Navigating the responsibilities of this new era is not always easy nor clear. But there is a growing body of research and literature to aid the journey, and it syncs with our decades of experience building a platform and course materials for ethics and compliance. At LRN, we are distilling this wealth of information into proposed curriculums, e-learning courses and training, tools, and advisory services to help companies help their people do the right thing. We have made our own commitment to racial justice and are helping our partners do the same.
As cited by the World Economic Forum, there’s not only a moral imperative for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), but also an economic one. A wide range of research conclusively documents that well-managed diverse teams significantly outperform well-managed homogenous ones over time. A greater sense of belonging fuels innovation and excellence, reduces turnover, and lowers risk because employees feel and know their words and actions have impact. By “out behaving” the competition, companies realize better outcomes.
There is a wealth of strategic recommendations from college professors, corporate DEI leaders, and market researchers about how to make workplace DEI programs more meaningful. The common theme among them is ensuring that your program is actionable: how do you engage your learners and inspire them to make positive, behavioral change in their unique work environment? Building in material that teaches ways to effectively combat harmful behavior—such as how to respond after witnessing a microagression—will help people at your organization feel equipped to speak up, step in, and support each other.
More than a dozen countries—including the U.S., the UK, and the European Union—have active anti-discrimination laws in place. Certain government entities, like the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, strongly recommend a workplace diversity component within every employer’s training and development offerings. Most importantly, research shows that fostering a workplace culture where employees feel like they truly belong actually benefits companies in the long run. A study from the Corporate Executive Board Company (CEB) found that in a more diverse and inclusive workforce, individual performance improves by 12%, intent to stay improves by 20%, and team collaboration and commitment improve by about 50%. And a Josh Bersin study found that in just three years, companies that have a highly inclusive culture notice 2.3 times more cash flow per employee.
When creating corporate DEI training, it’s important to understand your organization’s particular objectives and perspectives when selecting courses for your program. Our DEI curriculum plan covers a growing variety of topics—including antiracism, LGBTQ+ allyship, and microagressions to list a few. Another component to account for when selecting your courses is the format in which you want your learners to interact with the material. For example, consider whether an infographic or a writing prompt will inspire greater action when educating folks about a certain topic.