With several businesses having shifted online over the past year or so, several activities that would otherwise have taken place at the office have become difficult to organize.
Especially during the initial days of remote work, when neither people nor companies had the requisite tools to improve remote productivity, several optional or human resource-related activities were deferred indefinitely.
However, as the number of software and portals that enable remote work has grown, these portals’ capabilities can carry out activities such as training, conferences, and large meetings.
Several events have now been adapted to this new virtual format, and as companies mull over going virtual permanently, the prevalence of this format is only bound to increase.
One of the many types of activities adapted to the virtual format is diversity and inclusion training. Diversity training has grown into an essential curse that all employees of a company take.
Diversity training is known to improve work efficiency in a professional setting and make employees more empathetic toward each other’s problems. Given the importance of this training, how do you run a diversity program online? Let us try and find out.
Choosing Where The Training Will Be Held
A vital choice to be taken even before the training has commenced is that of the platform of communication. The platform’s capabilities on which the trainer will be teaching can be an influential determinant of how interactive the class will be.
It is also essential that you consider the comfort level of the trainer on the platform you choose.
Online communication platforms can be notoriously hard to understand the first time you use them. You would want your trainer to be able to leverage all the platform’s capabilities during the class. Hence, you must decide the platform to choose through consultation between you and the trainer.
You need to also check with your employees regarding which timing would work best for them. Pick a time where the majority of the employees feel relaxed so that they can take more in. If the focus of the employees is missing then the entire exercise is meaningless.
The Ground Rules
When organizing any type of online training, you must establish specific rules and methods under which the training will be carried out. These rules will help you govern the training proceedings and ensure that all participants perform to the best of their abilities.
The first rule you must establish in online training is to keep their video cameras on. This makes participants more attentive and prevents them from switching off at some point during the course.
Also, it helps the trainer simulate an actual classroom environment to a much greater extent. It might also be wise to provide the trainer with administrator or organizer credentials during the training.
The main reason for this is that if all participants are not muted, the trainer might experience some background sound during the class. It is much easier to simply mute the participant from whose end the noise is being generated in such a circumstance.
Also, you can assign one of your employees or someone associated with the educator to take notes during the training. This way, if someone cannot grasp everything during the class, they always have notes to refer to.
Discussion and Conversation
As a trainer, it is crucial to provoke and stimulate discussion, especially in an open-ended course such as diversity training. In a classroom atmosphere, having a discussion is much easier, but stimulating discussions might be a more challenging task in the virtual model.
During the initial part of the training, make it clear that you are open to questions and queries at any point during the course. Most video conferencing platforms have developed capabilities to attract the trainer’s attention through hand raises or other gestures. You might want to leverage these capabilities as best you can.
Some people might be hesitant to speak during the class or on video. In such a case, the trainer might point to random employees and ask them questions. Among the great positives of diversity training is that questions are generally open-ended so that anyone can answer them.
If the diversity training contains multiple classes, you can also ask your participants to answer some questions in the next class. This works to make the class much more interactive.
Before and after the course, the participants in the diversity training must have access to online learning tools and resources.
Without prereading and post-reading, it can often be hard to grasp all the intricacies of a topic as vast as diversity and inclusion. Especially if you are looking to have some sort of assessment after the training, learning resources will likely be essential.
Before the course, request the trainer to provide some material for participants to read so that the trainer can hit the ground running on the course. Giving participants an initiation of the course, such as perhaps the topics that will be covered and basic definitions related to the topic, can be necessary if the duration of the course is short.
After the course, the first order of business for the trainer must be to provide particular supplementary material to the participants to help them prepare for the assessment or even simply know more about the subject. Participants who have found an interest in diversity and inclusion will undoubtedly benefit from these resources.
As a manager, you must continuously bring about a positive change in the teams you are in charge of. However, changes involving the acceptance of the diversity of colleagues and alterations in mindset can meet some resistance and even take time to implement.
You can aster this implementation by undertaking the best change management certification available to you. With this, you can provide guidance to employees on familiarizing themselves with the changes in the work environment. You will also learn to manage the challenges that come with organizational changes.
Diversity training can often be essential to develop a positive atmosphere of collaboration and cooperation in the workplace. Diversity training becomes easy to organize through the above steps, even when held using completely remote tools and facilities.