Organizations with a diverse workforce, including people of different races, nationalities, cultures, faiths, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages etc. are more resilient, adaptable, and productive. Diverse and inclusive organizations value the heterogeneous contributions of their employees.
Diversity in the workplace provides companies with a competitive advantage that sets them apart.
According to Limeade studies, when employees feel included, they:
- Are 28% more engaged
- Are 19% more happiness in their lives
- Are 43% more dedicated to their employer
- Are 51% more inclined to recommend their employer as a great place to work
- And they intend to stay at the company for 3X longer
And according to Deloitte, companies with inclusive cultures are
- 8X more likely to get better business results
- 6X more likely to be creative and adaptive
- 3X more likely to perform higher
- 2X more likely to either meet or exceed revenue targets
Although studies on the effectiveness of diversity training have been mixed, a forty-year study of the topic concluded that it works if implemented correctly.
And to implement it correctly in organizations, you need to have diversity training.
What is Diversity Training?
Diversity Training in the workplace is provided to create an awareness and knowledge on the diverse employees within the firm – based on their gender, race, nationality, color, religion, socio-economic status, disabilities, etc. It also teaches skills that will allow them to interact, collaborate, and work more closely with individuals who have different attributes than they do.
Diversity in the workplace is about more than just tolerance; it is also about acceptance and creating a workplace free of harassment and discrimination. This will lead to increased productivity within the firm.
Many businesses and executives think that such diversity training programs can help to:
- Establish a culture of understanding among employees
- Accentuate and appreciate cultural, ethnic, and gender diversity
- Remove unconscious biases
- Encourage employees to speak out against discrimination
Diversity training is also seen to have several business benefits, including increased collaboration and relational skills, protection against discrimination legislation violations (thus lowering the company’s risk profile), and empowering those from underrepresented groups to feel confident and appreciated in the workplace.
Why is Diversity Training Important?
Diversity training that works makes employees feel included and part of a collective effort. This results in happier employees who stay longer, increasing the company’s overall expertise and lowering hiring expenditures.
Furthermore, happy employees are more productive. According to one research, happy salespeople sell 37% more.
According to a McKinsey report published in 2015, businesses in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity are 35% more likely to deliver financial returns that exceed their respective national industry medians.
Such studies demonstrate that diversity training is integral to the corporate culture.
5 Types of Diversity Training
If you are a manager or business leader trying to make your workplace more diverse and inclusive and want to enhance employee engagement, you must prioritize diversity training. Here are five types of diversity training.
1. Awareness-based Training
One of the most successful forms of diversity training is awareness-based training.
Awareness-based training is a training session in which employees learn about diverse people from diverse backgrounds. For example, old and new colleagues learn about sexual minorities, gender minorities, racial and ethnic identities, and many other topics.
You must ensure that every employee understands the notion of workplace equity. They must treat all people equally, regardless of their marginalization or identity.
Organizing awareness-based training helps in the following areas:
- Problem-solving and decision-making as a team
- Increasing coworker respect and worth
- Raising the profile of persons who are underrepresented in the mainstream
- Raising awareness of employee differences
- Emphasizing the need for transformation and the elimination of prejudices
2. Skill-based Training
To work effectively with diverse teams, inclusive organizations must teach their new employees interpersonal skills.
Meanwhile, existing employees must learn to communicate and collaborate with various team members. This is extremely important in this age of distributed teams and remote work.
Skill-based training focuses on areas such as:
- Creating new communication methods for a diverse workforce
- Enhancing existing abilities
- Encouraging skill-building techniques
- Training in technical skills for administrative purposes
3. Intermediate Diversity Training
You must provide employees with the skills they need to execute change and foster an inclusive workplace culture. This is what intermediate diversity training achieves.
This is the most successful training, in which individuals with natural talents learn to interact with people who are different or do not conform to mainstream societal standards.
Intermediate training covers both personal behavior and systemic challenges. The benefits of intermediate training are as follows:
- Recognizes unconscious/implicit prejudice and knows how to counteract it
- Accommodates people with diverse beliefs, attitudes, or talents and fosters a feeling of community
- Eliminates microaggressions, and the workplace is free of preconceptions and prejudice
- Promotes intercultural communication and team bonding
4. Basic Diversity Training
The main objective of basic diversity training is to instill in employees respect and understanding. It is about freely discussing all issues of culture and identity in the workplace. Although basic training does not transform workplace culture, it helps raise diversity awareness.
So, if you want to foster a workplace culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion, you must include this diversity training.
A basic training program will include the following modules:
- Anti-racism training
- Anti-sexism training
- Sexual orientation and gender identity training
- Cultural sensitivity training
- Compliance training for human resources
5. Mobile learning
When we think about new-age diversity training, we instantly think of Mobile Learning (mLearning). It is convenient, affordable, and accommodating.
mLearning helps in connecting your employees with their colleagues and accepting individual diversity. Furthermore, mLearning is more accessible to those with impairments, chronic health concerns, or members of a remote global workforce.
Benefits of organizing mobile learning diversity training are:
- You can plan this at any time of day, based on everyone’s schedule
- It can be used by several people at the same time
- You can also record it so that employees can access and refer to it whenever required
Developing a diversity and inclusion training approach is more like a marathon, not a sprint. It is a continuous effort. As long as you link your diversity training programs to your strategic goals, communicate openly and honestly with your employees, and provide ongoing training, you can quickly achieve an inclusive workplace.
Organizations must create an inclusive work environment to bring out the best from their employees. In this age of modernization, when we work on multifaceted projects, we must look beyond race, gender, sexuality, caste, creed, disability, and other differences.