Five Criteria For High-Quality Diversity Training

The workplace is full of buzzwords … Some that you may know and love (?) are: pivot, synergy, transparency, bandwith

Most started out positive, but have devolved into a joke because they are more talk than walk (another overused workplace buzzphrase).

This year, “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” have also become words the workplace uses more and more. The difference; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) are not just buzzwords.

These values deserve and need to be a focus in our workplace goals and strategies and are far too important to just end up a part of the buzzword pile.

Instead of just talking, taking action to make real change should be part of the strategy going forward and training for your workplace is often a good first step.

Please be aware that the popularity of DE&I has made many trainers become sudden experts; all eager to sell your organization on their training.  When I searched Google 1,370,000,000 results came up under “Diversity Training.”   With so much to choose from, how do you sift through all of these training options and find one that will actually be affordable and make a difference?

To save you time, I researched what makes a good DE&I trainer and combined the information I found into five key criteria.

Training and trainers should…

  1. Focus on changing behavior, not just increasing awareness.
  2. Directly teach actions of inclusion. Do not assume that people know how to intuitively be inclusive even when they want to be.
  3. Encourage leaders to also attend training that is focused on improving their own DEI-related skills.
  4. Offer organizations assistance in setting DE&I strategy and training goals that are actionable and in the forefront of the organization’s goals and work.
  5. Have individuals set a measurable diversity goal to work on outside of the training session. The goal should be just outside their comfort zone with support that encourages, not shames mistakes.

Please keep in mind that even if diversity training for your organization seems impossible right now, you can use the criteria as an inspirational list while you start putting resources towards meaningful intentional workplace changes.