As one of the most in-demand and important topics for training in 2020, implicit bias remains at the top of this list for many organizations for 2021. In 2020, nearly three-quarters of people (74%) said their company was dedicated to creating a more diverse workplace in 2020. However, as we head into 2021, many organizations are realizing that training their team on diversity is not a one-time training event but a lifetime commitment to inclusion. It is imperative to ensure that your diversity training is impactful and effective.
Why Diversity Training Fails
The primary reason that implicit bias training does not have the intended impact is due to lack of authenticity in the training. When hypothetical scenarios are utilized in implicit bias training, they are often perceived as inauthentic or humorous and can reinforce stereotypes rather than help eliminate them. To make the training impactful, the learners must be able to relate on some level to the examples you use in training. There are a few key questions to ask yourself when creating authentic content:
1. Does it incorporate multiple points of view?
2. Is the content relatable?
3. Is it plausible?
4. Does it have emotional impact on the learners?
5. Are the consequences realistic enough?
In order to make any implicit bias training effective you must set clear goals and objectives and track them. TTA has created the following list of key areas that we feel are most important to address in your training strategy:
- Increasing awareness of how bias limits individual behavior as well as others in the organization
- Evaluating the habits that emerge because of certain biases
- Recognizing the value of diversity and inclusion from a business perspective
- Develop strategies for forming new habits that promote inclusion and counter stereotypes
- Develop shared accountability for change
By investing in your implicit bias training, you can expect to obtain the following benefits:
- Decrease discriminatory behavior and increase legal and policy compliance
- Refresh your talent strategy in terms of acquisition, retention, and affiliation
- Improve decision-making on teams and foster innovation
- Support a positive culture that improves the quality of work life for all employees
Selecting the Right Talent
Many training experts argue that the success of training, especially on a topic like implicit bias, hinges on selecting the right training talent. An otherwise successful training strategy could potentially fail without selecting the best talent for the job. This is particularly true when training on more sensitive topics like implicit bias. Ensuring that the trainer you select fits the culture of your organization is equally as important as their subject matter expertise.