As Manager of Diversity Initiatives it is always inspiring to uncover new opportunities to improve the experience of people in the workplace. Judy Ravin and her team helped GM identify not one, but two huge opportunities for workers.
The first was her Accent Reduction program for non-native English speakers. After offering the course to dozens of employees on a first come first served basis, my telephone was ringing off the hook to inquire when GM would be offering additional classes. More than one employee called me personally to thank me for the opportunity. The training brought the previously 'undiscussable' issue of communication challenges into the discussion for both leaders and non-native English speakers and allowed people to realize pronunciation issues were often communication issues.
Additionally, and in alignment with a robust diversity initiative where everyone shares the challenges and works to eliminate them, the Building Bridges course opened up an entirely new dialogue. Employees who only spoke one language were able to examine their own responsibility and have an opportunity to understand accents of their non-native English speaking clients and peers. The training leveled the playing field and built relationships where there was previously discomfort with the most basic communication.
After offering both courses, employees continued to reach out for more classes. When finances precluded that, many, at their own expense, reached out to Judy to embrace the gift of her training programs to help themselves and GM be more effective and efficient. I can't say enough about Judy's attention to the customer and commitment to a high quality experience for learners. I highly recommend Accents International. Engaging in this learning is a powerful tool for employees and the business as well. A side benefit to a Diversity Strategy is that offering these courses opens a robust and important discussion for leaders on the business impact of diversity in the workplace, and Judy has statistics to show bottom line impact too!