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Beyond Just Words – D&I Programs to Meet and Grow With Your Needs

A Continuing the Conversation Series

Training and Education are just singular components of organizational change.  You need to allow for open and constructive dialogue around historically taboo topics in the workplace.

As someone responsible for strategic planning, organizational development, or training and education, how do you implement D&I programs and activities at your organization that facilitates that conversation?

In our most recent webinar – we discussed the current challenges and organizational solutions in diversity and inclusion – such as contemporary D&I challenges, traditional D&I efforts, the changing paradigm, and emerging trends and efforts.

 Let’s continue this conversation…

Question:          How do we get started considering the current climate when D&I is front and center, concurrent with the overwhelming financial pressures and limited bandwidth to devote to these initiatives?

Answer:           Small steps are not that expensive and can be advanced in many instances by the interest and motivation of leadership and staff.

Question:          Should D&I training be added to the anti-harassment training already being taught, or do you find it best to have it as separate and more robust training?

Answer:             Harassment training is the most basic form of training that respects diversity and inclusion and should be provided with dedicated time. There is so much more to explore in diversity and inclusion that it should receive its standalone training (or, for more advanced organizations, training integrated with related topics).

Question:          Where do you recommend starting a D&I program?

Answer:             It is essential to start with gaining leadership’s interest and commitment.  To be successful, this program needs to be initiated with a top-down internal approach.

Question:          What is a D&I assessment?

Answer:             The D&I assessment should be geared toward understanding blind spots in an organization that inhibit diversity and inclusion. This should include a lack of leadership and staff understanding, focus, and commitment regarding central tenets of diversity and inclusion.

Question:        Do you have suggestions on things NOT to do on a D&I Assessment?

Answer:           Limit the assessment to only a traditional understanding of diversity and inclusion.

 Make the assessment only quantitative with no opportunity for contextual comments.

Question:       How do you measure success and understanding?  What about the evaluation portion of the process?  How is it working?  How do you evaluate that?

Answer:             This can be unique to each organization, but an excellent place to start is to define concepts in policy or companion to it and then measure employees’ recognition, understanding, and appreciation for the tenets in this statement.  This way, you know everyone is at least on the same page.

 In addition, an organization can capture a sense of the mood among employees regarding behavior broadly in the organization. Do employees feel as though peers are demonstrating respect for diversity and inclusion? If the organization has specific diversity goals, how is it doing toward meeting these goals?

Question:          Of those organizations that have already developed a D&I program, have any of you initiated Affinity groups or Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and succeeded with that?

Answer:             Syntrio has worked with organizations to help them design, develop and support affinity groups as part of an emerging D&I program.  We plan to feature a webinar on ERGs in early 2021 and hope you join us for that lively discussion.

Question:          Do you have any recommendations for global D&I moments as mentioned for monthly D&I moments/awareness?

Answer:             This is an excellent question to ask the staff as they will know the cultural heritage markers relative to their demographics. In this way, the celebrations fit what your employees care about.

Question:          Do you sell the workshops as an instructor-led packet where our training team can lead the training?  A train the trainer appr

Answer:             At this point, Syntrio provides a skilled facilitator with deep experience in diversity and inclusion. We can discuss alternative solutions depending on your organization’s resources and needs.

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