diversity-300x168By Laura Rerucha, ContXt VP – A face-to-face, interactive and sometimes uncomfortable discussion about a sensitive subject – diversity and inclusion training and awareness efforts should not be a “check-the-box completed” activity. Rather, they should be a thought-provoking, perspective-opening group activity that will be remembered long after employees return to their work.

Diversity reaches far beyond hiring employees of different races, ethnicities and genders. And inclusion means much more than making sure all employees feel welcome.

Organizations that embrace a culture of diversity and inclusion can be assured they will foster both innovation for the corporation and leadership within various levels of the workforce. By considering ideas from people of different backgrounds, personality types and experiences, organizations can develop solutions that are out of the mainstream — and set themselves apart from competitors.

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Last month, ContXt Corporation highlighted our Diversity and Inclusion visual learning product at the ATD 2015 International Conference & Exposition in Orlando, Fla. The experience is designed to engage employees in a foundational conversation on the topic and can be customized to meet the needs of various industries and organizations.

Product Format

ContXt developed the Diversity and Inclusion product using our mainstay Meeting-in-a-Box format, which uses visual learning and a cost-effective small group discussion that can be scaled to reach thousands. The format packages everything needed for a well-rounded discussion: a visual map, dialogue guide, cards with diversity facts, as well as cards featuring current reality data on the diversity of the client’s organization.

Central to ContXt’s Diversity and Inclusion product is a dice exercise. Participants are asked to roll a few dice that gives them results on certain diversity dimensions, such as age, race, ethnicity and religion. Questions are designed to help provoke thoughts on why it would be difficult for participants to put themselves in this perspective. The exercise is one of the unique ways that ContXt embeds creative exercises into our experiences to make the learning engaging, memorable and out of the norm.

ATD Feedback

We received positive feedback at ATD 2015 about our Diversity and Inclusion product, which also can be delivered in an e-learning format. Many who visited our booth either didn’t yet have Diversity and Inclusion programs to advance their culture, or they thought a product like ContXt’s could supplement their efforts.

Face-to-face interactions while discussing such an important topic as diversity and inclusion are meaningful for employees. Facilitating those discussions with a product like ContXt’s Meeting-in-a-Box are vital for organizations that want to grow and thrive.

Has your organization adopted a diversity and inclusion culture? If so, please share what you have done to promote discussion among employees in the comments below.

Laura Rerucha is vice president of client services at ContXt Corporation, a management consulting firm based in suburban Toledo, Ohio. ContXt helps organizations achieve strategic objectives by translating big concepts – including strategic plans, culture shifts and process changes – into engaging learning experiences. At the end of the day, we help get employees at every level on the same page to achieve strategic objectives. For more information about ContXt, please visit contxtcorp.com.