How to Promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace

May 23rd, 2023 – SkillCycle

A group of three people sit at a table outside, one brown man with a computer, one white person with a short, pink haircut, and a third person with dark long hair. They're collaborating on work.

In this article on adapting talent development strategies to cultivate learning for all, we’ll explore:

  • What it means to expand access to learning for all
  • 5 tips to make your talent development strategy more equitable
  • How to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace for better business outcomes


Creating a culture of learning that is inclusive and accessible to all employees is fundamental to driving business performance. It starts with learning how to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. 

While diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts have been at risk in many organizations in the past few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these initiatives are critical to business recovery, sustainability, and reinvention. In addition, they can increase innovation, strengthen your company’s reputation, and improve the overall health of your organization. 

Building inclusion in the workplace is also instrumental for business growth. Through 2022, 75% of organizations with diverse and inclusive decision-making teams were expected to beat financial targets, according to Gartner, whose research shows that inclusive teams perform 50% better on average than less inclusive teams.

What it means to expand access to learning for all

By opening up learning opportunities for all employees, organizations can create a workplace that values continuous learning, leading to happier employees who are more likely to stay. 

This approach also promotes fairness and reduces biases, making the workplace more welcoming and inclusive. Plus, upskilling more employees company-wide can improve job performance, innovation, and business outcomes. 

Improved technology now exists to help you give everyone in your organization the opportunity to unlock their potential. “The companies that recognize this quickly will continue to be ahead of the curve,” says Rebecca Taylor, Co-founder and CCO of SkillCycle. 

A workplace culture that promotes learning for all can help you retain skilled employees and attract new talent when it’s time to fill skills gaps from outside the organization. 

People consider culture, mission, and purpose before applying for jobs. “We shouldn’t be surprised that motivated professionals value culture, growth, and self-improvement,” says Kristy McCann Flynn, Co-founder and CEO of SkillCycle.

5 tips to make your talent development strategy more equitable

It’s clear that understanding how to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace can drive positive business outcomes, but you’ll need to prioritize it on an ongoing basis.

Try implementing these five tips to make your talent development strategy more equitable across the organization.

Expand accessibility on all fronts

The first step is to ensure learning opportunities are accessible to every employee in your organization, no matter where or at what level they work. According to Harvard Business Review, one of the leading trends shaping work in 2023 will be to broaden the potential pool of talent, meaning organizations will need to consider nontraditional candidates who may not have had the same access as others. 

Accessibility includes everything from how you deliver training to who you select for learning opportunities. When talent development is open to all, anyone on your team can upskill and see a path forward with the company. 

Be willing to look for and examine bias

One of the top five success factors driving significant, quantifiable impact for underrepresented groups is “a nuanced understanding of root causes [of bias],” according to McKinsey

It’s imperative to recognize that most organizations have bias woven into recruiting, hiring, and promoting employees. To best position themselves for changes to come in the future of work, leaders must look for gaps in how employees move up through the organization and where they may hit obstacles preventing growth. 


Allow time for learning

Building new skills can benefit employees, their teams, and the organization. Offering employees time to learn during work hours is vital to “promoting a culture that prioritizes growth,” says McCann Flynn. This approach ensures that all employees have the same opportunities to upskill and advance their careers regardless of their roles or responsibilities. 

Providing time for learning helps show your employees that you value their professional growth and development, which can lead to higher engagement and retention.


Recognize and reinforce new behaviors

Encouraging new skills and behaviors in the workplace helps set the stage for employees to practice and retain what they learn during training. This reinforcement can help people translate the new skills that “elevate the performance of the entire team, one employee at a time,” says Taylor. Recognition and support are key factors in this process, as they help build confidence and reinforce the value of the new skills. 

With ongoing support and encouragement, employees are more likely to cement small behavioral changes into deeply ingrained skills that benefit both their own careers and the team as a whole.

Be proactive about rebuilding learning strategies 

Rebuilding talent development strategies is essential for organizations to create a “more equitable and scalable vision that gives everyone the opportunity to thrive,” says Taylor. By proactively investing in training and upskilling, companies can ensure their workforce has the necessary skills to adapt to changing business needs. 

A strong focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives doesn’t just benefit employees. It can also be a powerful driver of financial performance, making it a critical consideration for organizations looking to thrive.

How to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace for better business outcomes

Building equity and inclusion in the workplace is essential to create a workplace culture where everyone feels valued and respected for their contributions. 

It leads to happier, more engaged employees who are more likely to stay with your company long-term, which can protect your business from losing valuable skills and expertise. “It’s the humans who work at a company who will keep innovating and growing the company,” says Taylor.

Reengineering talent development strategies to increase access to learning for all goes beyond learning how to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Instead, it can translate into better decision-making, innovative ideas, and improved financial performance. 

Research has consistently shown that when companies prioritize having a diverse and inclusive workforce, their performance tends to improve, according to McKinsey.

“Companies that are feeling less pain from The Great Resignation are the ones who cultivate a true culture of growth and opportunity for their employees. They understand that diversity, equity, and inclusion is not up for debate,” says McCann Flynn.

By promoting inclusion, organizations can create a more welcoming and supportive environment where everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed.


Wondering how to make your current workplace system more equitable? Book some time with us to talk through a new learning-for-all strategy.

Why keeping employees is a critical component of business success

Losing talented employees can be an expensive problem, but this isn’t just a financial concern. It’s also imperative for organizations to recognize that better employee retention creates a stronger company overall. 

The benefits of retaining your employees can be seen in every business area, from increased productivity and profitability to improved morale. You’ll also boost your brand reputation and be able to attract new talent when needed.

With a strategic approach to keeping and developing your people, you’ll create a highly skilled and cohesive team with robust knowledge, deep expertise, and a solid commitment to the company’s mission.

When HR and people ops are adequately equipped with resources and systems that support proactive retention strategies, they can go beyond addressing performance issues and hiring. Instead, they can identify challenges and deliver strategies to help mitigate the cost of employee attrition and build a stronger company from the bottom up.


Ready for a solution that helps you achieve your definition of success? Book a demo to learn how SkillCycle’s people success operating system can meet your needs.