Dale Callender – Employment law Attorney,

Tony Simmons –  President SBSI Consulting Solutions


One key to maintaining a successful D&I program is to periodically assess whether its goals are being met, or need to be recalibrated. The rapidly changing business environment, coupled with our turbulent political climate, may motivate businesses to update their D&I programs. Today’s post addresses this idea in relation to D&I training and follow-up.

The best training programs provide a foundation for understanding D&I principles and how D&I supports business goals. They provide tools for handling day to day diversity issues. However, these programs have been criticized for creating resistance to change by failing to address deep-seated biases, for alienating white males, and for failing to produce measurable differences in the numbers of minorities and women in the workplace.

Some ideas to consider when thinking about updating your D&I training:

  1. have you been approaching diversity as a problem that can be managed with one-time, one-day training, or have you acknowledged that creating a diverse and inclusive culture is a lengthy process entailing changes in your organization and its culture? What implications does this have for training and other interventions?
  2. have you addressed cognitive resistance to change? Once training is over, do employees have the opportunity to express divergent views? When views are aired, how do you help people understand the “big picture” versus their individual perspectives? Are mechanisms, such as self-managed teams and mentoring, in place to provide experiences that can reduce resistance? Are employees given the tools to handle workplace conflict?
  3. if the training has not helped promote measurable, structural changes in, e.g., recruitment, retention and promotion practices, what additional steps must be taken to achieve a better result?
  4. diversity programs cannot exist in a vacuum. Does your company complement training with employee assistance programs that provide seminars, counseling and other resources? People-friendly practices go a long way to creating inclusive cultures.