June 27, 2019

Driving Growth with Diversity Training

The new generation of diversity and inclusion training is much more than a well-intentioned HR-initiative, it’s delivering real results: the 2019 L&D Report from findcourses.com confirms that the fastest-growing companies are 72% more likely to have high diversity in their organization compared to the ones that didn’t see growth last year.

The bottom line is that diverse team is no longer a pipe dream – it’s a pipeline leading to increased company growth and innovation. Read on to learn how and to what effect industry leaders are implementing comprehensive D&I training programs at their companies.


Avoid the one-size-fits-all solution

A good D&I program is only as strong as the sum of its parts. It should be multi-pronged, involve more than one delivery method, and be developed over time. Since 1943, the Association ofJunior Leagues International has been growing their multifaceted D&I practices into the comprehensive program it is today. According to the VP ofPrograms, Janine le Sueur: “It is true that a single training or resource cannot solve prejudice.”

Their approach combines online and print resources with in-person conferences, which the company’s Chief LearningOfficer JuWon Choi hopes will give “members the confidence to become D&I advocates” themselves. The conference is held three times a year and focuses on topics like microaggressions, unconscious bias, and blind spots. These sessions have proved to be extremely popular.

It’s worth taking a page out of JuniorLeague’s book by implementing intentional, systematic action to make D&Icentral to all aspects of your organization.

Max Avruch of BCG Digital Ventures credits the impressive success of D&I training to the increased use of multi-model approaches and what he calls “radical inclusion.” According to Avruch, the company’s learning and organizational development specialist, radical inclusion relies on a company culture that embraces diversity in a multitude of ways.Formal training meets a strategy tailored to the specific company’s needs. He explains the overarching goal of D&I training as the following: “It’s the notion of really trying to include everyone and not feeling like there’s the segregation that can easily happen in a work-type community.”


Harness difference

When you’re tasked with making important decisions, having different cultural voices at the table is an exceptional competitive advantage. As one of the principal pharmaceutical companies with a presence in 120 countries, this is something Merck understands well. “When thinking about our mission, there’s strength in our differences,” says Texanna Reeves, Executive Director of the Global Diversity and Inclusion Center ofExcellence at Merck.

Having a diverse team is more than wishful thinking at Merck – it’s imperative. Not only do they need to translate medicine packaging into different languages for their customers around the globe, they must also consider how medicine will be perceived culturally.Whether in the lab, in clinical trials, or in the office, diverse perspectives are crucial when you’re in the business of saving lives.


The route to growth begins with diversity

Research shows that companies with diverse and inclusive workforces experience more growth and are in turn more profitable.

Take Bayer for example. They can thank their stellar diversity program for winning The Catalyst Award, which is the highest honor for diversity in the United States. Their Head of U.S. Learning and Talent Development, Karen Bicking, attributes this success to their active promotion of women in the workplace: “We have programs geared toward diversity and inclusion, so we partner with some external organizations to help develop our women leaders.”

Other companies like Ernst & Young are using diversity to set themselves apart from the competition and to spark innovation amongst the team. Martin Hayter, their Global Assurance LearningLeader describes their workplace culture:

“The team has a global flavor to it. It brings more creativity and higher quality and we know that the content we develop is going to be applicable to different cultures, and to both emerging and mature markets.”

D&I is becoming a global trend. As highlighted in findcourses.co.uk’s 2019 L&D Report, D&I is one of the five most demanded training courses in 2019. Organizations are becoming more aware of the importance of developing these areas, because when it comes to D&I training, companies that fall behind will get left behind. If you don’t want your company counted among the 48% who have yet to offer any type of D&I training, there’s no time like the present to start implementing your own diversity development strategy.

*This blog is from contributing writers from findcourses.co.uk

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