The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

5 Ways to Evolve Your Diversity Training

blog imageHow would your campus community rate your institution’s diversity training initiatives? Do they inspire continued dialogue and action long after class ends, or are the concepts and ideas covered in training sessions left behind when people leave the room? Are you successfully getting your message out?

If you’re not seeing the desired results from your DEI training efforts, it may be time to rethink the message you’re delivering and how you’re delivering it.

In an article in the current issue of CUPA-HR’s The Higher Education Workplace magazine, Daniel Nicolas, coordinator of equal opportunity programs and diversity at Florida International University, offers some proven (and easy-to-implement!) techniques to broaden your reach and make a greater impact with diversity training on campus.

  • Incorporate diversity-related TED Talks into your training. Today’s pertinent issues in diversity touch on sensitive topics in our society, and it can be difficult to find subject matter experts who can authentically speak to these issues. That’s where the popular TED Talks series can come into play, as organizations large and small can easily and inexpensively (read, for free!) incorporate TED Talks into their diversity training.
  • Be a diversity think tank. According to Merriam-Webster, a think tank is defined as “an organization that consists of a group of people who think of new ideas on a particular subject or who give advice about what should be done.” Diversity training within your organization should always include time for participants to share new ideas on the issue or topic being presented. Employee ideas developed through these “think tanks” often lead to unique diversity programs and initiatives for the organization.
  • Utilize your employee resource groups. With the onset of an increasingly diverse workforce, employers should look to their employees as a resource to conduct diversity training. “Hearing it from a peer” can help employees make a personal connection with the topic at hand.
  • Be social. Diversity training and initiatives can be enhanced through social media campaigns. Recently, the federal government launched the #ItsOnUs campaign to end sexual assault on college campuses. The campaign includes short awareness videos on YouTube and a website with tools and resources on dealing with sexual assault on campus. Organizations can use this same model to enact internal campaigns for diversity training.
  • Use technology to your advantage. Today’s workforce is increasingly dynamic and mobile. Accordingly, diversity training programs must evolve in order to accommodate this new workforce. Organizations can incorporate the use of web conferencing platforms for diversity training. To enhance impact, use live trainings via web conferencing instead of pre-recorded webinars. The creation of a virtual environment with live interaction is critical for an engaging experience.

By diversifying your delivery approach and thinking strategically about your DEI training and initiatives and the outcomes you wish to achieve, your DEI content will have a broader reach, a longer shelf life and a greater impact.

Are you taking an innovative or unique approach to diversity training and dialogue at your institution? Have you implemented successful diversity efforts or initiatives that have helped to transform campus culture? If so, submit a nomination for CUPA-HR’s Inclusion Cultivates Excellence Award!

Diversity Resources You May Be Interested In:

  • Building a Successful, More Inclusive Searchthis new e-learning course (now available in both individual and group learning formats) provides tools and resources to help your institution take a more inclusive approach to the search process.