More and more employers are recognizing the business case for diversity and inclusion. It’s common in today’s labor market to see organizations investing in learning and development programs to help leaders become interculturally competent. Inclusive leaders are important because they encourage employees to successfully operate within a multicultural workplace setting. Research shows that organizations that celebrate and welcome differences in culture and thought lead their sectors in innovation, productivity and, ultimately, revenue.
Delivering intercultural competence training can be challenging, because employers may not have the expertise, budget or capacity to create training from scratch. However, thanks to modern learning technology and analytics tools, it has become more effective and sustainable. If you want to disseminate diversity and inclusion information efficiently to your workforce and bring about meaningful culture change, e-learning is a good way to do it.
If you’re considering implementing online intercultural competence training, here are a few strategies to consider.
Find a Link Between the Training and Your Business’ Goals
Before rolling out organization-wide intercultural training, think strategically about what your goals are and how you’ll measure success. Although it’s difficult to put a hard number on an individual’s or a team’s intercultural competence, when everyone in the workplace feels a strong sense of inclusion, his or her performance improves, which leads to better business outcomes. Think about metrics that impact the bottom line, including employee retention, the cost of onboarding, employee engagement and customer satisfaction. These results are all measurable, so be sure to align your learning goals with these business key performance indicators (KPIs).
Be Versatile, Engaging and User-friendly
E-learning’s greatest advantage is its versatility. A crash course on a complex topic like workplace inclusion is often insufficient to address the bottom of the issues. An all-day lecture on cognitive biases and human history will only scratch the surface and will leave your learners with information overload. One way to avoid this problem is to break down topics into smaller chunks and diversify the channels for distributing them.
Think outside the box, and develop content in a variety of formats to cater to your learners’ preferred methods of consuming information, including videos, games, blog posts, podcasts and webinars. The good news is that you don’t have to create everything from scratch. You can adapt content that’s already available in the market and developed by industry experts.
Look for Evidence
Changing the culture of a workplace is a slow and subtle process. Besides the business KPIs mentioned earlier, there are several useful metrics that tell you how successful your training effort is. Modern learning technologies offer accurate reporting and analytics capabilities that make it easier to track and measure the impact of learning. Make sure you monitor how actively engaged your learners are and how well they are understanding the content, beyond tracking whether they pass or fail the assessment.
For example, identify the most and least popular content, time spent on each piece, and incomplete or abandoned progresses. These metrics are useful for helping you understand which content speaks to your audience and identifying where there are gaps. This data will also help you determine what to do differently in future training, whether it means revising your content or enhancing your technology.
Training is most effective when it is purposeful and consistent. Any organization that is serious about building an inclusive workplace should regularly examine its training practices so that employees are set up for success. E-learning is one approach to consider to help you achieve your diversity and inclusion goals.