Despite efforts to promote diversity and inclusion (D&I), racism is still an issue in the American workplace. It is estimated that up to 75% of underrepresented employees don’t feel they’ve benefited from D&I programs.
Training isn’t enough. There are several reasons such efforts don’t work, including:
- Insufficient assessment is conducted prior to training.
- Training is designed without a clear understanding of specific problems in the organization.
- Simply increasing awareness won’t solve the problem.
- Training provides no skill-building or clear action plans.
- There is no accountability for training action plans.
- The organizational culture doesn’t support the training content.
Some tips to do better include:
- Figure out where you are. Collect and analyze your data. Talk and listen to employees about their concerns and feelings.
- Decide where you want to go; just hiring more minorities likely won’t be enough.
- Identify why you want to go there. Determine what your business case is, what specific goals you want to achieve, and what problems you want to solve.
- Get your house in order. Fix a toxic culture, get leadership and stakeholder buy-in, and determine how you will ensure accountability.
- Create a clear, step-by-step action plan. Include specific goals, metrics, timelines, and responsible parties.