7 Impactful Diversity Training Exercises for the Workplace

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What are diversity, equity, and inclusion activities?

It’s a fact! The best way for individuals to learn new material is by practicing them through activities. That means hands-on activities are the most effective way to learn about diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

But you might be asking, what exactly are DEI activities, and why do they matter? DEI activities are various actions teams take that uphold healthy interaction between team members with different backgrounds. 

Implementing these activities into your training regime has several benefits. These benefits range from improved workplace culture and happier employees to higher profits and more significant market reach. 

Regardless of why you want to impact DEI in your organization, here are seven training exercises you can use in your employee programs to help make a difference. Plus, explore more about why diversity activities matter and how CoachDiversity can make training, even executive learning, easy and fun! 

Why Diversity Training Exercises Matter

Diversity training exercises are a fun way to engage employees with the sensitive topics surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion. These icebreaker activities address unconscious biases and misconceptions that stand in the way of an inclusive workplace environment. 

But diversity training exercises also develop habits that allow team members to feel comfortable where they work. Diverse teams generate more profit, see higher employee morale, and foster an improved sense of belonging and acceptance. 

Establishing and maintaining an inclusive and diverse workforce depends on successful DEI training programs, but the investment can attract highly skilled individuals you never knew were seeking jobs. 

Get your whole team involved with the extensive training programs from CoachDiversity Institute. Our courses can help your teams create safe spaces where everyone feels welcome. Contact us today to enroll your team in a comprehensive DEI program!

7 Impactful Diversity Training Exercises for the Workplace

Your company culture drives the success of your business, and team-building activities help support a collaborative environment. Here are some training activities diversity experts love that you can implement in your company to create a diverse and inclusive work environment.  

1. Build a diversity committee.

Like any other dedicated committee focusing on activities critical to operational success, a diversity committee focuses on DEI initiatives vital to cultural success. Enacting a DEI committee means empowering a small group to help oversee initiatives and goals.

A DEI task force can review policies and procedures, suggest changes, serve as the facilitator for diversity activities, and support workplace diversity hiring practices. To maximize DEI committees, recruit employees from different backgrounds and departments so everyone has representation.

2. Find out how employees feel.

Your employees experience a lot, both in and out of the workplace, that impacts their performance. Ease those struggles by creating a safe space that allows employees to feel comfortable sharing their feelings. 

You can use an activity, such as the rose and thorn. To do this activity, encourage everyone to share the rose (the good thing) about something and a thorn (the bad thing). Although it seems goofy, it allows people to be honest without judgment. 

To make employees feel less pressure, you can offer anonymous surveys or feedback forms. However, it’s essential to take action. Otherwise, your team could lose faith in providing suggestions.

3. Embark on a DEI virtual tour.

Support your multicultural team by embarking on a DEI virtual tour. Museums and institutions invest millions in bringing world-class exhibits that highlight different cultures accessible right to your computer or mobile device. 

You can take an even deeper dive into cultural diversity by following the diversity calendar and recognizing the holidays and traditions of others. Host an office potluck, global literature book club, or cultural happy hours to really facilitate understanding.

4. Incorporate DEI company-wide goals.

Upholding an inclusive environment isn’t a one-and-done task. Instead, it’s an ongoing effort, meaning DEI goals must happen on a company-wide scale. Small steps you can implement for every employee, such as using pronouns for email signatures, show your organization’s dedication to diverse and inclusive workspaces. 

Further incorporating DEI company-wide can tie into more extensive changes, like transitioning gendered restrooms into gender-neutral restrooms, banning the use of non-inclusive language, and including benefits that aid employee retention. 

5. Host a DEI-focused lunch and learn.

Sharing meals connects humans on a base level, making a DEI-focused lunch and learn the perfect platform to discuss different perspectives, concerns, and accomplishments. Thanks to the relaxed environment, a lunch and learn allows your team to feel comfortable sharing. 

Partner with a local underrepresented owner to cater lunch or provide gift cards for remote teams. While everyone enjoys lunch, teach a critical lesson that stirs employee engagement and helps establish an inclusive environment. 

6. Support DEI mission-driven brands.

A DEI activity that works with a lunch and learn event is supporting DEI mission-driven brands. That means partnering with a business or restaurant that makes diversity & inclusion a real-life mission, not just fancy words for social media. 

You can support these brands by purchasing materials for the office, utilizing memberships or services from underrepresented community owners, or even catering meals or snacks. Not only will your organization embody DEI, but you will give much-needed patronage to smaller businesses. 

7. Confront stereotypes head-on.

Avoiding issues is how problems emerge, and stereotypes are misconceptions that you and your team shouldn’t evade. You can face stereotypes head-on with a fun game called I am, but I am not. To facilitate this activity, follow these instructions: 

  1. Take a piece of paper and fold it in two. 
  2. On one side of the paper, label it “I am,” and on the other, “I am not.”
  3. In between these two sides, put “but.”
  4. Under the “I am” column, write common identifiers you relate with, such as sexual orientation (LGBTQ identity), ethnicity, disabilities, etc.
  5. Under the “I am not” column, write stereotypes others typically associate with your identifier, but that doesn’t define you. For example, “I am a person of color, but I am not uneducated.” 
  6. Allow everyone to share and engage in respectful discussion. 

Put DEI as a Core Focus with CoachDiversity

Diversity activities are an excellent way to build teamwork and support DEI initiatives while having a good time. From traveling the world through a virtual tour to hosting a DEI-centered lunch and learn, there are countless activities business leaders can implement to get employees engaged. 

Need help teaching the basics? CoachDiversity Institute has diversity and inclusion training programs to train your entire team on what it means to have a diverse and inclusive workplace environment. Call us today to get your team enrolled!