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Seb Anthony

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Making training “compulsory”


I am developing a bespoke Diversity Awareness programme for my organiation to be delivered mainly via e-learning. Whilst, I will seek to advertise the clear business benefits of this learning and market it innovatively wherever possible, a big risk is a lack of desire of people to actually do it. Hence, I am weighing up the pros and cons of making this learning "compulsory". Interested to see what others have learnt from going down this route in the past.


Tom Harlow

7 Responses

  1. Make it compulseoy
    Hi Tom,

    There will always be a group who feel that they do not need to complete this type of training. They are often those that feel that they aready know everything or have been there before. In my experience these are the ones who need to to have their awareness of equality and diversity raised. eg They may not consider themselves bullies but regularly make deragatory or underhand comments about their colleagues. The only way to raise there awareness is to make them complete the training. Alternatively you could test knowledge with a quiz making training compusory for those not achieving a set mark

    Good luck.


  2. TNA or policy?
    I dunno there is something rather unsavoury about making something ‘compulsory’ when its not actually a company policy.

    If its training then complete a TNA and act accordingly. If you have a Diversity Policy then enact your policy but dont blur the two as I think this suggestion does.

  3. Risk management

    Training in diversity issues can be interesting and stimulating, but as in your situation, many organisations report that take up is poor and non-attendance is high.

    E-learning can reduce the amount of time that people need to spend away from the workplace and certainly cuts down on venue and travel costs.

    Many businesses that we work with have made diversity training of some sort a mandatory induction requirement – a slow and steady way to increase awareness.

    The driving force for this has, sadly, not been a recognition of the benfits to be gained from embracing a diverse customer and supplier base as well as a diverse workforce. It’s being driven by a need for organisations to protect themselves from litigation resulting from discrimination. Getting all employees to sign a Diversity policy is a quick way out, but by offering some learning input you have an opportunity to make a positive difference (no matter how small) to how people behave and think. You may even be able to get your legal team to pay for it!


  4. Diversity
    Yes is the straight forward answer but….

    1. I agree with the previous contributions about the need to provide more than the legal case which is,however,central to the rights and responsibilities of both parties,employed and employer.
    2. The additional arguments relate to the moral,business,demographic and historical arguments

    3.I am not persuaded that your E LEARNING format is enough.You need some human inter action with a course like this.It’s just another subject,another tick if delegates simply have to engage with the package you produce. With this in mind and building on the quiz idea mentiioned by one of your respondents,why not
    a- Get all your facts and figures about your local SOCIAL ATLAS or COMMUNITY PROFILE from your local authority
    b-Make this the basis for your quiz and an advert for your e package if you are sticking with it.Eg,”You will find out…..” more about….

    c- Ensure that EMPLOYMENT and CUSTOMER CARE issues are covered looking at everything from communication,meet and greet protocols for various groups,access,work-life.Have you considered combining your e learning with a distance learning text book
    d- Create on line – or even on site! – an equality observatory where participants can post their ideas and actual contributions thus far to diversity
    e- Appoint quickly some EQUALITY CHAMPIONS in pockets of the organisation who have either completed the E package and can engage with others,promoting its worth.

    But I really do think this subject,and indeed others,cannot be vacuum packed away at a screen.THere is so much to debate and learn from

    Good LUck!


    [email protected]

  5. yes to compulsory
    there is so much legiuslation to comply with end new stuff emerging each day that one cannot afford to NOT have everyone trained in diversity. It affects the whole culture of the organisation and has implcaiton for all wokring relationships. Most large statutory servcies are making this compulsory

  6. Compulsory – a must!
    Having listened to various debates on TV & radio and hearing the misinformed views of bigots I really think that diversity training should be inbuilt to all company training programmes. Respecting the differences in people is the only way forward in an integrated society. The sooner this is established the better. If you need any proof that this is the way forward then I suggest you view the video “In the eye of the storm”

  7. diversity
    I may be late in getting into the loop on this but I felt I needed to add my bit! I provide training and consultancy in Diversity – and find so often that participants are FORCED to attend… it makes my job harder – but it also ensures that my audience is one that not always would be open to hearing about diversity and its benefits… So as others have said – please make the input interesting – but most importantly make it personal – to them… allow them to reveal the diversity within themselves – and also use or recommend the video “in the eye of the storm” or “blue eyed”… it blows participants minds away. If you need any guidance in structuring your training – please don’t hesitate to contact me. good luck!


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