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Learning, development, and your EDI strategy

Learning, development, and your EDI strategy

No matter what industry you’re in, you know that success means you need to give focus to your workforce: to their development, their wellbeing, and to creating a supportive culture that gives every member of your team the opportunity to thrive.

This means that every business needs to factor in the varied and ever-changing needs of each individual, and to create a progressive EDI strategy that ensures equality is key in every business decision, in your recruitment process, and for the ongoing development of all team members.

Equality, Diversion and Inclusivity are central to embedding and embodying the right culture in your organisation – and one factor of that strategy that is often overlooked is the L&D component.

L&D is vital in every organisation, no matter the size, industry or goals; the only way to retain a successful and talented workforce is to invest in their development, provide opportunities for ongoing learning, and build on the skills, talent and expertise you have present in every team.

Consider the latest statistics on those with disabilities (learning or otherwise) – who make up just under 18% of the UK population – and that those with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by unemployment or lack of access to employment support: the latest UK Gov report shows that almost ten million people are disabled. Of those ten million, only 52.6% are employed, compared to 82.5% of non-disabled people.

That indicates that an enormous number of people are being failed by most employers: access to work, and to the appropriate support and development opportunities from those employers, would bring an enormous – currently untapped – amount of skill, expertise, talent, experience and capability into teams.

This would not only benefit any businesses bottom line, broadening their potential and sales reach, it would also enhance the culture, diversity and wellbeing of the wider organisation.

Building on the importance of including L&D in your EDI Strategy, it’s also important that your organisation includes appropriate support for those with learning disabilities, learning differences and neurodiversity, at every stage within that strategy.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to L&D – or to successful leadership. In fact, there is no real ‘end point’ in learning, in leadership development, or in business. Each and every individual, no matter their role, their experience, their knowledge or their success, will benefit from further investment in their personal learning and professional development.

Being part of a team that invests their time, finances and commitment to that process of development – and to the vital L&D available to your organisation – is the best way to guarantee that your employees are happy, fulfilled, successful and committed to your business, to retain a talented workforce, and to build a futureproof organisation.

The third week of June is recognised as ‘Learning Disability Awareness Week’, and is a time when many organisations – whether they exist for supporting those with learning disabilities, or simply want to do more to support their own team – consciously look to provide better opportunities, support and access to development for everyone.

A recent report from Accenture explores the problems faced when those with any kind of disability are excluded from employment, and offers some excellent insight into the different ways your EDI Strategy needs to evolve: this evolution includes adapting your development processes, and the employee appraisal systems you rely on for both intervention and progress, to support a wider range of needs, making employment accessible for a wider range of people.

Equality by itself isn’t quite sufficient for your EDI Strategy; you also need to factor equity into the mix. Many use the terms interchangeably – so it’s important to understand the difference: whilst equality means giving the same opportunities to all, equity means giving everyone the right opportunities or support, to guarantee that their end result is the same – where some need minimal support for success others may need more significant interventions, in order to reach the same end goal. The image below is an excellent example of this difference:

Equity vs Equality

As you can see, giving each individual the same help doesn’t mean that all benefit equally – so equity means tailoring that help to meet their individual needs, so that everyone receives equal benefit. In business, and in the vital L&D that benefits the growth and development for each member of your team, this means that you can’t simply provide the same access or opportunities to the same L&D processes for every employee – it means providing suitable, tailored access to suitable and tailored learning programmes, to meet the different needs of each individual.

Just as each person in your team has different personalities, different interests, and different experience, they also have different learning needs and different learning styles – which means that you need to ensure that different learning opportunities are available, so that everyone has the same opportunities for growth.

At ASK we take huge pride in developing tailored learning programmes, which are built around the culture, goals, aspirations and needs of your organisation – and in building effective EDI and cultural development into the programmes we run, so that any and all organisations, no matter their history, industry or goals, can thrive with a happier, healthier, more successful workforce: a workforce who know and trust that the Senior Leaders and Managers support them, and will invest in their growth.

To learn more about how ASK programmes work, the importance of L&D in your future, and the ways in which our work can help you to achieve your aspirations, speak to one of our team today

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