Workplace leaders are urgently looking for effective solutions to tackle systemic discrimination and harassment. Training is a critical plank of a successful Diversity, Equity & Inclusion strategy.

The desire to gather in-person for training (after all this time) is understandable. And having open dialogue about harassment and discrimination is a good approach.  However, there can be unexpected pitfalls to in-person training.

Below we set out 4 top reasons why eLearning is the better choice for your organization’s anti-harassment and anti-racism training.


Reason #1: Logistics. Who What When Where How?

If you are a “small shop” in a single location, with low turnover, and a convenient meeting space for everyone – in-person training may suffice.

Otherwise, like most organizations, you need to consider the following downsides:

  • Where are you going to physically gather everyone? And how are they going to get there? (If you have multiple locations, multiply that challenge)
  • Whose job will it be (and do they have capacity and expertise?) to: select the facilitator, monitor attendance, and provide input on the curriculum?
  • What about the people who missed the session due to work commitments, illness, vacation?
  • Employee “turnover”: a good chunk of people who sat through the training will be gone in weeks or months – and those who be joining you in the near future will have missed out
  • COVID: gathering people in large groups indoors may not meet your protocols


Reason #2: Consistency & Quality Control 

With your dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of employees – it’s unlikely you will have the same facilitator if you choose in-person training.

Sure Diane – whom you met and contracted with – seems great and eminently qualified – but is she the one leading every session? If not – what if Larry, Tamara and the rest of training company are “duds”? And present different information?

With eLearning, you know exactly what the learning objectives are and how they fit into your DEI strategy. It’s the same message for every learner – whether they onboarded today or three months ago.

Further, an eLearning course can be consumed multiple times for different purposes:

  • enterprise rollout to ensure everyone is on the same page
  • review & reinforcement of key messages
  • “one-on-ones” performance management meetings


Reason #3: No Surprise Costs

The list of unexpected expenses with in-person training might include:

  • Your time is money: sourcing and selecting facilitators – and having multiple planning meetings
  • Redoing all the above – again – if there is a need to reschedule
  • Booking a venue, parking, food
  • Paying employees for partial or full days and travel time
  • New employees – your company made the training mandatory – but now the new joiners missed the session. You will need to run and pay for in-person session(s) again – or find another solution.

With eLearning, the per-person user costs are clear up-front to suit your budget, and do not require employees to move off-site, or book time off from their regular roles.


Reason #4: Learning on Your Own Time, In Your Own Space

When you consume an eLearning on your own time and in your own space, there is a chance to think deeply and have your own reaction.

For most of us, discussing issues like systemic racism, sexual harassment and workplace violence can be emotionally difficult. People may want to have their own (at least initial) response in private, rather than:

  • Being excluded while opinionated, chatty colleagues dominate the discussion
  • Feeling pressured to “tell” personal stories that people might prefer to more selectively share, at the right time, and with the right people
  • Displaying knee-jerk defensiveness, and saying something in a group discussion with colleagues one might regret later


Need customization?

That is still possible in tandem with a third-party vendor’s course. Many of Ryley Learning’s customers add their own: messages from leaders, logos, and workplace policies for review. You can also tack on industry-specific content, such as media articles, videos and podcasts.


Craig Lauzon