When we make choices, it is always a good idea to reflect on the outcomes that are critical to achieving the result of the choices we make. We need to come up with a list of what really matters so that this can inform our choice criteria.
With a fairly complex subject like making a choice on the right diversity and inclusion training, it is even better if we can have in place a decision model to support our path of selecting the right programme. Diversity training companies have a broad offering. Top diversity and inclusion consulting firms will work well with a partner to narrow this offer. However, this process will be enhanced if clients have separately also spent some quality advance time deciding what is of utmost importance to them. Clear priorities provide a line of sight for partners to focus on.
We are never alone
This vision of success can be enhanced and complemented by the expert input of consulting firms, but programmes should never be an artificial fit. During the diversity and inclusion consulting process, there will be a lot of discussion on outputs and how to measure success. Not only in the eyes of senior executives and management. It is just as critical, if not more so, that employees in general, see the positive impact of diversity and inclusion training.
Early tangible changes in behaviour will be significant and facilitate sustainability after the initial phases of any programme. People need to believe in programmes and see that they are there to help and reward everyone for contributing constructively.
As will any strategic initiative, there will be a need to map out the project with key plans, milestones, and assessment and improvement cycles built in. Good diversity and inclusion programmes will be extremely comprehensive with methodologies and techniques adopted in the best of the best transformation interventions.
Diversity training companies, at a very basic level, must satisfy the minimal choice criteria of the quality of the programme. Price and the ongoing life cycle of potential costs, as well as the continuity in supply, will always be pertinent features when making a decision, especially as the programme unfolds.
From criteria to credentials
The credentials of experts within top diversity and inclusion consulting firms cannot be ignored. Clients need the assurance that they are in trusted hands with the right depth and breadth of experience, especially on the more critical aspects of any interventions.
Given that there will always be personal likes and dislikes in any choice or decision process, it is valuable if there is a measure of affinity established early between the partners working on the programme. This also enables honesty and frank discussion on risks and unavoidable challenges as well as issues such as accountability, ownership, and roles.
Today we all talk about being employers of choice. This is established by the excellence of the choices we make. This cannot be more relevant than in our selection of diversity and inclusion training that helps establish the culture and climate that will not only attract but more vitally, keep superb talent.
People look at who organisations choose to work with as indicative of our intent and aspirations. This means that when it comes to diversity training companies, it is essential to consider reputation as well as references.
We should also never underestimate the fact that our employees have views on who would be a good fit for the organisation when it comes to provider selection. They are part of a broader community that may have already had experience in the field and shared viewpoints. It is therefore complementary to the choice process to get recommendations and input from employee representatives as well. At a minimum, the sharing of credentials and the rationale for the choice of diversity and consulting firm will bode well for effective implementation.
We need to “use wisely our power of choice”, according to Og Mandino. It is a gift that has the potential to transform a life and lives.