Diversity and Inclusion Training Exercises: 3 Prime Tips For Proper Implementation

Diversity and inclusion training exercises is a structured educational program aimed at increasing awareness and knowledge of how individuals of various origins, ethnicities, ages, races, genders, sexuality, faiths, physical conditions, and beliefs may best work together in harmony.  They help enhance employees’ knowledge and understanding and provide information on how to adjust one’s conduct to be more inclusive.

The Significance of Diversity and Inclusion Training Exercises

Diversity and inclusion strategies have been proved to improve corporate performance in addition to promoting a feeling of community inside the workplace.

The human resources department is not solely responsible for diversity and inclusion training. Instead, everyone in the workforce should participate. However, diversity and inclusion initiatives are significantly deficient or nonexistent in companies in an awful percentage.

In fact, gender-diverse businesses are fifteen percent more likely to succeed financially, according to research. In fact, firms that prioritize diversity and inclusion have the best levels of employee engagement.

Methods to Make Diversity and Inclusion Training Exercises Entertaining

When people are confronted with challenging concepts like implicit bias, harassment, and cultural competency, then diversity and inclusion training exercises may seem unpleasant. Diversity and inclusion training exercises that enable the workforce to tell their experiences and listen to the tales of many others are one of the finest methods to assist your staff in unwinding and letting down their defenses.

Consider integrating these methods in your training exercises to assist your staff members in viewing each other from a new perspective.

  1. Thumball of Varieties

The Diversity Thumball is a clever and sensitive training tool that addresses a challenging issue. Thumball is a soft 6?? filled vinyl ball that resembles a stylish soccer ball and also has 32 slots preprinted with adult and teen-friendly questions. Pass it around in the room and have everyone express their response to whatever prompt is on the table. The following are some examples of discussion starters:

  • How long have you been conscious of racial/ethnic differences?
  • Narrate a story about a time when you were in the minority.
  • Tell us about a moment when you saw or experienced discrimination.
  • Your most memorable encounter with someone of a different race or ethnicity.
  • What distinguishes you from others?
  • How do your views on diversity differ from those of your parents?
  • Describe a situation when you were subjected to bias.
  • Do you observe racism in your community?
  • How would you react to rude or disparaging jokes?
  • Tell us about a period when you experienced being an outcast and how you handled it.

2. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Select a favorite deck of graphic cards and ask employees to select a card that:

  • Represents a facet of their character
  • Reminds them of a memorable or significant encounter
  • Reflects present sentiments or emotions

You can have employees discuss the significance of the card with the entire group or perform a “pair and share,” in which they discuss the significance of the card with only one other person. In reality, the possibilities with picture card decks are infinite!

3. Ask to elaborate “I am.” 

Many employees are hesitant to bring up their differences in the workplace, particularly in a professional setting. Create a safe area for workers to talk about themselves and their perspectives to begin your diversity training. This first exercise is ideal for breaking the ice.

Give each person a piece of paper with the said sentence “I Am” written at the top. Prepare a list of 10 “I Am” statements about each participant. Encourage them to write these remarks in a genuine, truthful, and transparent manner. As a method of presenting themselves to their colleagues, have employees read their remarks aloud.

4. First impressions are important.

This icebreaker encourages each individual to describe three distinct truths about themselves on a scrap of paper as a substitute to the “I Am” game. The facilitator places all of the bits of paper in the bowl and reads them one by one. The participants must next try to figure out who wrote each information. This is another excellent technique for a group to get to know one another.

5. Dealing with Stereotypes

Many individuals, even if they aren’t aware of it, have a range of unconscious prejudices that influence how they view and act toward others. This exercise takes on preconceptions front-on and would be a terrific way to start a conversation.

Ask each person to write “I am _________ BUT I am not _________” on a piece of paper. Request that they fill in the gaps with prevalent preconceptions about themselves. Employees are free to write as much as they like.

6. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes

Split your employees into pairs who are dissimilar to one another, and then encourage each partner to consider what obstacles the other would experience in their lives. This is an excellent technique to foster empathy and initiate one-on-one talks about issues that people would otherwise avoid.

Diversity and Inclusion Training Exercises Have Many Advantages

The advantages of diversity and inclusion training exercises are both quantifiable and intangible. According to McKinsey, diversified organizations are 35% more likely to have above-average profitability in any particular period. In the long run, such businesses will add much more value. The more varied a firm, the better its chances of outperforming the industry average.

One of the many advantages of diversity and inclusion training exercises is the decrease in expensive employee turnover. More such benefits are:

  • Working ties inside and between teams are stronger.
  • In product decisions, a greater spectrum of backgrounds and perspectives are considered.
  • As goods are created with a wider range of clients in mind, they have a better product-market fit.
  • Staff morale has improved.
  • Helps keep excellent talent on board.

Tips to Improve the Effectiveness of Diversity Training

  • Take the help of specialists to guide your training.

Professionals in diversity and inclusion should collaborate with your business to build a program that is successful for your unique requirements, just as you would use accounting experts to simplify your firm’s accounts.

Different obstacles will arise depending on your geographic area, your organization’s demographics, your sector, and a variety of other reasons. There isn’t going to be a one-size-fits-all answer in this case.

  • Develop long-term strategies.

Instead of developing a short-term remedy as to a response to a specific occurrence, an organization should work on a long-term plan guided by experts to establish a much more progressive and inclusive company.

  • Set a good example.

Employees are considerably more inclined to follow the leadership’s lead when it comes to promoting diversity and inclusion ideals. Your company should encourage these principles, and setting an example is one of the most effective ways to do so.

In a Nutshell

When successful diversity and inclusion training exercises are implemented inside a company, it triggers a chain reaction of beneficial outcomes for both the company and its employees. Employees who work for an organization that elevates and respects them feel more appreciated, are happier in their relationships with coworkers and superiors and work harder for the company. As more companies realize that one-time meetings don’t produce long-term outcomes, diversity and inclusion specialists are in more demand than ever, and they can help your company.

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Impactly’s online sexual harassment and diversity, equity & inclusion training packages are used by hundreds of organizations across the country. Impactly is powered by Get Inclusive, one of the largest providers of prevention and compliance training for colleges and universities.