This article was written by our sponsor, The Diversity Movement

The pressure to show results now might be strong, but the push for accountability will ramp up in 2023 – especially for executives and people leaders. Navigating uncertainty and challenging economic waters will necessitate that everyone give a little extra effort.

By focusing on building a lasting, stronger culture-centric organization, leaders will simultaneously create better teams that bolster productivity and improve employee satisfaction and retention rates. Yet these kinds of demanding circumstances can be unnerving, particularly as corporations continue to grapple with creating diverse, equitable and just workplaces.

While the larger perspective is important, employees, managers, or rising leaders are probably asking themselves, “What can I do to ensure that I am prepared for the year of accountability just on the horizon?” Looking to the future, the answer is to build skills through real-world, practical online education.

Forward-looking leaders need tools that can be immediately implemented to drive success. The Diversity Leader’s Intensive, for example, is a skills-based certificate program created to provide practical solutions for a leader’s most pressing challenges. The foundation of the certification program was built from The Diversity Movement’s engagement with 125 global organizations and conversations with tens of thousands of diversity leaders across the world.

With the understanding that upskilling or reskilling will make employees better teammates and leaders, here are the three benefits they receive by prioritizing culture-based continuing education in 2023:

1. Immediate application of skills and knowledge

Challenging situations call for resilience. One of the ways to build that fortitude is through lifelong learning. But few people can commit to years of study or weeks away from work. People need quality education that is easily digestible, impactful, and can be quickly put to task. In other words, continuing education must move beyond “what” and “why” to “how.” Training must provide learners with the tools needed to get their jobs done.

“We noticed that nothing exists to teach an organization’s chief diversity officer or primary diversity leader how to do the day-to-day work of cultural transformation,” says Kaela Sosa, Curriculum and Programming Manager at The Diversity Movement. “To overcome this challenge, we have created a holistic, comprehensive program that goes beyond ‘what’ diversity, equity and inclusion actually is, to teach practitioners the ‘how’ of applicable management.”

2. Creating a leadership mindset

While theoretical investigation is important, the rubber-meets-the-road when online education provides opportunities for practice and application, thus building leadership skills. For those expanding their skill sets on cultural initiatives, the newness of this work demands that the coursework is actionable and is supplemented by roleplay activities, scripts, templates, and real-time problem solving. In other words, not just learning, but actually putting the lessons into action.

“The future of workplace excellence is the total employee experience. In survey after survey, managers and employees say they want more skills-based training, which coincides with what we hear from executives and leaders across organizations,” says Donald Thompson, CEO at The Diversity Movement. “The Diversity Leader’s Intensive focuses on areas that are immediately beneficial, from developing strategic plans to getting executive buy-in for culture-driven initiatives.”

3. Strategies and tactics derived from real-world experiences

Corporate training and development works best when it is created by executive leaders who combine deep experience with lessons learned from their successes working side-by-side with clients. The emphasis on hands-on learning creates a positive loop that gives the manager better skills to lead, which in turn gives employees a stronger sense that the organization cares about its people. All roads point to a transformational culture that values workplace excellence.

“Working alongside clients each day, I see a common roadblock between setting goals and accomplishing them,” explains Susie Silver, Senior Consultant and Innovation Strategist at The Diversity Movement. “Folks understand why diversity, equity and inclusion are important and can pinpoint areas for growth, but they don’t know how to put together an action plan or measure success. They need training and education that provides practical guidance and tactics that bring DEI initiatives to life.”

Accountability means employees and teammates all do their part through individual and collective actions. The ‘rowing the boat’ metaphor works here: In stormy weather, people need to row together. For emerging leaders, upskilling via continuing education and lifelong learning is a way to prepare for emerging challenges. This is especially important now, when people’s personal and professional values have merged and are being lived out at the workplace.

Rossana Kistler, Senior Director of Member Engagement & Healthy Living, at YMCA Triangle earned the Diversity Leader’s Intensive certificate. She sees the benefits at work and in her community, explaining, “My experiences in life, school and workplaces over the years have taught me to be accepting and open to many new ideas. I’m excited to take what I have learned through the Leadership Intensive and have conversations needed to make a difference. My peers, staff, and my organization will benefit from the knowledge gained from this course.”

During challenging times, what could be better than adding value for one’s own career, organization, family and community?

Looking for one comprehensive course that teaches how to execute a successful, long-term diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) program? Click here for more information about the Diversity Leader’s Intensive.

This article was written by our sponsor, The Diversity Movement