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4 tips to help create a world-class DEI training curriculum

Positive learning experiences that result in positive business outcomes rely on a training program that is intentional, meaningful, and grounded in a deep understanding of learning design. This is especially crucial for diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. We know from the 2022 Ethics & Compliance Program Effectiveness Report that 76% of high-impact E&C programs will be prioritizing DEI initiatives in the coming year. As demand for DEI training in the E&C space continues to grow—it’s already a $100 million market—providing resources and frameworks can help your company better establish its organizational stance on DEI and foster a culture of acceptance. 

By creating a DEI curriculum that provides true value, you reduce training time, drive learners to proficiency quicker, increase employee satisfaction, and provide your staff with the skills they need to do the job right—the first time. But how exactly do you build that? Here are four ways in which LRN can help. 

Build your DEI curriculum for speed  

Clients often tell us that their E&C training programs take too long; they need to reduce the learning journey and drive time to proficiency whilst still covering all content bases. Leveraging ready-made learning assets that map to indicated business needs and subject areas can help increase that speed to proficiency. LRN goes a step further by combining our best-in-class learning assets with meaningful communications and leader materials to get DEI subjects off the screen and into the workplace. For example, our DEI email templates offer a simple introduction to the topic area and invite the learner to prepare for their training by considering how it applies to their daily lives.  

Put simple messages from real people at the heart of your DEI training 

When organizations know that they have great people, experts with valuable knowledge to share, they want to capture those experiences and share them with everyone in their training—rather than just presenting generic materials. We agree. Library materials are a solid starting point, but getting real people to share real experiences can create stories and narratives that really resonate. 

LRN uses audio and video assets to help organizations share simple, easy-to-understand messages from credible leaders and staff and echo them through multiple channels. Delivered via courses or communications, town halls or podcasts, narratives leveraging real people brings an authenticity and engagement to your DEI materials.  

Develop flexible training materials for a changing world 

It’s no secret that we live a fast-changing world.  Ethics and compliance trainers need flexible learning materials that can evolve over time as business, regulatory, or broader societal needs change. Training materials that are designed to evolve from the outset can help E&C teams implement the changes needed in training requirements that will come their way.  

LRN can work with you to create beautiful, engaging classroom materials which you can amend and update as needed. Our expert designers will help define your current and possible future needs, then arm you with the necessary learning materials—including classroom templates, huddle guides for leaders, and online courses—to scale up your training or, if you need, drill down into a subject for a more detailed view. At present, we cover five key DEI topics: DEI basics, anti-racism, gender equality, LGBTQ+ allyship, and microaggressions. 

To help learners connect their training with their day-to-day environment, we’ve created huddle guides for each topic area. Team leaders can use these to help them facilitate a conversation with their team about the topic. The guides offer suggested questions, a refresher on the core content, and a helpful set of FAQs for dealing with any issues that may come up. 

Create DEI campaigns—not just courses 

Feedback from our client partners is often very clear: There’s too much training, happening all at once—and learners feel overwhelmed. An emerging best practice in online learning is a shift away from a “one and done” approach to smaller, more frequent multi-modal touches to improve learner comprehension, adoption, and outcomes. In order to give learners the best chance of retaining key information about your DEI efforts, it’s important that you create a multi-modal DEI curriculum that is spread out across time, repeating the same messages in different, engaging ways. 

LRN can work with you to build a calendar of training and a communications strategy to support your DEI initiatives and meet the organizations goals. First, we’ll help you identify your core messages and learning content. Then we spread those subject areas out across a calendar and identify key channels for communications of the learning. Next, we work with your leaders and staff to bring that messaging to life, creating a DEI curriculum that leverages the role of leaders and mentors. To help your team stay connected with what they’ve learned, we provide booster email templates that link to downloadable Learner Action Plans that can drive engagement and accountability. These handy, one-page guides are designed to set learners on the path to practicing what they’ve learned every day. Learners can use Learner Action Plans as a tangible reminder of the types of behavior that demonstrate the right DEI mindset, and as a reference for how to apply their learning to their daily lives. 

The key takeaway 

As more organizations prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in their overall business strategy, ensuring you implement an effective and meaningful DEI curriculum is crucial. You can learn more about LRN’s communications strategies and curriculum design solutions by visiting LRN.com/Advisory and checking out our DEI page and collection of resources.

Damien DeBarra is the Advisory leader of Communications Strategies and Curriculum Design at LRN.