Posted by: lwagner10 | April 30, 2010

Diversity Training Effectiveness

A recent editorial in the Dallas Morning News indicated that diversity training was not effective.  There was little indication of the metrics used to measure the effectiveness of diversity training.  If the metrics are immediate feedback, clearly the training is poorly constructed or not consistent with management actions.  If a company is really able to measure effectiveness and separate out the effect of diversity training in the longer term, one must assume that is all that is being done to address diversity issues.  If all a company is doing is diversity training, they are very unlikely to be making much progress.  Like many other things in training, reinforcement is essential.  This is especially true of training intended to change behaviors and attitudes.  Diversity training needs to part of a over all program which promotes diversity and its acceptance in the workplace with a goal of improvement in work efficiency.  

Acceptance of diversity in the workplace will more correspond to management actions than the amount of training provided.  However, diversity training should be a significant part of communicating a message of management belief that diversity is a competitive advantage.

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  1. I appreciate your perspective. I’ve found as well that diversity training can be a valuable resource when implemented correctly. It works well when it asks people to be aware of what they do and think and helps them practice positive behaviors over time. A lot of diversity training, and training in general, doesn’t generate long-term results because there is little or no ongoing reinforcement to support the new approaches. It’s nearly impossible to create significant changes in thoughts or behavior in a two-hour workshop, it takes a long-term commitment from the leadership in the organization.

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