Webster Five’s challenge was to identify and roll out expanded diversity and inclusion training initiatives across the organization. We needed to identify current gaps in training and find programs that would fit the needs of our employees and management team. We had been offering diversity and inclusion modules within our annual online training and we felt there was more we could do to expand our program and ensure employees had the tools they need to expand their awareness and take substantial and meaningful action as a result.
We train new managers on unconscious bias and discuss its impact with hiring managers and include/invite them to attend job fairs focused on outreach to diverse audiences. We have recently provided a half-day cross-cultural communications training as part of an ongoing 2020 series to assist all employees in navigating these complex conversations both with other employees and their customers. In addition to this, we have provided DiSC training to our employees to help them understand their own communications style and consider others styles based on their cultures and unique backgrounds. Other training modules implemented include “Diversity Awareness” which provides an overview of workplace issues associated with diversity, as well as the advantages of embracing our differences. Our online training also now includes a module in “Workplace Inclusion”, which provides an overview of diversity awareness in the workplace and focuses on defining diversity and understanding its personal and professional value. Members of our HR team also completed a “Fostering Inclusion and Diversity” certificate program through the Yale School of Management.
We are seeing conversations on diversity and inclusion become more open and commonplace in our organization. Our employees are becoming more aware of what they can do on an individual and team basis in fostering an environment that embraces and celebrates differences.
I’m proud that Webster Five was able to identify gaps related to internal diversity and inclusion training for our employees. The program we have developed as a result is allowing us to embrace the richness of our unique perspectives and work towards creating a better, more rewarding place for our employees to work and ensure we reflect the customers and communities we serve.