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Why Diversity Training is Important in the Workplace

JazzHR

Guest blog by Arslan Hassan

Organizations worldwide are now placing emphasis on developing a strong and positive company culture to improve employee satisfaction and increase productivity. But many ignore why diversity training is important in improving a company’s environment. Diversification represents the many flavors of individuals in a community and is a huge part of who we are. However, some enterprises are yet to understand why diversity training is important. So, let’s take a deeper dive into the significance behind diversity training and its impact on an organization.

 

What is Diversity Training?

Diversity training is the act of informing employees and members of business on the importance of accepting and working alongside individuals from different ethnicities, religions, races, gender, or sexual orientation. It teaches employees the importance of inclusion, diversity and equal employment opportunities and creates a welcoming environment for new hiring. Nowadays, companies are pulling strings to introduce diversity programs and conduct extensive diversity training in the workplace to ensure employees that diversity and equality are a priority to their organization. Not only does it serve as an effective training tool for internal interactions, but with customers and vendors as well.

Why Diversity Training is Important

Developing a welcoming workplace for recruits

Starting your first day at a new company can be stressful and nerve-wracking, especially since you have no idea what to expect from the environment. Diversity training prepares employees for higher diversity in their team. Furthermore, this helps in welcoming recruits with diverse backgrounds into the business and promotes a positive company culture. It not only boosts the new hiring’s self-confidence but establishes a sense of trust in the company’s management and motivates them to perform at their best.

Improving employee collaboration

Diversity training emphasizes being considerate of others’ opinions and viewpoints. This increases the cooperation between employees on work tasks and motivates teamwork to reach results faster and productively. Team leaders are also educated to value each member so they are aware of their contribution and significance to the team. When workers appreciate and respect each other’s strengths through differences in thinking, ideas, and contribution; it transforms a workplace culture into an inclusive setting. 

Attracting best-in-business talents

Diversity training promotes a positive company culture at all levels of an organization which boosts their reputation and invites jobseekers. A company looking to recruit new employees must pay close attention to its perceived workplace environment from former and existing employees. If by chance, a potential employee hears negative comments regarding your workplace culture, they will immediately withdraw their application since no one enjoys working at a company that does not care for its workforce’s well-being. When your company is known to have an inclusive workplace where workers from all backgrounds feel appreciated and recognized for their efforts, it will draw in more bright job seekers to your organization. This improves a business’s reputation in the industry and leaves a better impression on potential hires.

Encouraging idea sharing from all employees

A major benefit of diversity training in an organization is that it allows the free flow of suggestions, ideas, and opinions from workers at any level in the business hierarchy. This allows continuing dialogue between employees and establishes good work relationships. It strengthens employees’ trust in the company’s management and increases job satisfaction. For example, if your company is planning to decrease its carbon footprint and cut down on overall paper waste, opening up the discussion to employees on how to make this transition easier brings in an immense amount of ideas and suggestions. When a worker suggests going digital and installing editing software or pdf to doc converter on their systems, it allows them to adapt to the change efficiently.

Preventing biased behavior

Biased judgment and unfair treatment are core reasons why many employees decrease their efforts or quit working for an organization. Diversity training shuts its doors to biased behavior and promotes equal treatment for all its employees at every level. From staff to management, each member is educated on how to pass on clear and open-minded decisions so everyone feels part of the team in the room. While these training programs are not new, businesses are discussing new methods to raise awareness and inform employees on how to converse with individuals of different backgrounds. Interactive videos, group activities, and other techniques are used to teach employees about concepts such as cultural competency, unconscious bias, and civility. These help employees in applying their knowledge and understanding in real-world situations and collaborate with employees and customers of other cultures and ethnicity. Similarly, it educates workers to be better communicators and resolve conflicts triggered by masked attitudes based on social stereotypes. Managers and leaders are known to form better role models when they make decisions that are unbiased and fair.

Cultivating inclusion

Inclusion and diversity go hand-in-hand to form a friendly work culture for any organization. Inclusion means to ensure individuals from underrepresented groups are appreciated and have opportunities for career advancements where they can take on management roles. Diversity training induces inclusive thinking within a firm which leads to a more productive and welcoming workplace environment for everyone. Employees are also educated on workplace sensitivity, which teaches them to be aware of other’s comfort levels to not cause any unintentional offense. Often, people are unfamiliar with understanding behavioral changes that might be caused by insensitive comments. Thus, leaders and employees need to develop skills that interpret such situations better and nurture safe and convivial teamwork. Being sensitive to one’s attitude prevents unnecessary conflicts and discrimination.

Conclusion

Organizations in the 21st century that wish to pursue a competitive edge in this evolving market must create a company culture that attracts the best workforce. It is even better if this workforce knows how to interact with people from different ethnicities, backgrounds, and experiences. Effective diversity training enables employees to grow accepting and hospitable of everyone and removes other barriers to diversity and inclusion.

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