DIVERSITY TRAINING

The Challenge

A leading bank was engaged in strengthening its commitment to diversity through a web-based training initiative. With a global workforce spanning more than 100 nations, the bank desired an inclusive culture where its diverse mix of employees were able to utilize their talents and realize their full potential.

The objectives of this initiative were twofold: 1) Increase knowledge of diversity and unconscious bias; and 2) Enable behavioural change through achieving an “epiphany”. While the former could be considered a more ‘typical’ learning objective, the latter was a particularly unusual and ambitious goal.

The training needed to be different in order to be effective.

How we added value

Teaching diversity is challenging. It’s a topic that involves broad and complex themes that cannot necessarily be presented in the same fashion as more traditional forms of learning. A highly structured approach to this topic would only lead to a superficiality that encouraged learners to be more politically correct, rather than truly engage in the complexity of the core issues involved. Participants needed to experience learning objectives rather than have them explained.

To create the desired epiphany, SwissVBS developed a powerful narrative which unfolded within a cinematic and captivating world. The power of storytelling lies in its ability to create an immersive environment, with enough of a divide between the learner and characters from the story, for the learner to feel safe in engaging complex and often controversial concepts. As diversity is far from a rigid, structured concept, the fluidity of storytelling allowed users to effortlessly engage in and embrace the complexity of diversity. Only through powerful storytelling could an experience for learners be created that sparked a change from within them.

SwissVBS created a virtual world that was realistic and universal, populated with a unique group of characters. Their stories were believable and their dilemmas (both internal and external) resonated with all the bank’s employees.

Since real life day-to-day scenarios aren’t about diversity, the narrative was built around banking and key decisions made within that world in order to demonstrate how diversity plays a factor within realistic business scenarios. In using the complex realities and dilemmas that merged the world of banking and diversity together, learners confronted a unique challenge that they envisioned as plausible within their own work setting.

At certain strategic points, learners were canvassed for their opinion and asked to make tough choices. ‘Right’ answers were never provided at any point during the narrative, but instead emphasis was placed more on the thought process, than on the decision itself. This allowed participants to evaluate their own decisions, rather than be given an answer with which they must inorganically align their views. By challenging politically correct notions in favour of something more complex and authentic, SwissVBS paved the way for the desired ‘epiphany’ effect.

An area manager is standing behind his desk - bank diversity training - custom training suites
An illustration showing a board rooom with 8 people standing around the table - custom training suites
Graph visualizing team guidance - diversity training - custom training suites
This illustration shows a grey-haired man rocking a baby in his arm - diversity training bank
An illustration of an information stream hitting different brain sections - custom training suites
SwissVBS provides quick, easy, custom learning solutions tailored to your employees - custom training suites

The Result

The solution was engaging, interactive, intense, and at times, humorous. More importantly, it embodied the authenticity needed to understand the complexity of the topic. The bank’s diversity initiative has resonated so well within the organization that they have engaged SwissVBS once again to use these characters in their new “Do the Right Thing” campaign.

Diversity Training Bank A leading bank was engaged in strengthening its commitment to diversity through a web-based training initiative. With a global workforce spanning more than 100 nations, the bank desired an inclusive culture where its diverse mix of employees were able to utilize their talents and realize their full potential.
SwissVBS SwissVBS SwissVBS focuses on building transformative Learning & Development solutions for an organization’s most valuable asset: its people.
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