Diversity and inclusion is the buzzword of the modern-day workplace. Different generations and cultures work together to bring in new ideas and fresh perspectives.
This refers to a business’ policies, strategies, and missions to create and nurture a workspace that attracts a diverse pool of talent from different cultural backgrounds.
Since this is a relatively new concept, training is an effective tool to educate employees on what diversity and inclusion mean in their daily interaction with partners, coworkers, and customers.
Training can help mitigate unfair or biased behaviour and promote cross-cultural awareness and empathy in diverse groups of workers.
What is diversity and inclusion training?
In the simple sense, diversity and inclusion training means educating employees to work in harmony with people from different backgrounds.
Implementing a diverse training program is an essential step in reducing discrimination and harassment at the workplace.
The training helps to serve as a significant arm in the holistic approach of building a diverse and inclusive work culture. The training covers every aspect, from day-to-day interactions with partners, customers, and vendors to making major business decisions.
Diversity and inclusion training can be classified into two primary types-awareness training and skills training.
The former is to raise the people’s awareness, alter their perspective and accept the diverse workforce among them.
The latter involves using specific exercises to help people build skills such as communicating better with people from different backgrounds and minimise the level of unconscious bias that might creep in during their decision-making.
What is the purpose of diversity and inclusion training?
1. Spread awareness
One of the prime goals of diversity and inclusion training is to raise awareness on collaborating with workers from different geographical locations, age groups, gender, races, ethnicities, experiences and ideas.
Carefully planned training enables employees to understand the concepts of workplace sensitivity, unconscious bias etc.
2. Gain support from higher management
To successfully implement diversity and inclusion training, you need to have support from the higher management, from the mid-level managers to the CEO.
With diversity training, including the higher management officials makes it possible to streamline the organisation’s values and expectations to nurture a diverse workforce.
Businesses have to embrace inclusion to make workplace diversity effective. This means that everyone should feel valued and have opportunities to take leadership roles in the organisation.
It is possible to develop inclusive thinking and actions for a more productive work environment for everyone with diversity training.
4. Workplace sensitivity
This is another critical area of focus in diversity training. Developing workplace sensitivity means encouraging employees to be aware of the differences in cultures, religions, gender, etc.
This makes it possible to stimulate employees to be aware of the differences in comfort level while dealing with coworkers and their behaviour that might cause unintentional offences.
By being aware of their behaviour towards others, it is possible to prevent discrimination and harassment.
5. Development for a better tomorrow
Companies these days are entirely different from the work situations in the last few decades. With advancements in science and technology, it is possible to collaborate with a different workforce that is diverse in all senses.
One of the essential steps in achieving this is through diversity training. With carefully planned VR training programs, employees become more aware of their unconscious bias and other behavioural patterns that are barriers to achieving a diverse workforce and rectify to accomplish the same.
Diversity and inclusion training topics
Here are some essential topics to be included in diversity and inclusion training.
1. Cultural sensitivity training
It helps the members of a dominant group in your organisation understand the difficulties faced by the cross-cultural groups and empathise with coworkers of under-represented backgrounds, identities and cultures.
2. Common grounds training
It helps to find similar values, priorities and goals to streamline the entire workforce to move forward on the same path.
3. Assisted conversations training
Teaching about the dos and don’ts of diversity and inclusion creates a space for less vocal employees to confidently raise their issues to the higher management and receive feedback.
4. Training to remove unconscious bias
Including this within the training helps to identify and eliminate the unconscious ways by which employees engage in bias or oppressive behaviour.
5. Anti-oppression training
An advanced training methodology that teaches workers how to go from ally to contributor and take active stances in supporting and uplifting managerial personnel.
This type of training most commonly covers subjects such as anti-sexism, anti-transphobia, anti-racism etc.
6. Community engagement training
Motivates team members to look for new ways in which the business can serve a greater community.
7. Inclusive management training
Help to train managerial personnel to identify any discriminatory management practices and replace those with new systems. This will foster an all-inclusive work environment.
8. Accommodation training
Empowers the diverse workforce to advocate how they can be better accommodated in the workplace. This practice helps make sure that people belonging to different religious, cultural, gender, and ethnic backgrounds feel comfortable and safe.
This article mentioned the essential topics required to be included in diversity and inclusion training to make them effective.
If your organisation is committed to achieving a diverse workforce, wait no further. We, at Growth Academy Asia have developed innovative training solutions that help organisations create and manage a diverse workforce and eliminate any possible mind blocks that might be hindering their plan.
The article is a part of our comprehensive series on “Diversity and Inclusion in Workplace”