How to launch Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace and its impact on eLearning

Let’s diverge down the horticultural path for a moment and meet Mary the Mulcher. She just loves summer and dragging her cobra-coiled 30-meter hose around the garden, tugging at it and hoping it reaches those majestic tomatoes she’s been ‘mothering’ all summer. She takes a step back, and Mr. Beanishly grins to take pride in the self-proclaimed Botanical garden she has ever so diligently created.

What’s her secret? Well, she chooses a wide variety of plants, not just throwing seeds around willy-nilly, praying, and hoping something will eventually pop up.

She’s come to learn a lot over the years about water and watering the garden as well. Because your garden will not grow without the proper amount of water. And it doesn’t mean that it always needs a lot of water, but it does mean that it needs some water.

Even though her gardening skills seem ‘debatable’, she shows off an impressive patch of 50 shades of green, which means she must be doing something right, doesn’t it? I jest you not, it all looks like a page out of the summer edition of Better House and Gardens.

She’s no seasoned gardener, but growing things from scratch has its art form. Her garden has an assortment of plants including fruits, vegetables, flowers, leaves, and trees.

All plants need good conditions to grow: a proper pH, enough air, and good nutrients. A well-maintained garden has no parasites or chemicals because they can harm the garden, its inhabitants, and the environment.

Different plants need different things to thrive: sunlight, shade, nutrients, soil, water, and good old TLC -hmm, don’t we all? Some plants need shade, while others need sunlight. Some plants need moist soil, while others grow well in dry soil.

This is the same for people in organizations and workplaces. While one group of behaviors will work with one person, another may positively respond to another set. Organizations and workplaces are similar to gardens, where different plants grow together to create a beautiful landscape.

The plants in the garden need water, sunlight, and fertilizer to grow and thrive. The same things are important for an organization to thrive: diversity and inclusion.
Some gardens are spacious, and some are small. Some gardens are in the ground, while some are in pots on your balcony.

Now, let’s clear away some proverbial foliage and reinforce that Diversity and Inclusion are crucial in many other areas, such as businesses, education, social circumstances, and eLearning.
Nature is always a great teacher, and there are many lessons we can learn.

So, what are Diversity and Inclusion?

Diversity and Inclusion synonymously known as variety and involvement, are strategic initiatives that serve to make the workplace a more beneficial and positive environment for all.

When businesses put too much emphasis on driving their diversity strategy and promoting inclusion, it’s easy to lose the true meaning behind these words.

When it comes to diversity and inclusion, businesses can do better if they focus on a more specific, targeted strategy. Deciding what you want and how you’re going to get it is a key part of your success. By understanding each part of your decision-making process, you can build a strong foundation for your success.

So, what’s the difference between the two?

Inclusion means that people feel comfortable and accepted by others. Diversity is securing many different backgrounds. Inclusion means making sure everyone feels welcome, no matter their background. Just as Mary has a diverse garden spread, all factors that contribute to success, are adhered to at the same time.

Inclusion ensures that everyone in your organization feels welcome and respected. It doesn’t matter how your organization looks on paper. If you want to launch Diversity in the workplace, you might focus on hiring people from different backgrounds. When new employees are hired, they can join in discussions and make decisions. They can feel like they belong and be part of the team. To create a truly diverse and inclusive workplace, it’s important to understand how these concepts work together.

After reading this, you may be thinking:
“Well, my workplace already practices this!”

Most well-meaning companies believe that their organizations respect individual differences and deliver fair results, but Diversity and Inclusion go beyond good intentions.

How to practice Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace

When your organization is ready to promote Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace, you’ll then want to gain a better understanding of how your employees feel about working for your organization. Having as many different voices as possible is beneficial in this process. This can be as simple as collecting employee experience information through anonymous surveys.

Here are two questions you can include in a survey:

  • Do I believe my team and overall company culture adequately reflect diverse cultures, ethnicities, and diverse backgrounds?
  • Can I speak my mind confidently within my team?

When you discuss what role your entire leadership team will play in your overall Diversity and Inclusion strategy, you can lay the foundation you need to ensure your efforts aren’t wasted months later.

After all, everything starts with the head honcho.

Diversity and Inclusion in eLearning

In the development of eLearning, it’s essential to keep the learner and their needs in mind. To make an e-learning program equitable, it is imperative to consider the needs of the learners and ensure that their needs are complied with.

Inclusion meets the need for diversity. It’s a sort of behind-the-scenes effort to make things diverse and fair-minded.

So, how is this achieved?

Well, for starters, provide opportunities that meet and exceed the needs of all groups that may have been overlooked. Inclusion is Diversity with a pinch of action and accountability.

Those who don’t value diversity and inclusion, run the risk of counteraction from learners and are more likely to experience high employee turnover and low team morale.

When employees feel left out, due to language or cultural barriers, learning and development programs that are aligned with business objectives, are much less likely to achieve the desired ROI.

Everyone in the workplace benefits from an inclusive work environment, including the company itself. Inclusiveness creates a positive team culture that:

  • Improves employee retention rate
  • Boosts employee morale
  • Improves engagement
  • Attracts top talent

When employees feel comfortable and secure, they’re more likely to bring unique ideas, perspectives, and insights that inspire innovation in their eLearning course creation. These creative solutions can help your business increase profits and drive growth.

Organizations looking to incorporate inclusivity when creating eLearning courses will benefit in many ways.

Employees are more receptive to learning, unnecessary discomfort from insensitive or inappropriate language is avoided, and the overall learning experience is more memorable and productive for learners.

How to make eLearning more Diverse and inclusive

So, how can you provide a better experience for learners in eLearning?
Well, my eLearning pals, how about trying the tips listed below?

1. Suitable content
Some learn to read text-based materials better, while others prefer visuals such as graphics, videos, or podcasts. With a wide range of multimedia, learners can choose the type of content that suits them best. It will allow them to have choices, and learn faster and more effectively.

2. Be Accessible
It’s important to consider potential accessibility barriers when creating your eLearning courses, so don’t miss opportunities to serve people with disabilities.

3. Say goodbye to prejudice
There are many ways to eliminate or reduce bias in eLearning course materials. For example, paying attention to pronouns is a good place to start, keeping in line with gender diversities.

Training and e-learning content creators often serve large audiences. You need to address project stakeholders, consider subject matter experts (SMEs), and (among other things) corporate culture.

4. Audience adaptation- ensure language and cultural diversity
Creating courses and materials for different audiences involves translating content and adapting e-learning courses from source content to target audiences and their cultures. This includes customizing images, phrases, currencies, fonts, symbols, and other information. eLearning localization ensures that the right sentiment is conveyed in the right cultural context while conveying the exact meaning of the source.

5. Provide access to information for all
LMS platforms offer everybody the opportunity to access, track and manage the progression of content and knowledge, making sure that nobody is left out of the loop.
It’s important to nurture a culture of awareness in your team. Creating a learning-friendly environment means being inclusive. Just like Mary in her garden, strive for variety, and figure out how to work together. Workplaces and eLearning are like gardens, it’s only a matter of figuring out how to irrigate that will lead to harvest success.

Giving participants a sense of security and appreciation will encourage them to become more active and engaged.
This right here, you smart cookies, is the recipe for successful eLearning.

“ Diversity is being asked to the party, Inclusion is being asked to dance”

Quote from Verna Myer

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