other activities to reach their goals.
DEIB work should be continuous and woven into the core of your overall company strategy. Developing a cadence around when you want to hold specific training sessions, talks, and activities can make it easier to reach certain DEIB-related commitments and goals.
Create leadership buy-in
Getting people to participate in DEIB work will be hard if their manager scoffs at the idea of losing an hour or two to a session or workshop. When Managers, VPs, and other company leaders understand the importance of your educational sessions, finding the time and resources for DEIB work gets much easier.
Before you start your company-wide training, consider doing a little training for people in leadership about your DEIB strategy. Show them why it’s important to value DEIB in the workplace and how it can benefit them and their teams directly. Give managers plenty of notice before a training session so they can weave that into their team’s schedules.
Bring in the experts
Most workplace training gets handled by HR professionals and team managers. Although they might be the right people to teach employees about new company policies or projects, they may not be the right people to run talks and workshops on diversity and inclusion.
There are plenty of professional DEIB consultants you can work with within a variety of niches. If you’re having trouble finding someone to cover a certain topic, consider reaching out to different social and professional groups in your city for suggestions.
Think about prep work
DEIB work can cover topics and concepts that might be difficult for some people to understand. Having people come to your education sessions with an open mind and a little background information can be a big help.
We’ve used Guru Cards to help get people ready for upcoming DEIB sessions. Creating Cards with embedded videos, educational readings, podcasts, and links to relevant articles can help get people in the right mindset. If you’re working with a facilitator, ask them if they have any suggestions for helpful pre-work.
Lead with empathy
The nature of DEIB work can require employees to talk about complex subjects that are very close to people’s hearts and identities. There may be employees who are intimately familiar with the subject at hand, so it’s essential for people to feel respected and safe during these sessions. Encourage everyone to participate with empathy and acknowledge the emotional weight of the subject you’re dealing with. Leave judgment at the door and motivate people to listen to different perspectives instead of assuming or concluding.
If you want to truly see your DEIB work make an impact, building a workplace culture that creates psychological safety for every employee is crucial. We're committed to creating a work experience where all employees feel a sense of inclusivity and belonging at Guru. We embrace diverse experiences, backgrounds, and skill sets to make us stronger and smarter. It’s that critical cultural difference that makes our DEIB work that much more effective.
Make material accessible
When we can, we record our training sessions to make them available to everyone afterward. This makes it easy for people who can’t attend to reap the benefits of the session and can also serve as an excellent way for people to easily revisit what they’ve learned. Putting recordings, notes, and other important information in Guru also helps us have a record of all of our DEIB work. It allows us to easily revisit past sessions to see what we can improve upon next.
Surveys can be an excellent way to measure engagement and think about future improvements you can make to your program. Follow up your DEIB session with a survey (we really love those things) so you can gauge what went well and think about what to do differently in the future.
Ask if people thought the training they just went through was effective. See if the training covered material they expected to learn or if they felt like the work raised their awareness of a particular topic.
DEIB for your company
DEIB has the power to positively transform workplaces, and you can bring it to your company through training sessions, talks, and other methods. A company culture that’s built on a foundation of inclusivity and belonging is one that’s set up for success. Whether you want to boost employee morale, retention, and engagement or give your company a competitive edge, it can all start with the right DEIB training.