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  /    /  How M365 Makes Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives a Core Priority

How M365 Makes Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives a Core Priority

Making Room for Psychological Safety through Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives

Challenge

Achieving peak performance means maximizing the value of every member of a team. Today’s most innovative workplaces are taking steps to create cultures of inclusivity, equity, and intellectual safety. Courageous conversations drive that change, and our Digital Training Solutions can accelerate progress.

We partnered closely with Microsoft’s M365 Core team on a custom digital learning solution that helped them create a common understanding of the issues and opportunities surrounding workplace equity. Then, we made the ideas stick through facilitated in-person sharing and expansion.

Approach

Race. Gender inequality. Implicit bias. These topics are notoriously difficult to discuss, in part because people often feel that these society-wide issues are too big to address. It can also feel like entering a mine field where opportunities to cause accidental offense abound. Digital experiences provide a safe space to engage with these ideas, learn about the positive steps one can take, and ultimately feel more empowered to make a difference.

In crafting these experiences, we combine our expertise in user experience design, adult learning, and positive psychology to guide learners on a socio-emotional journey that keeps them engaged through challenging content. For Microsoft, we began with three “modules” consisting of multimedia content, knowledge checks, and opportunities for self-reflection. The topics were:

  1. Implicit Bias
  2. Applied Brain Science
  3. Cultural Competency & High Performing Teams

The goal of the following group session was to deepen engagement with and understanding of the content presented in the tool. We highly emphasize in-person training because it affords the potential to share experiences with your peers and grow together. This is the bridge to concrete action and lasting cultural change.

Value

Participants improved their understanding of the issues and learned language they can use to discuss opportunities for positive change. Since delivering this training in May 2019, we’ve heard positive feedback from team members and a unanimous agreement that they “hope to see more of these at Microsoft.”
Creating an environment of psychological safety and a platform for employees of all backgrounds to thrive is a long-term aspiration. With our partnership, Microsoft has found a place to begin making real progress.

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