Assessing the Impact of Diversity Workshops – Do They Make a Difference?

Although organisations invest considerable time, effort and resources running diversity workshops, they often pay relatively little attention to assessing their effectiveness. Yet this stage is critical if diversity is going to move away from simply seen as simply a politically-correct thing to do.

In fact, evaluation of the impact of the programme is in many respects just as critical as putting a programme in place to start with. Given the monumental amount of research that has gone into establish the business case for diversity and managing diversity effectively, evaluating the impact of diversity should be relatively simple and demonstrate clear benefits.

So this document outlines some key steps to evaluating the genuine, longitudinal impact of diversity workshops in an attempt to encourage everyone involved in these programmes to be more demanding of, and confident in, what the programme can achieve.

Step 1: Move beyond the Happy Sheets

Most diversity workshop evaluations merely assess qualitative feedback from participants. However, someone’s immediate reaction to the workshop does not necessarily relate to their learning or eventual job performance.

Step 2: Identify a relevant evaluation model

A multi-dimensional approach provides a more reliable measure of whether the workshops have been effective in achieving organisational aims and in identifying areas for future development. The most common model in use is the Kirkpatrick Four Levels of Learning Evaluation, and there are plenty of guides available to support this method of evaluation.

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