A Complete Guide to Diversity & Inclusion Training for Corporate Employees With Training Material Included

In nature, diversity is the order of the day. Plants and animals embrace diversity in all its glory and celebrate it with zest, enthusiasm, and complete acceptance.

We, humans, are not that lucky or accepting, especially in the way we run our businesses. The enterprises might be as diverse as steel-making to manufacturing paper, but within these, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) are not anywhere near-perfect.

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Businesses want the world to be their playground and target diverse markets, but resist the inclusion of diversity in their ranks.

Our complete course on D&I is designed to sensitize the workforce to embrace Diversity. The trainer can download this comprehensive presentation deck to get the most well-researched content, fortified with impactful designs to deliver a powerful training experience.

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The comprehensive course — with training material included — is also the most credible, relevant resource available online to a query on how to conduct D&I training. The course is structured across eight sessions, which are:

D&I: Working on beliefs, attitudes, and behavior

We start with ‘Bias Acknowledgment’ as Session 1. Without this realization, one fails to spot biases that actually necessitate the study of D&I. The well-researched exercises in the session underline the relevance of D&I as a business concern that must be addressed. The goal is to bring about a positive mindset change as trainees undergo a rigorous intellectual shake-up.

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The in-depth, one-of-its-kind course also touches upon the three devils that plague businesses’ efforts towards D&I. The trainer helps participants identify and deal with Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination in Session II. The approach remains practical with trainees encouraged to subject themselves to rigorous introspection on discriminatory behavior.

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Types of biases and specific, unique strategies to deal with each are presented in Session III. Our 26-slide Session IV on ‘Bias Formation’ allows the trainer to take trainees on an investigation to find the causes of bias.

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Session V builds upon the previous four sessions and introduces trainees to the concept of ‘Understanding’. The idea of Understanding is seen through the prism of Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Equality and Equity (DIBE). The much-confused concepts of Equality and Equity are explained in a fresh, dynamic way. Here, the trainer also gets the chance to discuss the six-question approach to understand culture.

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In Session VI, we list out how the Lack of D&I Practices Impact Businesses. The Starbucks Racial Incident of 2018 is covered to illustrate how quickly matters escalate out of control, when D&I is not a part of the organization DNA.

Our penultimate session talks about the salient features of D&I Policy for Inclusive Leadership. The trainer gets to share the six key traits of an Inclusive Leader.

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We conclude our content repository with D&I Policies for Employees and Diversity Council, the title of Session VIII. This session opens with the hashtag of #Leave No One Behind as the first slide. This is a customable session, where the trainer can key-in the purpose and the scope of D&I Policy that the corporation wants to implement.

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All sessions end with three key indicators of trainees’ involvement in the training. These are:

  1. Key Takeaways
  2. Let’s Discuss
  3. Let’s Test What We Have Learnt

The guide also includes Bonus Material in the form of an Appendix of D&I Activity Calendar, Posters and Mailers. The master slide of the icons used is also provided.

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The preview

SESSION I: BIAS ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Where it all starts

The key learning outcome of Session I is that trainees gain an awareness of how their personal biases influence decision-making.

Experts testify that even though we are not consciously aware of biases that we cultivate, these reflect in our behavior. Biases are like sugar-heavy drinks, giving us the energy and the capability to make quick, off-the-cuff decisions. These are palpable to all, except the person exhibiting the bias.

Session I is designed to help trainees see the problem and its many manifestations. The trainer is provided the required resources to tackle the issue head-on. The first exercise is a picture puzzle, where the trainer can demonstrate that how the ‘mere appearance of an individual’ is a source of great bias. If unchecked, this can be a source of great grief or delirious happiness.

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Another pictorial exercise lets the existence of bias sink in further.

Thought-provoking, open-ended questions add to the increasing clarity among trainees on the concept of bias. An activity, Completing the Wheel, lets the trainer and trainees interact as they resolve the issue of bias. Finally, a consensus may or may not emerge, but the entire training effort has made its point.

The Circle of Trust activity is also a must-do for better understanding of bias.

The self-reflective questionnaire on Unconscious Prejudice brings out each trainee’s ‘uniquely-placed’ bias across race, gender, sexuality, weight etc. This session offers links to take Harvard University’s bias test, also known as the Implicit Association Test.

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Next, our session offers datapoints and empirical evidence to help the trainer build a strong business case for the elimination of bias.

These include a CNBC study, which shows that the color of your skin sets you up for 33% lower hourly pay in the US.

Some penalty, this, for the way God made you. For those on the other side of the divide, the same facts should be taken as a lottery, but are taken as rightful entitlement. Trainers who download this pioneering course may use this as a discussion point. This may spark a heated debate, but will add real value to the learning from the path-breaking course.

SESSION II: STEREOTYPE, PREJUDICE, DISCRIMINATION

The key learning outcome of Session II is that trainees can let go of personal discriminatory behavior, if any, when armed with the correct tools. They are also given an understanding of how such discriminatory behavior is the result of unchecked stereotypes and prejudices. The session also lists out preventive measures and Memes to drive home the point.

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The hands-on session puts the spotlight on the actual tackling of stereotypes and prejudices in day-to-day work situations. Before doing this, the course design, backed by tons of research, ensures that everyone in the hall grasps the three concepts.

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Of several actionable takeaways from the session, the one that the trainers may try and drill into the trainees is that workplace discrimination leads to poor employee engagement and satisfaction. A brand, built painstakingly over decades, might just evaporate overnight if managers and agenda-setters in business fail to up their guard against stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination.

SESSION III: TYPES OF BIASES

The key learning outcome of Session III is to ensure that trainees learn to identify multiple types of biases (those tempting and seductive sugary drinks mentioned earlier). The trainee also learns that biases have disproportionate results. Here, small problems mean a major catastrophe.

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The session brings trainees up to speed on the 11 types of biases that lower productivity or trap businesses to take sub-optimal decisions, especially during recruitment. The session concerns itself with the two big HOWs on each of the biases listed; its impact on the workplace and how to control biases from running riot?

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The session helps the trainer answer another HOW on the process through which stereotypes result into biased judgments in the selection process. The integrated course content across all eight sessions mean that such backward and forward linkages are frequent and help in better retention, and hopefully, a change in behavior.

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The session ends with a seven-question slide that seeks detailed responses from trainees on how biases have affected them.

SESSION IV: REASONS BEHIND BIAS FORMATION

The key learning of the relatively short Session IV is to ensure that trainees become mindful of the reasons that lead to bias formation. The trainer has been given the straightforward job of listing out the causes that, fundamentally, are beyond anybody’s control.

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The session emphasizes that Cultural Conditioning, is amenable, somewhat to human will and effort. The five-step process is explained in detail to identify stages where the trainer may suggest remedial action and prevent the formation of biases

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At this stage in the course, the trainer may also put forward the pretty mature, if shocking, claim. He/she can confidently claim that a person’s background, his life experiences make his/her story. The Cultural Conditioning process, then, ends with the punchline of ‘Our Life Story Creates our Biases’.

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The session digs deep into our physiology and brain functioning. It ekes out the conclusion that biases are needed as a survival mechanism, but we humans have, effectively, given it far too much power over us.

SESSION V: UNDERSTANDING DIBE (DIVERSITY, INCLUSION, BELONGING AND EQUITY

The key learning outcome of Session V is that D&I and Equity lead to Achievement of Excellence across organisations. The credo for businesses seeking to achieve excellence is also listed out, which is that ‘Every Individual is provided with similar opportunity to achieve their full potential’.

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Business and organizations that catch this insight from our result-oriented guide can aim to be integrated, engaged and empowered. We illustrate the DIBE through our three Olympic rings; it is indeed an Olympian effort to tackle D&I.

The trainer then takes up another how on the impact of DIBE on business, and its benefits.

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The six-step approach to acceptance of diversity is designed to ensure that the complete overhaul of the organisation is carried out. The trainees can have a deadline for each of the steps, if the group decides.

The path-breaking course is intended to result in better and more business. The idea of a ‘Varied Person’ is also discussed.

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The Four-Dimensions Approach to Diversity highlights the way the concept is perceived with the individual personality, at the Centre. Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Theory is presented in an innovative manner to add intellectual heft to the session.

The trainer then ends with the idea of how to inculcate Belonging at the workplace, as an integration (not addition) of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. The gold-standard course also represents the ideas of Equality and Equity in a wonderfully-done visual explanation.

Session VI: LACK OF D&I PRACTICES AND THEIR IMPACT ON BUSINESS

The key learning outcome of Session VI is that the immediate impact of lack of D&I in an organization is akin to a major earthquake. Rebuilding is massively expensive and brands lose credibility and may even have to rethink how they offer value.

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The idea is for the trainer to really push for positive D&I as a permanent facet of businesses with a case study.

The long-term impact on business due to lack of D&I practices is discussed from a 360-degree perspective. It is illustrated, with example, of what happens when businesses go ‘tone-deaf’ in terms of products and services they offer.

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At this stage, the trainer has a slide that talks about the Impact of Good D&I in business. Of the six major benefits on the slide, the trainer may prefer to discuss a couple in detail. The session also throws up questions that engage the trainees, helping them master D&I in both theory and practice.

The session ends with questions that spur action on issues like the formation of a Diversity Task Force. The trainer may give some time to the trainees to come up with ideas to foster D&I into their workplace.

As the issue concerns policy, the leadership team of businesses have to be convinced of the efficacy of D&I. This is what the course guide dwells upon in Section VII.

SECTION VII: D&I POLICY FOR INCLUSIVE LEADERSHIP

The key learning outcome of Session VII is to see how complete commitment to an inclusive D&I creates its own brand of leadership. The trainer is invited, and offers resources, to dig deep into Inclusive Leadership and hope that some of the trainees can cotton on to some of these.

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Next up, our course offers behavior pattern that Inclusive Leaders have to get used to measure up to the challenge of driving performance in the business set-up. The session offers expected outcomes in situations of both High and Low Diversity. Moving the boundary is an idea that the trainer and the trainees can take home and reflect upon, at leisure.

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The session creates a fertile ground for change with a study sourced from Deloittee that tracks the exponential growth of companies that focus on Inclusive Leadership.

SESSION VIII: D&I POLICIES FOR EMPLOYEES AND DIVERSITY COUNCIL

In today’s online world, the hashtag that business have to follow has to be #Leave No One Behind, be it customers or the staff. The key learning outcome of Session VIII is that it is possible to breathe life into the workplace poster, ALL ARE WELCOME. D&I is workable and indeed, desirable.

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A bonus learning for top management is that it is indeed worth allocating your manpower to introduce, track and then actually measure D&I’s productive impact. At this stage, it is not something that you can put on account books and measure against cost. The punch, however, is that D&I gives you the option to do three things:

  1. Act as a source of competitive advantage
  2. Recognize inappropriate conduct with speed, before it harms the business
  3. Transform the process of recruitment

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For the trainer, the trainer lists the way in which business defines its D&I Policy and its purpose in their specific and unique context. A standard, well-working policy statement and requirements is provided. The policy inclusions and managers’ responsibilities towards these are delineated. It is also to declared that the organization is an Equal Opportunity Organization.

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As a process to internalize D&I, the process of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) is explained in detail with a slide devoted to its benefits. The trainer also gets to familiarize trainees with special accommodation requirements of specific diverse groups.

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The end-game in the session is about Diversity Council formation, which the CEO is generally mandated to lead. Its ingredients for success are listed out to increase the chances of success. The uniquely-designed Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed (RACI) matrix for each hierarchy level in the Diversity Council is introduced as a tool to measure results.

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