DEI Training: How to Position Your Organization for Growth 

Veselka Hristova - 7 min read

A happy employee smiling whilst working on his computer

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training is a vital component of any organization looking to grow and thrive in today’s global workforce. It helps organizations to create a culture of inclusivity and belonging for their employees.  

A recent LinkedIn survey shows that more than 75% of employees and prospective candidates view diversity as an important factor when considering job offers. In fact, organizations that embrace DEI are 22% more likely to be seen as an industry-leading company with high-caliber talent and 12% more likely to be seen as an inclusive workplace for people of diverse backgrounds. 

How is your organization positioned to embrace diversity for business growth? This article will focus on the importance of achieving DEI goals for today’s businesses and how upskilling and training your leadership is a step in the right direction.  

Understanding DEI Training 

DEI training plays a crucial role in organizations by promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. It helps create an inclusive culture that values diverse perspectives, addressing unconscious biases and ensuring equal access for all employees. Inclusive leadership is a key aspect of DEI training, empowering organizations to challenge stereotypes and create an equitable workplace.  

By embracing diversity training and incorporating different types of DEI initiatives, organizations can build a diverse workforce that includes people of color, individuals with diverse backgrounds, and those of varying sexual orientations. DEI training programs have a social impact and are tailored to the geographic location and needs of the entire organization.  

Importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in an Organization 

  1. Promotes inclusivity: Empowering your employees to know the different angles of gender identities, ethnicities and backgrounds fosters an inclusive environment. With proper DEI training, organizations can overcome systemic barriers and promote collaboration among team members. 
  1. Supports professional development: An inclusive workplace culture supports the professional development of diverse employees. When an organization encourages DEI training, employees bring in fresher perspectives that contribute to the business goals.  
  1. Attracts and retains diverse talent: Organizations that prioritize diversity and inclusion attract and train exceptional talent, leading to a more innovative and productive workforce.  
  1. Positive impact on society: DEI training is a critical step towards building an inclusive organization that positively impacts the society as a whole.  

The Various Types of DEI Training 

There are different types of DEI training that collectively contribute to building a diverse workforce, promoting anti-racism, and creating a socially impactful and inclusive organization.  

Awareness Training  

Awareness training introduces the employees to the diverse cultures, races, genders, sexual orientations and ethnicities that make up a workplace. This type of training is fundamental to organizations seeking the basic DEI training for their employees. Employees are better able to understand workplace equity and how their words and deeds may affect their coworkers as a result of this awareness.  

It helps individuals recognize and challenge their biases, particularly unconscious bias, which can have a significant impact on workplace dynamics. By providing tools and techniques to address implicit bias, awareness training promotes a more equitable work environment. Effective awareness training contributes to the creation of a culture of inclusivity, where everyone feels valued and heard.  

Cultural Sensitivity Training 

Cultural sensitivity training teaches employees how to better understand the cultural quirks and traditions of others. This training empowers employees to be more courteous and sincere in their interactions with others, while building key relationships across units. Cultural sensitivity training is beneficial for organizations with teams working at several locations with a high degree of diversity.  

Cultural sensitivity training in DEI aims to nurture employees’ understanding and appreciation of diverse cultural practices and norms. Organizations provide insights into different cultural backgrounds, promoting intercultural communication skills and fostering an inclusive work environment where individuals of diverse backgrounds feel respected and valued.  

Cultural sensitivity programs help reduce misunderstandings that may arise from cultural differences and enable employees to navigate diverse settings with sensitivity and respect.  

Anti-Oppression Training 

Anti-oppression training is a crucial component for organizations aiming to understand and address systemic oppression. This training delves into the impact of power, privilege, and bias on both individuals and organizations. By engaging in anti-oppression training, organizations can foster a more inclusive and equitable workplace culture.  

This type of training typically involves interactive activities and discussions that aim to increase awareness and understanding. It is essential for organizations to select a training provider with extensive experience and knowledge in anti-oppression work. With anti-oppression training, organizations can take proactive measures towards creating a diverse workforce, promoting social impact, and embracing individuals from diverse backgrounds and geographic locations. 

Microaggressions Training 

Microaggressions training plays a crucial role in equipping individuals with the knowledge and skills to recognize and address subtle forms of discrimination. Through this training, participants gain a deeper understanding of how microaggressions can impact marginalized communities, fostering empathy and promoting inclusive behaviors. The program goes beyond awareness by providing practical strategies to respond to and prevent microaggressions in the workplace.  

Moreover, discussions on power dynamics, privilege, and bias further enhance participants’ understanding of systemic issues. By incorporating microaggression training into their diversity training initiatives, organizations can create a more inclusive and equitable workplace culture that values the diverse backgrounds and experiences of its employees.  

Inclusive Management Training 

Inclusive management training plays a vital role in DEI initiatives by equipping leaders with the skills necessary to create an inclusive environment and effectively manage diverse teams. Managers who undergo DEI training are better equipped to implement inclusive practices such as diverse representation and equitable decision-making. They understand the importance of providing equal opportunities for career growth and development, ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to thrive within the organization.  

For instance, Elev8 supports diversity in tech through several initiatives to promote innovation especially for digital leaders. 

DEI training enables managers to recognize and address systemic barriers that may hinder the success of diverse employees, fostering a supportive and inclusive workplace. Inclusive leadership not only supports the growth and well-being of team members but also contributes to the overall success of the entire organization. 

How DEI Training Contributes to Organizational Growth? 

According to McKinsey, top-quartile companies with ethnic and cultural diversity are 36% more profitable than those in the fourth quartile. Here are some of the ways training your employees could positively impacts your organization’s growth:  

Enhances Employee Engagement  

DEI training plays a crucial role in enhancing employee engagement within organizations. By creating an inclusive environment where all voices are heard and valued, DEI training increases employee engagement. Inclusive organizations that prioritize diversity training foster a sense of belonging for diverse employees and promote equal opportunities for growth and development. This leads to higher employee satisfaction. Engaging employees through DEI training encourages active participation and collaboration in problem-solving and decision-making. 

Improves Company Culture  

DEI training is a crucial component in improving company culture and fostering an inclusive work environment. By promoting diversity and equity, such training programs contribute to a positive culture that values and respects individuals from diverse backgrounds. This, in turn, leads to increased employee morale and satisfaction. DEI training also encourages open dialogue, creating a safe space for addressing sensitive topics related to diversity – be it sexual orientation, racial equality, or social impact.  

Building an Effective DEI Training Program 

To build an effective DEI training program, organizations need to put in place some best practices that ensure employees understand the programs and showcase the skills they have learned in their daily activities within the workplace:  

Identify your DEI Goals and Training Needs 

To effectively implement diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, it is crucial to identify the organization’s current state and training needs. This involves assessing existing DEI efforts, pinpointing gaps in employee knowledge and understanding, and determining specific training requirements. Surveys and interviews can be conducted to gather insights and feedback from employees. Analyzing data helps uncover unconscious biases and systemic barriers that may hinder progress.  

By considering factors such as demographics, geographic location, and social impact, a comprehensive plan can be developed for DEI training programs.  

Personalize DEI Training for your Organization 

Personalizing DEI training for your organization is crucial in addressing the unique needs and challenges of your workforce. By tailoring the training, you can ensure that it is relevant to employees of different backgrounds and experiences. One effective way to personalize DEI training is by incorporating real-life examples and case studies, which promote empathy and understanding among participants.  

Additionally, offering interactive and engaging training sessions enhances learning and retention. It is important to ensure that DEI training is accessible to all employees, regardless of their location or role within the organization. By personalizing DEI training, you can create a more inclusive and diverse workplace that fosters growth and social impact. Elev8 offers customized training experiences to suit your organization’s business needs and individual learning styles.  

How Does DEI Training Fit into the Broader Strategy? 

Including DEI training into your broader strategy helps foster an inclusive organizational culture. But how do you ensure that your DEI program aligns with your broad organizational goals?  

 Firstly, include diversity, equality and inclusivity beliefs in your organization’s mission. Most top firms imbibe this practice to reduce biases and stereotypes in the workplace. Secondly, foster a sense of belonging in your workplace. Before introducing DEI training, equip your employees to be a part of a bigger picture with equal access. Lastly, support leadership with clear guidelines on how to manage a diverse team.  

The Role of Continuous Feedback in DEI Implementation 

Incorporating regular feedback loops into DEI training programs is essential for ongoing evaluation and improvement. By actively seeking feedback from participants, organizations can identify areas where further training is needed and make necessary adjustments. This continuous feedback fosters a culture of open dialogue and collaboration, allowing individuals to share their perspectives and suggestions for improvement.  

Encouraging feedback leads to more impactful and effective learning experiences, as participants feel seen and heard. It also supports the integration of DEI principles into everyday work practices, ensuring that diversity, equity, and inclusion are ingrained throughout the entire organization. By prioritizing continuous feedback, organizations can create a space for growth and evolution in their DEI efforts. 

Achieve Your Growth & DEI Goals With Training 

DEI training is crucial for organizations looking to position themselves for growth and success in a diverse and inclusive environment. It not only helps foster a sense of belonging and equity within the organization but also enhances employee engagement and improves company culture. By identifying DEI goals and training needs, personalizing the training program, and integrating continuous feedback, organizations can create an effective DEI strategy that aligns with their broader goals. Moreover, DEI training plays a vital role in achieving diversity goals in leadership positions, paving the way for a more inclusive and representative leadership team. 

Elev8 leads diversity, equity and inclusion programs in collaborations with top organizations to create meaningful change across the globe. If you’re interested in positioning your business for growth through DEI training for your employees, get in touch with us.