To build on previous unconscious bias training and elevate inclusive leadership skills by developing intercultural competence, with a goal of tying behaviors related to leading inclusively to leaders’ day-today responsibilities.
Building on our foundational training around unconscious bias, which is now embedded in our new hire and new manager onboarding, Progressive created a series of short e-learning modules for managers focused on building the skill of intercultural competence, and how to tie intercultural competence to key aspects of their roles, such as hiring, coaching, fostering collaboration, evaluating talent, and embedding D&I into business operations. Because Progressive’s manager population is widely dispersed across 50 states, they designed the e-learning to be taken individually in short, 15-20 minute modules. They supplemented each module with materials that help managers lead follow-up discussions within their groups – either virtually or in-person, as well as activities and resources related to each module’s topics. The modules begin with introducing culture and identity, then move to the skill of intercultural competence. The remaining modules tie intercultural competence to various aspects of leadership and they include current research, relevant data, and showcase best practices for leading inclusively.
A successful pilot of the program was conducted with early adopters, with 70-77% of the manager participants rating several of the modules as “Very Effective.” The modules are now being rolled out company-wide to over 4,500 managers. Many our managers have engaged with the first three modules, with many leadership groups and/or business-area D&I Councils hosting debrief discussions. Continued engagement with the remaining modules took place through 2019. Feedback from participants is that the content is relevant, understandable and applicable to their managerial roles. In 2020, a new intercultural competence learning series will be developed for non-managers
Diversity and Inclusion are essential to all that we do every day for each other, and our customers. A big part of our success has, and will continue to come from having a diverse and inclusive workplace that accepts and respects everyone’s unique background and experiences. Having an environment where you can bring your whole self to work allows people to fully leverage their strengths and is reflected in how we treat our customers. They reward us with their business.
At Progressive, we want to ensure everybody is valued for who they are, the ideas they bring, and the energy they invest. We are deeply committed to diversity and inclusion as a strong part of what makes our culture so special.