When we approach any learning as an invitation to grow and develop, we are more likely to secure the broadest range of positive outcomes. Anything that is forced or compulsory is not internalised and owned by participants. It simply is not self-sustaining beyond the learning environment.
Diversity and inclusion eLearning within organisations must be presented as a unique and interesting opportunity to stimulate curiosity and a willingness to participate fully. None of us want to undergo learning that we believe might be stressful and onerous. So, the sooner we can dispel any fears related to online diversity training and pinpoint the benefits, the greater will be the uptake and desire to undertake it.
Continuity with inclusion principles
When we aim for an organisation that is inclusive, we want as many people as possible to have an affirming experience. This is of everything that transpires within it. Promoting eLearning to make it more inclusive is no different. We need to ask and answer the questions about what will allow everyone to thrive as a result of diversity and inclusion eLearning. The focus needs to be on the pre- and post-training experience, as well as the actual process itself.
Many people who feel disadvantaged in some way or another may be intimidated by the prospect of the unknown which equality and diversity eLearning can represent. It is, therefore, a good idea to make available course outlines or even do some level of orientation on the eLearning to set expectations and clarify any questions arising.
If there are limitations or shortfalls in technical skills to perform the training or if language issues exist, these should be dealt with meaningfully. We want a participant’s full focus to be on the training content rather than worrying about their ability to undertake the eLearning effectively.
Feeling comfortable and safe when undertaking new experiences is extremely important. Participants must be aware that there will be no judgement during online learning diversity. Any tests or scenario choices presented during eLearning are merely there to reinforce principles and learning points.
We need to underline that in human interactions, it is more about connections, understanding others’ emotions, perspectives, and ideas on justice and integrity, etc. Ultimately, there must be respect for a range of views and opinions, and the point of eLearning is to bring us all into a space of greater awareness and willingness to change constructively to achieve greater mutual interest.
It is more about the exchange than what is absolutely right or wrong. Online diversity training would have failed if it is not clear that eLearning is predominantly an enabler to more value-adding real-life exchanges between people who are unique and authentic without the ability to be simulated or scripted.
Diversity and inclusion eLearning may even raise deep-seated issues and uncomfortable experiences that have not been confronted previously. It is, therefore, important to deal with the issue of support systems and tools available should there be a need to address these post-training.
When people are brought to the realisation that diversity and inclusion eLearning is deeply relevant, not only to them personally in terms of them thriving in the workplace but equally essential to creating an empowering culture and climate, will we get buy-in.
Diversity and inclusion eLearning becomes meaningful when it is approached as a very human experience that will open doors to new thinking and behaviour because it lowers the risk that we will miss each other unintentionally in our exchanges. When we have learnt to look more closely at cause and effect, true intent, and acceptance of others, we will be more willing to participate in other inclusion-building experiences, such as group debates, chats, discussion forums, and workshops.
When we see that inclusion is all about participation, irrespective of the starting point and immediate outcomes, we will gain the momentum needed to shift from what is to what can be imagined if we are willing to transform.