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6 Effective DEI Training Methods in the Workplace

6 Effective DEI Training Methods in the Workplace

Companies across industries are increasingly recognizing the immense value of fostering diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environments. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training has emerged as a powerful tool to drive meaningful change. Additionally, DEI programs allow you to cultivate a workplace culture that celebrates differences and ensures equal opportunities for all.

Our team at Unexpected Virtual Tours helps companies navigate diversity in the workplace with creative solutions for corporate DEI training, including DEI training online for virtual teams. Read on as we delve into the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and how our programs intertwine DEI principles into enjoyable, immersive experiences.

In this guide, you’ll find:

  • Information on understanding the importance of DEI training
  • Benefits of effective DEI training online
  • 6 types of effective DEI training methods
  • Common challenges in DEI training for employees
  • How to measure the impact of your DEI training
  • Partnering with Unexpected Virtual Tours for DEI training success

DEI Training

What is DEI Training?

DEI training refers to educational programs and initiatives aimed at promoting awareness, understanding, and action related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. In the workplace, it means providing employees with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to create an environment that values and respects individuals from all backgrounds.

DEI training online can involve interactive workshops where participants engage in discussions, role-playing exercises, and real-world scenarios. Each helps employees to explore unconscious bias, microaggressions, and inclusive communication. For instance, a guest lecturer can shed light on a specific topic, while role-playing activities allow everyone to engage firsthand in meaningful discussions.

These activities promote self-reflection, challenge biases, and equip individuals with the skills to foster an inclusive work environment. Such DEI training examples foster cultural competence and lead to behavioral changes that support DEI in the workplace.


Benefits of Effective DEI Training

DEI training is essential for fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment. It has several benefits, including improving employee retention, enhancing creativity and innovation, and promoting team collaboration.

In addition, research consistently supports the effectiveness of DEI training programs. Studies have shown that it reduces biases, increases awareness of diversity issues, and improves inclusive behaviors. In fact, a study by the Harvard Business Review found that more diverse organizations ranked 19% higher in innovation and 9% higher in financial performance.

Furthermore, DEI training promotes team collaboration and productivity by addressing unconscious bias, promoting active listening, and encouraging open dialogue. This creates a greater sense of psychological safety and belonging at work. As a result, employees gain improved collaboration, better decision-making, and increased team performance.


Overcoming Challenges as a Team

Common Challenges in DEI Training

Implementing successful DEI training programs can be met with several challenges. Three common challenges organizations face are resistance to change, superficial training approaches, and lack of ongoing support.

By addressing these challenges head-on, organizations can foster a more inclusive and equitable workplace. In particular, a space where individuals feel valued, empowered, and can contribute their unique perspectives and talents.

To combat these challenges, there are a few strategies you can try. First, be sure you have a DEI expert helping facilitate your programs. This might be an external consultant, an HR representative, or even a committee of team members. Secondly, keep your team’s needs, values, and goals in mind. You may even wish to survey your team to understand their wishes, frustrations, and aims when it comes to DEI programming. Finally, come prepared with data, statistics, and ideas to move programs forward. Use this article as a starting point!

DEI training plays a crucial role in addressing systemic issues of inequity.B y raising awareness, fostering empathy, and equipping individuals with knowledge and skills, employees can challenge and dismantle such systems to create a more equitable and inclusive workplace.


Types of DEI Training: 6 Effective Methods

Method 1: Host Interactive Workshops for Diversity and Inclusion

Interactive workshops play a crucial role in fostering engagement and understanding. DEI workshops help participants to actively engage with content, share perspectives, and practice new skills in a supportive environment. Examples of workshop topics and activities include role-playing, unconscious bias exercises, and inclusive communication practices. 

Interactive elements are a key feature in Unexpected Virtual Tours’ DEI training programs. Plus, our private corporate sessions can be tailored to address your specific organizational needs. We provide a blend of interactive exercises, group discussions, trivia, and virtual field trips to enhance participant engagement and understanding!


DEI Training Session Discussions

Method 2: Encourage Empathy with Storytelling Sessions

Storytelling has a powerful impact on creating empathy and promoting inclusivity in DEI training. Stories have the ability to connect people emotionally and foster understanding of different experiences and perspectives. Incorporating storytelling sessions in DEI training helps employees to share their own stories. As a result, teams can enhance awareness and create a more inclusive speech based workplace environment.

At Unexpected Virtual Tours, we take storytelling to a new level by leveraging immersive virtual experiences. Through our events, participants virtually step into the shoes of others, and experience scenarios and narratives that promote empathy and understanding. This unique approach allows teams to engage with stories on a deeper level and enhance interpersonal connections.


Method 3: Explore DEI Learning through Case Studies and Scenarios

Case studies and scenarios are highly effective in presenting real-world situations related to DEI. In this approach, participants are presented with realistic scenarios that reflect challenges and issues commonly encountered in the workplace. These cases can cover topics such as bias, discrimination, microaggressions, or the lack of inclusivity in decision-making processes.

This method helps participants actively participate in the learning process. As a result, teams foster a deeper understanding of the complexities and nuances of diversity and inclusion. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to explore multiple perspectives, challenge assumptions, and develop strategies for creating more equitable and inclusive environments.

To get started, browse the Harvard Business Publishing post, “22 Cases and Articles to Help Bring Diversity Issues into Class Discussions.” While created for classrooms, this guide is a helpful resource for corporate teams, too.


Experiencial Learning

Method 4: Try Experiential Learning DEI Initiatives

Experiential learning is highly effective in promoting understanding, empathy, and personal growth. It involves immersive experiences that allow participants to gain firsthand insights into different perspectives, biases, privileges, and identities. Not only does this approach go beyond theoretical knowledge, it also allows for emotional connections and self-reflection.

This method can take various forms, including simulations, virtual reality scenarios, or guided exercises. These activities provide a safe and controlled environment for participants to experience situations from different perspectives. For example, a simulation might ask participants to navigate a workplace scenario where vision based or cognitive based bias discrimination occurs.


Method 5: Add Allyship Training to Build Awareness & Advocacy

Allyship training aims to educate individuals on how to actively support marginalized groups and create an inclusive environment. It provides participants with tools and strategies to become effective allies by understanding their privilege, advocating for equity, and challenging systemic barriers.

The effectiveness of allyship training lies in its ability to empower individuals to become active agents of change. Furthermore, this training method enables participants to take tangible steps towards creating a more inclusive workplace.


Diversity Dialogues

Method 6: Plan Diversity Dialogues and Panel Discussions

Organizing diversity dialogues and panel discussions allows participants to hear from a variety of voices and experiences. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity for individuals to share their perspectives, stories, and challenges related to DEI.

By including diverse panelists and participants, you can create sessions offering a range of viewpoints that promote a deeper understanding of different lived experiences. As a result, this exposure helps to break down stereotypes and challenge biases within groups.


Measuring the Impact of DEI Training

Measuring the impact of DEI training topics is a critical factor in determining its success and ensuring ongoing organizational improvement. By assessing the effectiveness of a training program, you can identify areas of strength and areas that require further attention.

DEI Measures of Effectiveness

Key Metrics and Assessments

Evaluating the effectiveness of DEI trainings is crucial to ensure progress towards diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. This allows you to measure the impact of training initiatives, identify areas for improvement, and track progress over time. A few key metrics and assessments to utilize in tracking progress:

  • Assess learning outcomes
  • Evaluate behavioral change
  • Conduct employee surveys to gauge feedback
  • Analyze demographic data of your employees, leadership, and board
  • Integrate inclusivity into performance evaluations
  • Engage focus groups and interviews
  • Compare external benchmarks such as industry averages and best practices

Adapting and Improving DEI Training Over Time

Evaluating the effectiveness of DEI sessions should be an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Regular assessments and measurements allow organizations to track progress, identify trends, and make data-informed decisions to continuously improve DEI initiatives.

Continuous improvement and adaptation are critical for training effectiveness and program relevance. As your company evolves and new challenges arise, it is essential to incorporate feedback, address emerging issues, and prioritize regular reviews and updates. By doing so, you can ensure that training remains impactful and up-to-date.


Unexpected Virtual Tours

Partnering with Unexpected Virtual Tours for DEI Training Success

Collaborating with Unexpected Virtual Tours can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your DEI training! Our radically creative DEI team building events offer live, interactive diversity experiences unlike any other. We embed DEI training concepts into a host of group activities tailored for your hybrid or remote team!

We know most diversity training fails because employees aren’t engaged. As a result, they don’t retain the information and put it into practice. In contrast, our experiences get your team responding, creating, and collaborating together!

Our live-streaming guides lead teams through cultural history, encourage learning, and actively promote employee engagement. Plus, our DEI sessions are specifically designed to help teams consider perspectives and lived experiences that may be outside their own. Explore topics like Black History, Pride Month, Asian-American heritage, women’s history, and so much more.

Plus, explore our wealth of online resources to jumpstart your DEI initiatives – including online articles on diversity training, virtual diversity and inclusion activities, and more examples of effective diversity training!


Fostering an Ongoing Culture of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

In summary, recognizing the importance of DEI training is crucial for companies seeking to foster inclusive and equitable workplaces. Effective DEI training can bring numerous benefits, including improved employee retention, creativity, and team collaboration.

However, common challenges of DEI training in the workplace, such as resistance to change and lack of ongoing support, must be addressed for successful implementation. Measuring the impact of training is additionally essential. Utilize methods such as employee surveys, demographic data analysis, and performance evaluations to track progress and program effectiveness.


Ready to start building your diversity and inclusion program? Browse the Unexpected Virtual Tours catalog of virtual DEI team building experiences! From DEI topics and cultural holidays, our virtual programs are trusted by remote teams at Google, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, UPS, and more.