Stephen Paskoff has some serious concerns about Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) training. The President and CEO of ELI definitely believes training has advantages, but too often he has seen it done improperly.
Sometime is a part of a one and done proposition. Other times he has found the training to be divisive, which runs counter to the unifying message of DE&I. The training proposes stereotypes for a group, which can cause both internal problems, as well as legal risk.
So what’s the right way forward?
First, he argues for recognizing that the purpose of the training, like the DE&I initiative, is to change habits, which is very complicated. The new habits need to be specific, clear and few, and they have to be consistently reinforced.
Second, the training has to align behavior with the values, vision and mission of the organization, not an unattached initiative. It has to be a part of an organization imperative, like sales, quality and innovation.
Communication has to extend beyond the training. Leadership must support it publicly, and so too must line managers.
What else makes for success?
- There needs to be consequences
- The effort must be continuous, like safety, quality and innovation
- The program needs to be seen as bringing values to life
- There needs to be clear standards that are linked to the organization’s growth
Listen in to learn how to make your DE&I initiative and training work.