Diversity in the Workplace Training

disc personality profile graphic depicting the four different stylesIf you’re looking to set up diversity and inclusion training for your company, you probably know that it matters. At Zoe Training, we’re here to not only facilitate an important and necessary training, but to make sure that your company reaps all of the many benefits that a diverse and inclusive workplace can sow.

What is Diversity and Inclusion Training?

Put simply, diversity and inclusion training helps employees and leaders within your company to learn to work with people from diverse backgrounds. From making sure that people of all genders feel safe and accepted in the workplace to helping people of differing ethnic and religious backgrounds to work together more seamlessly, diversity and inclusion education covers a lot of ground.

The goals of this type of training can be grouped primarily into two categories:

  • Awareness Training
  • Skills Training

Awareness Training

Awareness training works to increase awareness of and sensitivity to the backgrounds and differences of all staff. This type of training helps your company’s leadership and employees to take another perspective and to develop empathy. It also helps workers to determine where unconscious biases might be creeping into their day-to-day thoughts and actions.

Skills Training

Skills training provides specific exercises to work on cultivating the practices you will learn into your everyday
work life. This means that now that your employees understand the perspectives of people from other backgrounds, they will learn skills to help them positively interact with one another. It will also help both managers and employees to understand the steps they can take if they notice discrimination in the workplace.

Diversity training can take many forms and address many audiences. You can, for instance, host training for the executives of your firm, your HR staff, managers, employees, or any combination of people from your workplace. Sometimes, diversity and inclusion training will be crafted to fit a specific need, such as addressing an issue that has been occurring in the workplace. Other times, a training session may focus on building the skills and capabilities of the company’s leadership.

Why Does Diversity and Inclusion Training Matter?

An inclusive workplace where team members feel comfortable to collaborate and innovate is a good characteristic of any business.

You might not know, however, just how much a diverse and inclusive workplace matters for a variety of concrete business reasons. When your leadership team is looking at your bottom line, a key component that can help to boost profit and productivity is having a diverse and inclusive office environment. There’s a reason that diversity and inclusion is one of our most requested training topics.

According to research published by McKinsey and Deloitte, a diverse and inclusive workplace correlates with major business improvements. Some examples include:

  • A 35% increase in likelihood of financial returns above their industry’s national median, for companies in the
    top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity
  • A 15% increase in likelihood of financial returns above their industry’s national median, for companies in the
    top quartile for gender diversity
  • A direct linear relationship between racial and ethnic diversity and improved financial performance
  • As reported by employees, an increase of 83% in ability to innovate, 31% in responsiveness to changing customer needs, and 42% in team collaboration when employees felt their organization was committed to and supportive of diversity

Increases in diversity and inclusion are directly linked to improved business performance and employee retention, which means that, even if this sort of training feels like a chore, it’s important. In fact, when you consider the time spent working on diversity and inclusion as compared to its business benefits, you’re looking at a very strong return.

How Does it Work?

We at Zoe Training love the process of diversity training, not just the tangible rewards. Our facilitators have 20+ years of HR experience and are constantly learning and innovating to make sure our training is effective.

What If We’ve Done Diversity and Inclusion Training Before and the Results Didn’t Seem to Stick?

Back when these sorts of trainings began, there was a lot left to learn about how to make diversity and inclusion education programs really work. Shockingly, right along with the advent of diversity training came a downturn in the number of diverse people in management positions!

This happened primarily because business leaders felt burdened by needing to implement these practices. Mandatory trainings felt stifling and there was a negative reaction to increasing diversity, as people at the top of some companies decided that maybe things would just be easier (and they would be less prone to lawsuits) if they just avoided diversity. Unfortunately, with the undeniable benefits of diversity, this wasn’t the best decision.

The problem wasn’t diversity training itself, but the way it was being presented. Harvard Business Review studies have determined that blanket, one-size-fits-all training isn’t the answer to anyone’s diversity and inclusion problems. They recommended the following:

  • Focus on perspective taking and goal setting, which have been shown to have major and lasting impacts on trainees
  • Specialize your training, rather than applying a one-size-fits-all approach
  • If possible, incentivize employees to attend, rather than making training mandatory
  • Encourage company leaders to openly discuss the benefits of diversity and inclusion education
  • This means that lasting, positive impacts of diversity training programs require genuine buy-in both from the provider and from your company. At Zoe Training, we work with you to increase the lasting impact of our trainings on your managers and employees, so that you can see the best business outcomes as a result.

What Will We Gain From Training?

Diversity training can have amazing impacts across your company. The exact outcomes of training will depend upon what type of training you are holding, i.e. the participant group, purpose, length, and so on.

We specialize in helping leaders to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion in their businesses. Leaders play
a critical role in preventing harassment and creating a civil work environment. Many of our trainings focus on helping leaders to take responsibility and understand how to optimize their role with their teams. By the end of one of these trainings, participants will be able to understand:

  • The leaders’ role in harassment prevention
  • What to do when you spot harassment happening to others
  • How to effectively handle harassment accusations and investigations
  • The importance of ongoing harassment awareness and discussions beyond the training
  • A preventative approach to inappropriate behavior and harassment
  • Know what you don’t know—the perceptions hurting you, your team, and the organization
  • Understand workplace retaliation policies and considerations
  • Micro-inequity
  • Define potential sexual harassment and triggers
  • Be aware of EEOC trends, and State and Federal Guidelines involving sexual harassment
  • Understand the organization’s policy on workplace harassment
  • Address real-world scenarios and questions about harassment
  • Explore the role of social media and its trending effects on harassment in the workplace
  • Discuss the role of generational differences and how they affect the problem
  • Understand how unconscious biases and the propagation of stereotypes can subtly impact the workplace
  • Develop strategies to create a culture of civility and respect

By focusing on your company’s leaders, you can continue to promote inclusion in the workplace year-round. Of course, we offer several courses designed to work with other levels of employees to promote diversity and inclusion throughout your company.

The key to any successful training is specialization. That’s why it’s important to work with HR training professionals who understand diversity and inclusion training, its benefits, the secrets to its success, and how to craft training that will work for your company. Contact Zoe Training today to find out more.