diversity and inclusion training team

5 Diversity and Inclusion Training Programs for Businesses

Looking for a way to build a strong, well-rounded team that works together efficiently and effectively? Running a diversity and inclusion training program may be the answer.

Engaging your team in this way can help them get to know one another better and lead to a sense of group cohesion that can serve them well when the job gets difficult.

In this article, we discuss some of the diversity and inclusion training programs in which your business can enroll and give you ideas for less-formal activities you can run on your own.

Table of contents

Diversity and inclusion training programs

diversity and inclusion training

1) Cornell University

Cornell University’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training program offers a wide range of online courses and certifications to benefit businesses of all sizes and types.

The curriculum is geared toward managers, HR professionals, owners, and executives who want to empower their business with the tools necessary to excel in the 21st century.

Along the way, you’ll gain an understanding of the various institutional, perceptual, and psychological processes that affect your team every day.

The course revolves around four main topics:

  • Improving employee engagement
  • Countering unconscious bias in the workplace
  • The history, state, and future of workplace diversity and inclusion
  • Fostering inclusiveness

By the end of the course, you may be more equipped to assess and improve employee engagement levels, enhance organizational culture, recognize unconscious bias, and understand the dimensions of diversity.

2) Coursera

As one of the largest online learning platforms, Coursera offers courses and certifications of all types — diversity and inclusion training included.

The program was designed by French business and management school, École Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales (ESSEC for short).

According to the program description, “Diversity is a fact. It is also paradoxical. We need to be capable of seeing and hearing differences in order to reap the benefits of diversity. But seeing and hearing differences hone our discriminating reflexes and can also lead to discrimination.”

During this course, you may learn how to understand this paradox, how to manage the dynamics involved, and how to channel the diversity potential in your workplace for greater performance and innovation.

3) American Management Association

The American Management Association (AMA) provides diversity and inclusion training, corporate solutions, certifications, and numerous resources for businesses large and small.

The program is geared toward leaders of all levels, HR professionals, and others who are responsible for — or wish to take responsibility for — diversity and inclusion in their organization and covers such topics as:

  • The importance of diversity in the workplace
  • How to deal with negative behaviors like microaggression
  • What it means to provide equal employment opportunity (EEO)

You also gain access to helpful resources, including best-practice reviews to help you keep your skills sharp and ready, on-demand lessons to help you shape and reinforce important skills, and numerous written articles that offer practical tips, techniques, and tactics.

4) Microsoft

The Microsoft diversity, inclusion, and unconscious bias course is completely free and available online at all times.

Modules within the larger course include:

  • Introduction to bias
  • Introduction to covering
  • Introduction to allyship
  • Introduction to privilege
  • Introduction to gender and sexual orientation

The program is self-paced and aims to help you come to a better understanding of various unconscious biases, how those biases influence behavior at work, the impact these biases have on you and others, and actions you can take to counter these biases in your workplace

5) HR University

HR University designed its DEI program to help HR professionals, managers, and leaders navigate the complex world of race, gender, disability, culture, and bias.

The program focuses on creating a strong diversity and inclusion plan for your business, developing a DEI mission statement, and learning how to manage difficult conversations about diversity in the workplace.

Key features of the course include:

  • Instructor feedback on your capstone project (DEI initiative proposal)
  • Exclusive interviews with current diversity and inclusion professionals from companies
  • Professional recommendations on how to use your knowledge to create a better organization
  • Case studies to inform how you should act on the job
  • How to answer the hardest questions about race, culture, disability, and gender in order to become a better manager
  • A certificate of completion upon finishing the course

Like the other online programs on this list, HR University’s offering is available online in a self-paced format that can accommodate busy schedules of all kinds.

Diversity and inclusion training activities

Diversity and inclusion training activities

1) Lead a meeting

An effective way of training your employees to understand diversity and inclusion may be to have everyone lead a meeting. This may provide team members with the experience to guide the meeting, discuss viewpoints openly, and respect one another in the role of authority.

To help make this activity easier and less stressful, meet with the designated employee beforehand to provide guidance on the process and to help set the agenda.

After the meeting is complete, meet with the designated employee again to discuss their performance.

2) I am…but I am not…

Another fun and effective diversity and inclusion training activity is “I am…but I am not…”

You’ll need paper, pens, and enough time for each person to share their thoughts, but it’s a great way for people to take pride in who they are and to build respect among their coworkers.

  1. Fold a regular sheet of paper in half from top to bottom.
  2. Turn the paper sideways so that the fold runs up and down and the paper is in landscape orientation.
  3. On the left half, have participants write the words, “I Am…”
  4. In the middle of the sheet (on top of the fold), have them write the word, “But.”
  5. On the right half, have participants write the words, “I Am Not…”
  6. Then, in the left column, ask participants to write something they are (e.g., man, woman, Spanish, French, Samoan, Catholic, Republican, 25, 55).
  7. In the right column ask them to write something about that group that is not true about them (e.g., I am 55, but I am not afraid of technology.).
  8. Instruct participants to write at least five “I am…but I am not…” statements
  9. Go around the group and share each statement.
  10. Discuss stereotypes and how your team can overcome them.

For more information on building a strong, respectful team, read this helpful article from the Sling blog: Team-Building Games: 4 Games Employees Will Actually Enjoy.

3) Web of inclusion

Building a web of inclusion may be a great way to start conversations on various topics and get employees thinking about how their similarities and differences contribute to the strength of the team.

Here’s how it works:

  1. On a large, blank wall, ask one employee to post something about themself (e.g., “My family eats meat and cheese fondue instead of turkey on Thanksgiving.”).
  2. Then, task other team members to post their own responses to the original statement and any other statements that come up (e.g., “I’ve never had fondue,” or, “I visited Switzerland when I was a teenager.”).

This activity encourages team members to look for self-connections and things they have in common with their coworkers.

Schedule time for diversity and inclusion training

Diversity and inclusion training

Diversity and inclusion training may be able to help you build a stronger, more unified team, so don’t leave those activities up to chance. Set aside time to discuss diversity and to practice inclusion — whether as part of a formal training program or through informal group games.

Doing so can help your employees experience the full benefits that group cohesion, strong company culture, and open communication have to offer.

Sling: An effective way to manage your team

Diversity and inclusion training

The Sling app can make it easier to schedule everything from once-a-month virtual training sessions to once-a-week diversity and inclusion training classes to day-after-day shift work to extremely complicated events, such as grand-opening activities.

Sign up for a free trial and discover the many ways that Sling can make your job — and your team’s job — easier and more productive.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit GetSling.com today.

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Disclaimer: This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal, accounting, tax, HR, or other professional advice. You should contact your attorney or other relevant advisor for advice specific to your circumstances.

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