Unconscious bias training has been part of many employers’ diversity and inclusion toolkit for years, but critics on both sides of the political spectrum question its impact. How can employers ensure that unconscious bias training sessions continue to be effective, proportionate and relevant to both their workforce and the needs of their business?
1. Carefully plan training workshops on unconscious bias.
It is important to ensure that participants understand what unconscious bias training is before attending, by providing factual and unbiased reading material and resources. Some participants will inevitably be skeptical, uncertain, or misinformed, so explain in advance what unconscious bias is, why the training takes place, and where it fits into your organization’s diversity and inclusion strategy. Employers should also consider providing training on unconscious bias to groups of people who work closely together. This encourages teams, or people in the same or similar roles, to share issues and solve problems together. Creating safe spaces and time for employees to reflect both before, during and after training can make a big difference to the effectiveness of unconscious bias training.
2. Communicate how the training fits into your larger strategy
Unconscious bias training should be designed to complement or refine a much broader employment, diversity and inclusion strategy.