• Donald Jenkins, MPDC

Why Employees Resist Diversity & Inclusion Training

On March of 2019, Forbes magazine reported five reasons why diversity and inclusion training fail. Employee resistance was at the top of the list because employees:

  • Don’t believe that change will occur

  • Feel victimized

  • Feel singled out as a member of a diverse group

Unfortunately, most diversity and inclusion training attempt to help employees confront unconscious biases without helping them understand how to put their heart into becoming a better version of themselves. Instead of building a community where everyone feels valued, organizations run the risk of building a community of frustrated employees who comply with policy because they need a job.


Below are my top four reasons why employees resist D&I training. See where your organization stacks up in helping employees take ownership of D&I training.

1. Employees don't know how to transform Policy into a Purpose


Relying on training that only supports company policy is less efficient than training that supports employee purpose. Policy driven diversity and inclusion training will lead to diversity fatigue.


Most D&I practitioners do not understand that training frustration is deeper than diversity fatigue. To make matters worse, they attempt to force employees to create a better culture without giving them the tools to become a better version of themselves, which leaves them with no other choice but to confront biases with a low Diversity Purpose IQ™.


The Diversity Purpose IQ™ takes into consideration that it's hard to change what cannot be measured. It measures two behaviors based on employees ability to:

  1. Draw from the deep wells of purpose to make high level decisions to minimize the influence of unconscious biases

  2. Sustain their commitment to transformation outside the classroom

Both behaviors are instrumental in determining whether your organization have a policy at the end of D&I training, or a purpose that moves employees’ heart to action.

2. Employees don't know how to get into the heart of the action for D&I training


The heart of the action in diversity and inclusion training occurs when meaning making skills becomes Purpose Management™ skills to make meaningful contact with others. (See HR & Race Relations Blog)


When it comes to interacting with others, Purpose Management™ must take over to help employees put their heart into becoming a better version of themselves. The failure to do so increases the risk for unconscious biases to influence attitudes and behaviors.

3. Employees don't know how to address the Four Unconscious Bias Rules™


Unconscious biases will rule a culture where employees fail to build the Value of Purpose™. On the other hand, when employees are aware of the Four Unconscious Bias Rules, the Value of Purpose™ will help them draw from the deep wells of purpose to make decisions that delivers value to co-workers.


Employees will also take more ownership for personal transformation to reach their highest growth potential so they can deconstruct biases that prevent them from building a better culture.

4. Employees don't have backbone to practice D&I beyond the classroom


Most diversity and inclusion training lack the backbone for change. Classroom instructions attempt to minimize the risk of a dysfunctional culture by creating awareness for unconscious biases. If employees do not have Diversity Courage™ to transform diversity and inclusion policies into a purpose for moving the heart to action, toxic attitudes and behaviors will undermine their interaction with others.


On the contrary, when Diversity Courage™ is the fruit of training initiatives, employees will embrace D&I practices.


Instead of:

  1. Believing change will never occur, employees will become the change they desire to see

  2. Feeling victimized, employees will be inspired to make sure no one is a victim

  3. Feeling singled out, employees will have a higher buy in to be a part of the team

Leaders must remember that purpose is the genius for exploring the collective power of human potential. When the genius of purpose is not a part of the D&I formula, the collective power of human potential will become a collection of dysfunctional attitudes and behaviors.

Diversity and Inclusion work has changed


The civil unrest in the world has caused a shift in D&I work. Employees are fed up with meaningless work and relationships. Today's employees desire to put their heart into creating social change at work and in the world, which requires organizations to redefine D&I work.



Today's D&I work must be accommodated by work for conditioning the heart to take D&I action. Before you invest in a training resource, Click here to schedule a Discover Call to let us show you how to get the highest return on your investment.


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