A workplace should be a group of diverse people who accept each other and can work together healthily. The immeasurable benefits of having inclusion and diversity in a workplace are unquestionable.
Diverse workforces offer varied mindsets, ideas, approaches, and perspectives. When such people work together towards the same goal, the results are much better than like-minded people working together for a goal. It is beneficial for the individual’s wellbeing and comes with numerous advantages and benefits for the company. Increased productivity, healthy competition, strong support between the employees, and better employee retention and involvement are some of the few benefits of a healthy, diverse work environment.
What is diversity training?
It is improbable that a workplace will have uniformity in all aspects like gender, age, religion, ethnicity, socio-economic status, mental and physical capabilities, language, color, etc.; a workplace is bound to have people with diversity. Creating an equal and just environment for every employee is essential for the company to function appropriately and effectually.
The employees in a company should accept each other and respect the differences and healthily benefit from them. The best way to achieve such an environment where employees are welcoming to each other, ready to respect and accept the differences and work in cohesion is to develop and initiate diversity training programs.
Diversity training programs are initiatives, and entire processes developed to build comprehension between different employees, create a welcoming and cohesive environment, and develop skills in employees that will help them accept and work effectively in a diverse work environment. Diversity training programs first find out the area of concern in a workplace and then develop steps that need to be taken to address and solve the issues.
These training programs help to teach employees how diversity is good and beneficial, ways in which they can accept the differences and harness together all the diversity for the benefit of the company. A healthy and inclusive work environment ensures that each employee is satisfied with their role and will make inputs confidently for the company’s betterment.
Why is Diversity training necessary for a successful company?
A business or a company can only succeed if its employees can work together as one force accepting differences in opinions and perspectives yet moving towards the same goal. Diversity training is vital for the success of the company. You can reap numerous benefits from a diversity training program; some benefits include:
- Encouraging better teamwork: diversity training helps each individual become powerful as he knows that everyone will accept his uniqueness, strengths, and weaknesses. This empowerment and better communication ensure improved team collaborations. Communicating one’s thoughts no longer becomes a barrier with diversity training.
- Improved employee retention: a satisfied and happy employee will not look for better options to switch; instead, he will work harder and better in a supportive and accepting environment.
- Unlocking employee potential: every individual has lots of strengths and potential to work effectively, but it can only be unleashed if the individual is comfortable. An accepting and welcoming environment helps employees perform their best and polish their skills.
- Increased financial gains: with employees being more productive and working effectively, the company or the business also gets benefited from it, and a considerable increase in sales and production has been observed in a more accepting environment.
- Increased innovation and creativity: inclusion of diversity ensures innovation and more creative, unique, and practical solutions to the problems. A diverse environment helps people get various perspectives and opinions on important matters.
Factors to be considered for developing effectual diversity training
Diversity training is not about listing a set of rules and making the employees follow them strictly. This is, in fact, the opposite of what one should expect from a diversity training program. The diversity training program should train the employees to change their mindsets and accept uniqueness and differences in their colleagues. An effective diversity training program should:
- Improve communication between employees and confront differences and biases through healthy discussions.
- Improve inclusion by making employees embrace changes and differences without creating issues or troubles.
- Make the employees work together for the same employee by making each other accept differences of opinions and ideas.
- Encourage a healthy environment without any discrimination.
- Promote conducting training sessions and seminars to empower people and create a healthy, inclusive work environment.
Basic steps for developing a diversity training program
Some of the basic steps that need to be followed to develop an effective diversity training program include:
Step 1: Collect data through internal census:
Before initiating the training program, you need to have some basic data of all the employees working. Diversity training organizations ensure that the first step they take is gathering as much information as possible from the employees. Some information that must be collected include:
- Sexual orientation;
- Languages spoken;
- Family status;
- Education; and
- Religion, etc.
The information can be collected through existing employee data and conducting surveys. Gathering the different demographic data will help determine the level of diversity in a workplace.
Step 2: Identify the concerns and develop goals:
The data collected from the entire workplace will help to determine the minorities and differences and evaluate the problems that may be underlying in the work environment. The gaps and potential challenges must be identified to understand the target areas for program development. Suppose a company is conducting the training program by itself. In that case, the company’s head or if a professional diversity training organization is consulted, then a professional trainer can carry out confidential interviews to understand the perspective and challenges in the work environment.
Step 3: Develop the diversity training program outline:
Once the challenges and the areas of concern have been determined, the next step should be to design the program according to the problem. The strategy should include:
- The changes at all levels need to be made;
- The changes in policies that are required;
- The training and tools that are necessary; and
- Different initiatives need to be taken to create a more inclusive environment.
Step 4: Communicating and implementing the initiatives:
After developing the training outline and the measures that need to be taken, now comes the time where the employees are made aware of the issues and the corrective actions that have been planned to be taken to resolve the problems. The communication process and the measures must be ongoing, not a one-time implementation. Continuation of the training steps will ensure that an inclusive environment becomes healthier and grows into a well-knit environment where diverse people can work together cohesively.
Step 5: Determine and share the results:
Evaluating the results is an integral part of the training process. The effectiveness of the training program can only be judged by assessing the results. The key performance indicators must be listed out before, and the obtained results must be compared to those indicators to determine the level of effectiveness. Different qualitative methods can also be employed to evaluate the efficacy and improvement in the work environment.
Diversity is an unavoidable phenomenon in the workplace. Managing diversity, accepting it, and working with it can help create an inclusive and cohesive environment for the employee to work in. Initiating, developing, and implementing a diversity training program in workplaces can help employees deal with diversity better and effectively. Diversity training programs should create a welcoming environment for every employee to better accept differences and perspectives. Diversity training programs are an essential part of the company’s growth as these training programs not only improve individual wellbeing but also play a vital role in the company’s success.
HR Future Staff Writer