Your company has scheduled a “Diversity Training” and you have to attend. Are you excited – or do you dread it?
CultureALL has been talking to people in the business community about their needs and frustrations with traditional diversity trainings. Through our Business Programs, we’ve been exploring ways to create positive experiences for employees that do more than just run through enough topics to put a check mark on a required “diversity training” checklist.
Last fall, Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) eschewed the traditional PowerPoint-driven training seminar in favor of a CultureALL Diversity Day as a part of their fall diversity and inclusion series. Employees were able to choose from five different sessions led by CultureALL Ambassadors. Ambassadors represented five unique cultures and created interactive activities that fostered communication and encouraged employees to get curious about culture.
Employees at the FHLB have heavy workloads and weren’t very receptive to mandatory training that took them away from their desks. CultureALL allowed employees to choose the sessions in which they were most interested instead of forcing them into a meeting. They were especially interested in learning more about Chinese and Indian culture in order to better understand their co-workers from those countries.
Feedback from past diversity training sessions at FHLB had been consistently lukewarm, and employees said that there had been little lasting impact. They were also hesitant to talk with co-workers about their cultures and potentially give offense. Participants in the sessions learned that it’s okay to ask others about their culture. The CultureALL workshops opened up avenues for conversation: after the Indian Wedding session, employees stayed behind to to talk about the upcoming wedding of a coworker who is originally from India.
CultureALL offers a number of programs for businesses including CultureALL Diversity Days like the one at FHLB, Lunch & Learn workshops, and Zoom In On Culture photo ethnography projects. We can custom design a diversity education package that best suits the your company’s needs and business culture. To explore the options, please fill out and send us a contact form or call Executive Director Sherry Gupta at 515-273-8569.
Scroll down to see more photos from FHLB’s Diversity Day workshops.
Have you ever had this much fun at a Diversity Training?
(Photos by Ryan Morrison.)