Why Diversity Training Essential in Today’s Learning and Development Plans
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a unique opportunity for businesses to improve or redefine organization life and workplace culture as they continue to operate fully, or to some extent, remotely. Having had cause to re-evaluate in-person learning programs and transition these into online formats over the past few months, many organizations have also taken a wider look at how L&D initiatives can support workplace culture in a remote setting as well as office settings.
One of the most necessary and prevalent elements of fostering a healthy and positive workplace culture is addressing diversity and inclusion. According to Glassdoor, “61 percent, or about three in five U.S. employees have witnessed or experienced discrimination”, and these incidents can occur in a variety of ways. It’s important that employees feel safe and supported in their professional environment 100% of the time, whether it be an office, retail store, restaurant or cafe, construction site, or from their home office. In order to foster a healthy and positive workplace culture, it’s important to ensure everyone in your company respects and supports one another, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or identity, religion, or disability.
Although many companies have made diversity training a top priority, there is certainly a chance to improve. Companies globally are working to amplify awareness of diversity issues with relevant remote training and resources. By including diversity training in L&D initiatives, you can ensure a respectful and safe environment for teams online and in the office, especially as needs change and specific issues need to be addressed.
Benefits of Diversity Training
Understanding Cultural Differences
Workplace diversity helps staff understand cultural differences amongst employees. Cultural differences can influence professional attire and behavior, holidays observed or not celebrated, certain actions in the office, and more.
Connecting on a cultural level helps make all employees feel comfortable and that their cultural differences are not only recognized, but encouraged and supported.
Fostering Global Business Success
Working in a global environment means day-to-day exposure to a diverse type of people. Furthermore, this knowledge can and should be applied not just in the office, but when dealing with external customers or clients, ensuring your organization maintains a positive reputation and level of professionalism.
By implementing a diversity training program, businesses can overcome any cultural barriers and efficiently conduct and interact on business dealings at a global scale.
Establishing a Fair Workplace
Due to workplace globalization and the rise in remote work, many companies employ culturally diverse people of all likenesses. Diversity training helps employees and management to acquire an understanding of other genders, cultures, and nationalities. They are more likely to think about how their actions could potentially offend or impact others. They are encouraged to understand different perspectives and comfort levels of others. Thus, it lessens the feeling of bias that could result from the ignorance of being uninformed.
Maintaining a fair and respectful work environment gives companies a chance to be compliant with fair labor laws and provide employees with a sense of belonging and respect.
Different Types of Diversity Training
Every organization should clearly understand how to manage and diversify their workforce. Including diversity training as part of your learning and development program can help improve group cohesion and collective decision making to meet your goals and objectives.
Many individuals are unaware of the biases or prejudices they may have. Awareness training helps make your workforce understand how their actions may impact others while improving their self-awareness and empathy skills towards others. This encourages healthy interactions and problem-solving among peers. Skills attained at diversity awareness training can allow your employees to help proactively change any negative environment, and educate them on the chain of command to report any diversity-based issues.
Skill-Based Diversity Training
Each organization must ensure that new managers have practical skills to effectively manage employees from all different walks of life. From handling specific religious or ethnic cultural needs to adapting to accessibility needs, certain skills are required in order to appropriately and respectfully support and accommodate the diverse members of your team. Skill-based training highlights specific actions such as creating new diversity interaction skills, reinforcing existing skills, and leveraging skill-building methodologies.
Diversity audits could be a very daunting task for organizations of any size. It typically includes a formal assessment that evaluates the current situation within the company. Diversity audits are primarily involved in managing the employee’s management attitude, i.e., periodical reviews related to policies and procedures.
Diversity audits serve as critical diversity training in managing the employees’ thought process within your organization. They can also uncover any liabilities or specific issues that need to be addressed in your workforce.
Mentoring for Diversity
Organizations want to maintain a collaborative, competitive advantage when it comes to their workplace culture in order to stay ahead of the competition and retain top talent. Some businesses mentor minority groups and deploy a wide range of knowledge and skills. This presents more opportunities to empower talented employees from different cultural backgrounds and ethnicities to perform their best as a unified team.
Implementing Diversity Training in the Workplace
Ultimately, practical diversity training involves addressing these two important questions: what do you need your employees to know, understand, and achieve after the diversity training, and how will you make that happen?
Furthermore, it’s important to note that your training methods and how you deliver the message are as crucial as the message itself. By offering your diversity training through eLearning via a learning management system (LMS), you can more easily incorporate a variety of tools and resources to further drive lessons home, such as simulations or gamified content that allow for experiential learning experiences, or video content that can provide real-life examples in an engaging and memorable way.
Hosting diversity training on an LMS allows employees across the globe to access the content and allows administrators to track their progress with each course. Contact us or request a demo to experience a dynamic and customizable eLearning experience that will help your employees meet specific diversity training needs.
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