DEI Training: Why it matters & how to implement it effectively

DEI training plays a key role in modern organizations. It greatly impacts an organization’s culture, growth, and employee satisfaction. Effective DEI training can have the power to shed light on a company’s underlying problems and work to solve them. 

Introduction to DEI training

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are three closely linked values that promote the fair treatment and full participation of different groups of individuals. Diversity refers to who is represented in the workplace, equity refers to fair treatment for all people, and inclusion refers to the extent to which organizations embrace all employees and their contributions. Companies with effective DEI strategies are more likely to respond to challenges, meet customer needs, and retain top talent. 

DEI workplace training has taken a long journey to get to where it is today as a key focus for most large companies. Although DEI training did not properly take off until the 1960s, it is now considered a key tool in boosting productivity and innovation in an increasingly diverse workplace. Although the importance of DEI training is now widely known, organizations still face many challenges in implementing effective training. Many programs fail to create lasting change following a few training days. Ineffective DEI training can also fail to leave a meaningful impact due to a lack of engagement in the material. However, proper, effective DEI training can dramatically improve your company. 

Why training is crucial for organizations

Diversity, equity, and inclusion training is crucial for an organization’s success. An effective program can improve employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity. DEI strategies also have the power to benefit organizations financially. Employees who feel valued and safe within their organization are more likely to stay with their employees and perform better. This is because those with a high level of mental well-being are naturally more productive. According to the 2020 LinkedIn Learning Report, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development. A psychologically safe environment where every voice is heard will support the organization’s success. Additionally, implementing DEI training sends the message that your company values diversity and truly values the principles of DEI within the company culture. Corporations must understand the many opportunities they give up by not prioritizing DEI strategy. 

Common misconceptions about DEI training

There is a common misconception about the effectiveness of DEI training, particularly that DEI training is a one-off solution that is not effective. Diversity training has the potential to create a self-sustaining cycle. DEI is not a one-time event; it is an ongoing process. By offering DEI training, you encourage a culture of learning and best practices. Employees will begin to speak the same language as DEI elements become a part of your workplace. Training is the first step in driving your business and building a better workplace. 

Components of effective DEI training

Diversity, equity, and inclusion training comes in many forms to ensure each company implements training that will have the most impact. 

Some of the different types of training include: 

  • Basic diversity training allows organizations to cover various DEI topics through a foundational program. 
  • Awareness training provides an overview of diversity in the workplace. These include the various races, genders, sexual orientations, & ethnicities in the workplace. 
  • Unconscious bias training eliminates words & actions that may cause unintentional harm. It helps employees recognize their own unintentional biases & judgements about others.  
  • Cultural sensitivity training helps employees to become mindful of cultural nuances & customs when interacting with others within the organization. Cultural sensitivity training is particularly important for organizations with teams located in different parts of the world. 
  • Anti-oppression training educated employees about forms of oppression, power dynamics, & privilege. 

Tailoring training to the specific needs and challenges of each organization is a key step in ensuring the long-term success of your DEI training program. 

The role of language

Language is a key aspect of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Implicit bias in communication, the unconscious beliefs and attitudes leading to biased decision-making, can have far-reaching consequences if not addressed. Implicit biases in communication can hinder workplace collaboration, fuel harassment, and foster a workplace environment where employees do not feel safe. A prominent example of implicit bias in language involves someone’s birthplace versus where they live now. Implicit bias may lead someone to assume that because an employee was born in a different country than where they currently reside, their previous experience and success are not equal. Diversity training, alongside recruitment strategies, mentorship programs, and cultural wellness training, can help mitigate unconscious language bias. 

Measuring impact 

Once a DEI training strategy has been implemented in your organization, measuring and reevaluating your plan is important. Key metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of the program include diversity percentage in leadership, retention rates, and employee feedback. Employee feedback is particularly important in all types of training, especially DEI training. Diversity, equity, and inclusion  training topics are often sensitive for many individuals, making the invitation for peer feedback vital. This could be performed through a formal audit or informal feedback. DEI training is not meant to be a one-off; it is most effective when seen as an ongoing process with the continuous evaluation and adaptation of DEI initiatives. 

Beyond training: Building a holistic company culture 

DEI training is not a one-and-done fix to creating an entirely diverse and inclusive organization. Organizations must adopt a holistic approach to diversity with continuous efforts. DEI training should be integrated into other initiatives, such as mentorship programs and workforce education. 

If done correctly, a systematic and continuous approach to DEI training can create a long-lasting positive change in your workplace culture, where all employees feel a strong sense of belonging. Organizations should continuously invest and refine their DEI initiative for lasting impact. 

Who is Diversio?

Diversio offers a host of self-led, in-person, and customized training and certification programs. We are equipped to address the training needs of any organization. If you are looking to kick-off your DEI training program, contact us today to arrange a complimentary consultation.

By connecting artificial intelligence (AI) technology, sophisticated data analytics, and knowledgeable subject matter experts, Diversio is able to accurately diagnose opportunity areas, benchmark organizations against peers, and create a robust action plan to meet any DEI goal. Through the unique combination of technology and human expertise, Diversio is driving meaningful impact for hundreds of organizations across over 35 countries globally.

Diversio – The Diversity Experts™

For more information on Diversio, or how we can help you start your DEI program contact us at

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"We needed to slice and dice the data in multiple ways and visualize the data in clear and accessible ways and you know Diversio’s survey and platform ticked all the boxes."
Ekua Quansah
Head of EDI, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

Diversio helps companies become 43% more profitable and reduce employee turnover by 23%

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