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  • DEIJ, Talent Development

Integrating DEI training into busy manager schedules


Teresa Sanchez

As the responsibility to drive DEI initiatives often falls on managers, finding ways to effectively integrate DEI training into their busy schedules is crucial. To ensure the success of DEI training for busy managers, the approach must be strategic, tailored, and easily digestible. Here are 4 key approaches that we’ve seen make DEI training more effective for time-strapped managers.


  1.  Keeping Everything in Context

Managers are essential change agents in any organization, and their roles are often highly dynamic. DEI training must be tailored to align with their specific responsibilities and challenges. By providing contextually relevant content, managers can understand how DEI principles directly impact their teams, decision-making processes, and leadership style. Training that integrates real-life scenarios relevant to their industry or role can help managers connect the dots between theory and practice. A sales manager might benefit from DEI training that addresses customer interactions and market diversity, while a project manager could focus on fostering an inclusive team culture. Research by Deloitte shows that tailored training can increase learning retention by up to 60%, indicating that contextually relevant content can lead to a deeper understanding of how DEI principles impact leadership and decision-making.

  1. Bite-sized Chunks: Learning in Manageable Portions

According to a report by LinkedIn, 58% of professionals prefer learning at their own pace, and micro-learning modules can enhance information retention by as much as 50%. Long, comprehensive training sessions are overwhelming for busy managers. By breaking down DEI training into bite-sized modules, information becomes more digestible and easier to integrate into their schedules. These short modules can be completed during downtime, allowing managers to absorb the material without disrupting their workflow. Each module can focus on a specific DEI topic, such as unconscious bias, inclusive communication, or equitable hiring practices. Encouraging managers to engage with the material at their own pace while minimizing disruption to their daily responsibilities. 

  1. On-demand Accessibility: Learning at Their Convenience

Research from the Brandon Hall Group reveals that 94% of organizations believe that on-demand learning has positively impacted their corporate learning strategy. The demanding nature of managerial roles often leads to unpredictable schedules. DEI training should be accessible on-demand, allowing managers to engage with the content whenever it suits them best. Online platforms or learning management systems can host the training materials, giving managers the flexibility to learn at their own pace and convenience. Resources that are available 24/7 ensures managers can engage when they have the time and focus to do so. 

  1. Measurable Impact: Tracking Progress and Outcomes

By implementing assessments and measuring behavioral changes, organizations can quantify the effects of training. According to a report by the Center for Talent Innovation, companies that assess their diversity and inclusion initiatives regularly are 57% more likely to improve their DEI performance. To make DEI training effective, it’s crucial to measure its impact. Implementing assessments, pulse checks, or reflection exercises after each module can help managers gauge their understanding and retention of the material. Regular check-ins and surveys can provide insight into whether managers are applying DEI principles within their teams and decision-making processes. Collecting feedback provides an opportunity to iterate and improve the content based on actual user experiences.


Encouraging managers to take ownership

Making DEI training work for busy managers requires a thoughtful and strategic approach. Contextual relevance ensures that training directly addresses their managerial challenges, encouraging them to take ownership, while bite-sized modules and on-demand accessibility make learning convenient. Measuring the impact of training ensures that DEI principles are being integrated into their leadership style. By embedding ease and flexibility into the DNA of DEI initiatives, organizations can empower their managers to lead inclusively.


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