TL;DR: Vox and LifeLabs helped establish an inclusive culture by weaving bias awareness and behaviors of inclusion into all manager training.
Keeping D&I top of mind
Of Vox Media’s diversity and inclusion goals, one top priority is to provide equitable opportunities for training and advancement across the organization. This includes training on unconscious biases and how to mitigate them through different skills and processes, such as hiring or managing a team. Meeting this goal is no easy feat, given that Vox Media is distributed and growing fast (encompassing seven different editorial networks and several lines of business).
Embed behaviors of inclusion in all manager training
Vox Media created an employee development program, consisting of unconscious bias training (including how to mitigate bias in feedback and how to collaborate well with different work styles). But they also wanted to leverage their managers to create org-wide impact.
So, we launched a program that equips Vox managers with critical leadership skills and behaviors of inclusion. The training consists of the LifeLabs Manager CORE 1 and CORE 2 Programs, with a twist. In each workshop, we weave in biases that Vox Media prioritized addressing company-wide. Our Facilitators encourage participants to reflect and discuss how they can minimize the impact of these biases in their roles as managers.
For example, in our Coaching Skills workshop, participants learn to use inclusive coaching questions like, “Whose perspective haven’t we considered?” and “Who might be negatively impacted by this?” In the Feedback Skills workshop, participants discuss how to make inclusive feedback a habit across the organization.
Three years of impact and counting!
With more than 500 employees trained over the course of three years, 96% of participants have rated the content as useful, 100% agreed their facilitator was knowledgeable, and 96% found the workshops engaging. The unique LifeLabs combination of science, practice, and actionable tools ensures that participants apply the skills they learn long after the training is complete. In particular, Vox Media employees have shared that it is useful to go beyond only awareness-based bias training and focus on concrete steps they can take in the course of their daily work to reduce bias and increase inclusion.
Great management = inclusive management
By embedding a focus on bias reduction and behaviors of inclusion into all manager training, Vox Media keeps D&I top of mind, equips leaders with actionable skills, and sends a clear message that great management at Vox Media is synonymous with inclusive management.