Diversity training in organizations is any program designed to stimulate positive intergroup communications, reduce unfairness, and teach individuals who are different from one another to work together effectively. Diversity training is defined as raising personal awareness about individual differences in the workplace and how those differences hinder the way people work together and get work done. Diversity training is more required because of the growing racial diversity in the workplace.
The HR departments and managers of various departments face many problems daily, and to deal with these problems, companies imbibe diversity training in their training schedule. It is an initiative taken by most companies to create awareness of diversity issues and bring about cohesiveness in teams.
Diversity training in organizations represents the opportunity for employers to educate employees about diversity. Though diversity training cannot change an individual’s thinking altogether, it can increase awareness, transmit knowledge, and educate employees to accept distinctions among fellow employees. Organizations use diversity training to discover their employees.
The Goal of Diversity Training:
The goal of diversity training is to make employees understand that even if there are differences amongst the team members, a little adjustment in one’s attitude will make for an exceptional team. The aim is to make them not only tolerant of the differences that they see around them, but to value those differences as a part of successful team.
This helps the employees to be better prepared to accept the differences and still perform their duties appropriately. Diversity training aims to meet objectives such as fascinating and holding customers and profitable workers. Organizations aim at maintaining employees’ confidence and cultivating understanding and harmony between workers.
For a comprehensive approach to build a diverse culture, training is an adequate device to promote diversity, and educate employees on what diversity means in their day-to-day interactions with co-workers and customers. Implementing a diversity training program is an important step in helping to reduce the risk of workplace discrimination and harassment claims. In order to settle discrimination cases, companies need to educate employees on the importance of diversity.
Diversity training in organizations aims at raising awareness of the value of working with people of different cultures, races, genders, thinking, competencies and ideas. Through relevant videos and other elements, diversity training enables employees to understand how cultural aptitude, unconscious prejudice, attention and workplace awareness apply in real world situations.
Effective ways to educate employees on diversity:
With workforce becoming more diverse every day, effective diversity training in organizations is essential. The company’s success depends on providing the right tools to maximize employees’ performance and minimize legal risks. Some businesses are still struggling with the concept of diversity. How a company chooses to go about fixing the mistakes can make all the difference.
Below mentioned are some of the measures organizations can take to educate their workforce on the importance of diversity, from creating a culture of inclusion to implementing ongoing learning programs, encouraging constant dialog or developing diverse teams
- Develop Diverse Teams: Many organizations aim at having diverse team members at all levels. This will ensure that the team members see the broad – mindedness in people of different backgrounds. Look for qualified team members so that they can learn to work together and relate with one another.
- Clarity about training goals: Training materials often do not fit with the goals they are required to promote. The goals should be made as clear as possible, keeping in mind what you want the audience to take away from training.
- Support from all levels: Before beginning any diversity training, get top management support to get the support resources you need. You’ll also need to promote diversity training to your members and convince people that diversity training is in their best interest.
- Aim for respectful, tolerant behavior: The aim is effective, productive team-work. Diversity training helps in crucial ways to diminish or eliminate many of the barriers to such team work.
- Get the right materials for your audience: Different people and workplaces require different types of training and materials. Organizations should avoid using training materials created for a different purpose. Take advantage of the wide range of materials available.
- Master new technologies: Be sure to try new training technologies such as online training as it is cost-effective, efficient, and provides useful evaluation tools.
- Engaging: For training to be effective, you must engage your audience. Find out new ways to engage your team, from interactive learning tools to energetic team activities. Videos can help in making training lively and exciting.
- Post assessment: Build a follow-up evaluation after the training in order to enjoy continuous training improvement. Keep your options open and flexible to adapt to results from the on-going training experience.
- Encourage dialogue all year long: Creating a safe place allows continuing dialogue and encourages good decisions. Answer questions from staff and management about unfairness all year long. Welcome everyone equally. Effective change takes time, but it provides a high return on your investment. Make sure that training is not an occasional event. It needs to be part of an on-going program.
- Stop discrimination: Put a stop to discrimination by making sure that all executives and managers get training. To create a diverse workplace, the HR department should carefully consider candidates who may not initially seem qualified, but who may possess skills and have life-experiences that are in line with the position. This way the employers have a better chance at recruiting and retaining the right candidates.
- Embrace employee differences: Employers who embrace gender and cultural differences have teams with greater unity. It helps to have employees who belong to different cultural backgrounds. They have varied life experiences and job skills.
- Hire based on skill: A diverse workplace culture happens when a company makes a commitment to hire and promote people based on their qualifications and desire to learn, not personality or favoritism.
Diversity training in organizations deals with making employees aware of its importance in business. It also makes employees aware of their inclinations and cultural suppositions about others. Various tools are required to take the employees from awareness to accomplishment. These tools help in improving employees’ judgement of cultural differences, communication with people from varied cultures, and flexibility.
Workplace diversity means creating a company culture of different nationalities, religions and capabilities so that employees respect co-worker differences. Companies wanting to diversify should offer additional education to employees, such as paid courses from a college or online school, job-advancement seminars and a strong mentoring program. Employees without proper training have less company devotion and more workplace annoyance. Also, without training, conflict between management and employees is more likely.