How Diversity and Inclusion Training Drives Growth & Innovation

 How Diversity and Inclusion Training Drives Growth & Innovation

The era of one-off boardroom sessions to tackle diversity and inclusion (D&I) training are long behind us. The contemporary training market has dramatically shifted. With the advent of new technologies and refreshed understandings of D&I, some organizations’ innovative approaches to D&I training are having a significant impact on their daily operations, growth, and potential for innovation.

According to findcourses.com’s 2019 Learning and Development (L&D) report, companies that have seen growth over the past year are 72% more likely to have high levels of diversity than companies who didn’t see growth. Emphasizing D&I in your organization is not only the right way to operate within the realities of today’s marketplace, it’s the best way to see your company flourish at every level.

Practicing training professionals have identified some key strategies to implement a culture of D&I through training that will foster an inclusive and innovative workplace. Read on to discover how you can change the status quo of your company’s diversity infrastructure, and bring diversity and inclusion through the doors of your office!

Training Meets Radical Inclusion
Training modules have their value, but to make a culture of D&I stick, it’s important to illustrate to employees that D&I training is more than a mandatory HR initiative.

In the report, companies with executives who are highly engaged in Learning and Development (L&D) were 3x more likely to say their company had a culture of innovation. To round out their formal training sessions, BCG Digital Ventures gives its entire senior leadership unconscious bias training to ensure that upper management is well prepared to engage with D&I on a daily basis.  Having upper management engaged with D&I training sets the entire organization up for embracing a culture of inclusivity, and provides the opportunity to drive innovative diversity practices from the top down.

However, top-down D&I training strategies won’t create real change all on their own. For example, D&I training across organizational hierarchies can help your talent acquisition team tackle their own unconscious biases while hiring and help to build more diversity in your organization from the bottom-up. In findcourses.co.uk’s 2019 L&D report, 72% of market leaders revealed that they use talent development as a recruitment strategy. Showing potential employees that D&I is central to your training strategy will demonstrate your organization’s dedication to creating a truly inclusive workplace.

Complementing training with company-wide inclusion campaigns is an innovative way to make D&I training successful and sustainable. Max Avruch, the learning and development specialist at BCG DV has seen the success of radical inclusion play out in real time, from the training room into employees’ day-to-day performance.

In a recent celebration of LGBTQ+ pride, BCG DV posted Kinsey scales in all of their company washroom stalls and invited employees to anonymously mark their position on the scale. Taking the steps to think outside the box and illustrate the already existing diversity of an organization is a simple and direct way to shift workplace culture away from unconscious bias. For Avruch, “It was a way for us to show diversity on our walls and to show people there is a spectrum around orientation.”

Every employee within an organization will benefit from tackling their unconscious biases, and so will your business!

Increase Your Competitive Advantage With D&I
A diverse workplace is a reflection of the contemporary workforce and today’s highly globalized market. Operating in over 150 countries, Ernst & Young (EY) has noticed a rise in competitive advantage by forming diverse teams. With higher productivity and higher quality of outputs, Martin Hayter, Global Assurance Learning Leader at EY explains that his “team has a global flavour to it…and we know that the content we develop is going to be applicable to different cultures, and to both emerging and mature markets.”

Bringing your employee demographics into the 21st century can benefit your organization in a multitude of ways, from higher innovation and productivity, more inclusive leadership and better customer service, diverse workplaces are proven to be more successful overall than non-diverse workplaces.

In terms of growth, studies have shown that top quartile companies for ethnic diversity and gender diversity were 33% and 21% more likely to report higher profitability than those in the bottom quartile. According to the report, diverse organizations were 22% more likely to offer D&I training to their employees. Shifting your workplace culture from top to bottom can help bring more diversity into your organization, increase profitability, increase D&I training opportunities, and create a harmonious cycle of inclusivity that will carry your business into the future.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and building an inclusive workplace culture is a long journey. Emphasizing D&I training and innovative inclusivity are effective first steps to give your company and your employees the tools they need to understand D&I, put it into practice, and reap the multitudes of benefits.

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Max Maccarone is a content editor for the higher education portal educations.com and professional development search engine findcourses.com. Originally from Canada, Max relocated to Stockholm after graduating from York University in Toronto. An avid traveller, Max is dedicated to creating diverse and engaging learning and development content for a wide-range of publications.

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