How to create a diversity training online programme that works

Exposure to learning is one thing. Effective use of learning is quite another. When we contemplate diversity training online and how best to get it adopted in the workplace, so that it is self-sustaining, there are a number of challenges. One of the most real is the fact that people really need to have a genuine desire to embrace diversity and live inclusively. So, it is simply not a case of being organisationally good at diversity and inclusion management. It is absolutely a case of winning minds and hearts.


Winning hearts and minds means that online diversity training for employees needs to appeal to them at a very fundamental level that is internalised by participants as valid and of value to them. It’s a deeply personal transformation commitment that every single person needs to make to achieve real progress.


Allowing for personal choice


One of the essential ingredients of a personal change journey is not only personal examination and acceptance of where we are currently at but also the realisation that we can in fact make active choices about the path we wish to take through this greater awareness.

Diversity training online will help us see that if we have not managed to realise our most noble intentions yet, it is okay not to judge and criticise ourselves too harshly. It is better to understand the reasons why things, including ourselves, are the way they are and to move forward with both resolve and compassion. Self-acceptance enables the better acceptance of others and leads us to see the common threads in our existence. 


Winning the hearts and minds of participants always begins with building confidence that individuals themselves have it within their power to impact outcomes. They are significant players in what will unfold and they have a real influence on situations and relationships. When we realise we have the power within us to do better if we want to, this can make all the difference.


Diversity and inclusion management is therefore in fact a lot to do with raising new levels of consciousness about a whole range of important factors. Mostly the factors that affect the quality of our lives and others. However, we all get to decide on what factors to focus on. Nothing is prescribed.


Instead of demanding that participants change in a particular way, online diversity training for employees promotes curiosity and stimulates people’s desire to listen and understand more. They then have the ability to chart a course that makes sense to them aligned with their own diversity and inclusion improvement goals.


Making space for everyone


Online diversity training works better when people are encouraged to open up. To themselves, to others, and to new possibilities. We need to always remember that prescriptive compliance only generates negativity. This will manifest in a host of human behaviour that will undermine true diversity and inclusion progress. Repression leads inevitably to regression rather than growth and abundance in spirit.


Diversity training online not only provides new knowledge, insights, and options for individuals to examine but also fosters accountability for this learning. Participants will only shift and change through developing personal newfound convictions on what is right and wrong. More importantly, they will have to courageously challenge themselves in relation to these items continuously going forward.


Online diversity training and inclusion training become effective when we have a philosophy aligned with the sentiments of Brittany Butler (Executive Director, SICI, HKS): “For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.”

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