6 Ways to Accelerate Inclusion in Your Training

Together, the impact of the vertical and the horizontal work is more profound than the completion of DEI training; it’s moving culture forward.

Training Magazine

Training is a culture amplifier for many organizations whether it’s a new hire, leadership, or even compliance training. The tone of training has ripples, and so does the degree of inclusion. We are all people first and employees second, so humanizing learning becomes more important every day.

Inclusion is both a training topic and a design philosophy. When it’s a topic, that’s vertical. Modules on unconscious bias, allyship, and inclusive leadership are now staples of a training team’s library. The horizontal is where the magic happens; it’s weaving the inclusion and equity into all training.

Together, the impact of the vertical and the horizontal work is more profound than the completion of DEI training; it’s moving culture forward. Below are five quick and low-cost ways to significantly impact your training design and delivery.

  1. New Hire Experiences: As more and more organizations look to increase their diversity (thank you), the opportunities for more inclusion are limitless. If you address one without the others, the sense of belonging for diverse new hires will be strained. Take the time to examine, or even audit, what is shared with folks on their unique hire experience and how it’s shared.
  2. Mandatory/Compliance: Required training are consumed by all employees regularly. Being intentional with things like the use of inclusive pronouns, closed captioning, and your teammates will very well receive other accessibility standards. In most cases, the cost isn’t the variance, it’s the intentionality, whether it’s eLearning or in-classroom.
  3. Trainer/HR Development: Trainers and their teammates in HR have regular verbal and written communications with large audiences. Be attentive to how you educate and what you expect of HR. Training is being built with unconscious biases, and the result is unintentional exclusion. Create a team to inventory the level of inclusion. Create a playbook and training to upskill Trainers/HR professionals on best practices and new expectations.
  4. People Leadership: Leaders facilitate on-the-job training every day with how they coach and develop others. If you run training on coaching, that’s great. Suppose you build into that coaching program how unconscious bias around race, gender, or even tenure impacts a coaching experience. In that case, you’re doing some excellent work expecting leaders to be inclusive.
  5. Employee Resource Groups: Many organizations have ERGs championing change in organizations with development exercises outside the training team. Align the efforts so you can feed each other. Topics that have internal content/trainers can be satisfied with internal resources so that topics outside the training team’s library can be funded with ERG budgets.
  6. Pipeline Programs: While high potential programs grow and retain talent, some selection practices can be exclusive, and many are shying away from even calling these programs high potential. More inclusive approaches intentionally focus on the talent pipeline for critical roles. They also build the diversity of each cohort to specifically advance underrepresented teammates so the organization can achieve diversity goals with the right balance of internal and external talent.

One of my favorite TED videos is Derek Sivers’ How to Create a Movement. It’s a great 4-minute visualization of the power of intentional leadership and cultivated followership. The point made is profound and immediate. To create change, the work of a few (a leader and a first follower) can influence the experience of many. Have the courage to advocate for change. Find your first follower to join you in a movement. The impact will be significant, and your teammates will join.

Dan Gallagher is a transformative and results-driven business executive with success developing people, processes and performance in high-growth companies across multiple industries. His leadership brand is rooted in strong relationship building, influential communications and change management that helps businesses integrate, optimize and accelerate. Dan will lead three core areas: (1) Human Resources Consulting, including strategy, project management, outsourcing, and employee experience, (2) Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, including training, coaching, consulting, and employee experience surveys, and (3) Training & Development, including leadership development, coaching, and learning strategies. Prior to joining Exude in 2020, Dan worked at Comcast for 19 years. At Comcast, he focused on leadership development, DEI learning, HR development and workforce of the future initiatives. At Comcast Spectacor he worked in operations leading business transformation, including the launch of a new brand (Spectra), the standardization of back-office operations, and a new client experience strategy. Prior to that Dan worked in the consulting, banking, higher education and publishing industries. Dan is the author of The Self-Aware Leader: A Proven Model for Reinventing Yourself (ATD, 2012) and has donated all proceeds to City Year. Dan speaks on the topic of leadership often and has been an adjunct professor at Temple University and Saint Joseph’s University, both in Philadelphia, PA. As a collegian, Dan was the Official Mascot, The Hawk, for Saint Joseph’s University, where he earned a Master of Science in Training and Organizational Development and a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. Dan is a current member of the Board of Trustees for Saint Joseph’s University, where he previously served as the Founder/Chair of University Global Community Day and a Member of the National Alumni Board. He has served as an Advisory Board Member of the National League of Cities University; President of the Philadelphia Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM); and Board Member with both the City Year National Human Potential Advisory Board and LEADERSHIP Philadelphia. About Exude Exude, Inc., founded in 1996, is a consulting firm that focuses on all things people in the areas of: Employee Benefits, HR, Diversity/Equity/Inclusion, and Training & Development. We have a firm belief that when we help your people be the best versions of themselves, your company will be its best. Our integrated approach leverages our team of experts to improve your employee and customer experiences while driving greater business results. Today, Exude has 600+ clients ranging from small startups to large businesses. We take pride in our Philly roots, we take pride in the 150+ nonprofits we partner with, and we take pride in being really good at All Things People.