How to Measure Diversity and Inclusion Training Success
Read Time: 3 minutes
Measuring the success of diversity and inclusion training is not a straight-forward as other training topics; it takes long-term tracking, benchmarking, and qualitative measurement. The best results come from creating a diversity and inclusion initiative and continually making improvements – from leadership down.
Start by determining your focus, where your most significant opportunities are, where you want to make an impact with a long term plan. Together with your learning partners, you can decide the most impactful activities for your teams – you may consider a long-term blended learning program.
The most successful training programs are rooted in solid instructional design and metrics to track learners’ progress. But when you have a complex subject such as diversity and inclusion – how do you know if your program is making an impact?
In this article, we will review diversity and inclusion training basics, how you can measure success, and what it takes to be a long-term advocate for diversity and inclusion.
Does Your Organization Need Diversity Training?
Although it’s a much talked about topic right now, let’s dive into what diversity and inclusion training (D&I) covers and why it’s essential.
D&I training addresses the differences that we face as humans and how we can work together to understand, accept, and value the differences between people in the workplace.
These differences can include:
- Sexual Orientation
- Socio-economic Status
- Physical and Mental Ability
Organizations should consider adding or emphasizing D&I programs in their training strategy because it can not only address issues causing conflict within the workplace, but it can bring awareness to problems such as unconscious bias, cultural competency, and even lead to better performance from your employees.
When our learning solutions team talks to clients about diversity and inclusion training, we advise that D&I shouldn’t just be limited to a one-day training session; it should be a cultural practice within your organization supported through your leaders, employees, policies, and culture.
How to Measure Diversity Training Success
Measuring the success of D&I training is not as straight-forward as other training topics; it takes long-term tracking, benchmarking, and qualitative measurement. It’s crucial to stay on track, even if you don’t immediately have tangible metrics to report back.
Percentage Changes in Leadership Demographics
McKinsey’s global study of more than 1,000 companies found that organizations with the most gender-diverse leadership teams were more likely to outperform profitability (21%) and value creation (27%).
Your organization can take benchmarks from your geographic area or your industry and use those stats to set D&I leadership goals. Over time, you can measure the diversity of your leadership team, though:
- Percentage of Women in Leadership
- Percentage of Minorities in Leadership
- Rates of Changes in these Roles
Demographic Makeup of Employees
McKinsey’s global study also found that organizations in the top quartile for ethnic/cultural diversity were more likely to achieve above-average profitability. If your leadership reflects diversity, paired with unconscious bias training, it can lead to more diverse recruiting and hiring practices.
Unconscious bias plays a significant role in hiring at organizations. By evaluating your employees’ demographic, you can identify areas that can benefit from diversity training to break the habits of hiring new employees similar to themselves. Even beyond hiring, unconscious bias also extends into reviews, promotions, teamwork, and project management. When applying unconscious bias D&I training to leaders and employees, you can create a more inclusive, collaborative, and prosperous workplace.
Feedback from Survey Results
Regular employee surveys (quarterly, yearly, etc.) are important to keep your employees top of mind and ensure your leadership is in touch with the organization’s needs. You can add questions to collect employee feedback on their experiences with inclusion at the organization. By tracking yearly responses, you can mark the trends that your employees are experiencing.
Some questions may include:
- I see strong leadership support of the firm’s value of diversity and inclusion. (Disagree/Agree)
- I believe that people of all cultures and backgrounds are respected and valued here. (Disagree/Agree)
- I am comfortable talking about my background and cultural experiences with my colleagues. (Disagree/Agree)
- Management demonstrates a commitment to meeting the needs of employees with disabilities. (Disagree/Agree)
- There is a career development path for all employees at this firm. (Disagree/Agree)
HR Reports Based on Diversity
By building a culture that allows employees to feel comfortable reporting D&I issues to HR, you can spot trends within your organization – whether favorable or not – and create an action plan to ensure the D&I initiative is continually evolving.
Diversity and Inclusion Should Be a Journey, Not a Sprint
With the increased interest in D&I training, we have consulted many organizations worldwide on what kind of training is most impactful; we advise that D&I training be a journey – not a sprint.
But what does that mean?
Create a diversity and inclusion initiative and identify how you can continually make improvements – from leadership down.
Create a diversity and inclusion initiative and identify how you can continually make improvements – from leadership down. Start by determining your focus, where your most significant opportunities are, where you want to make an impact with a long term plan. Together with your learning partners, you can decide the most impactful activities for your teams – you may consider a long-term blended learning program.
An example of a D&I blended learning program would look like this:
- Emailing out a senior leader video talking about the D&I initiative and why it’s important.
- Assigning an eLearning module about inclusive terms and practices.
- Using a 360º VR activity to put the learner in a role-reversal to allow them to walk in someone else’s shoes.
- Giving personal reflection questions for the learner to work on after the VR activity.
- During a 1:1 coaching conversation, discuss the VR activity and reflect on the experience with employees
- Host virtual instructor-led training sessions for leaders to share how their teams are doing and check-in on progress throughout the organization.
Are you Ready to Include D&I in Your Training Program?
Diversity and inclusion is a challenging subject to tackle and even tougher to measure and report on. An experienced learning partner, such as Roundtable Learning, can bring you ideas, advice, and support to help your organization exceed your goals and find success.