The culture of your business entirely depends on how well you value equality and inclusivity. By neglecting to train your workforce in diversity and culture you risk not only facing legal and moral issues, but not hiring potential candidates who would excel in the role. All of this can lead to an impact on efficiency and productivity, which of course can affect revenue and profits.
Building a diverse and inclusive workplace should be one of your business’s main priorities. Doing this builds your reputation and ensures all your staff members are happier and more equipped to do their jobs.
But, what exactly does the training include and, how can you ensure your business’ equality and diversity training is as effective as it can be?
What is diversity and culture training?
Training that covers topics including diversity, culture, equality, and inclusivity is vital for creating and maintaining a safe working environment that centers on representation and giving everyone a voice.
An all-encompassing inclusive ideology prevents employees from feeling victimized and promotes a positive and more diverse environment. This leads to happier, more productive employees, and therefore more revenue.
Why are diversity and inclusion important in the workplace?
A business that neglects its legal and moral responsibility for building a diverse and inclusive workplace faces a number of issues that can escalate to the point where they lead to fines, damage to your reputation, negatively impact revenue, and cause employees to become unhappy.
When a workplace is truly diverse it encourages greater:
Training can also decrease miscommunication, misunderstandings, stereotyping, harassment, and conflicts that can create an unpleasant or strained place to work.
The first step to improved diversity in the workplace is the dedication to regular diversity and inclusion training.
What are the elements of diversity in the workplace?
There are a number of elements and types of diversity, all of which must be considered when creating a truly inclusive place to work. These include:
Certain industries can have more staff in one gender than another. Sometimes this is unavoidable, however, when possible a more equal split should be sought. When a business has a variety of employees of different genders it can prevent harassment and increase morale.
Employees of all age ranges bring together experience levels and points of view of all kinds, from those just starting their careers to industry-leading professionals. A mix of ages can only empower teams, and choosing one employee over another purely based on age is discriminatory.
While sometimes those with additional needs can’t work in certain roles, there’s no need for the majority of roles to limit recruitment or promotion based on this. Employees and job candidates with disabilities should be given the same opportunity as everyone else, and doing so breaks down any stigma or potential barriers.
An employee’s background or nationality plays no part in their ability to perform well at their job, and choosing not to hire a person of color is a conscious choice.
LGBT diversity in the workplace is also important, but is not necessarily something your business will necessarily be aware of, nor is it your right to ask your employees about their sexual preferences. However, encouraging diversity in this area is still something to be conscious of.
How does training promote equality and diversity?
Equality and diversity training educates and refreshes employees' knowledge so they have all the information they need to contribute towards an inclusive workplace.
When employees receive training it builds on their cultural awareness and prevents them from offending and upsetting colleagues (and customers).
When your business creates a safe and inclusive space the word gets out among potential job candidates and customers - providing your business with a bigger pool of talent to choose from in the future, which can also improve diversity itself.
Training promotes equality and diversity by:
What should a diversity training program include?
Corporate diversity training programs should be more than just a formality. They should be thorough and regular so existing employees’ knowledge is refreshed and new starters understand your culture and expectations.
Training should cover all types of diversity, including:
How can you train your employees in diversity and culture?
Offering your employees training in diversity should be a part of your business’s learning and development strategy, but ensuring that the training is engaging is vital.
Training can be done in person in a classroom setting, however, this can be time-consuming and expensive, and removes employees from their day-to-day responsibilities. It can also be challenging to ensure in-person training is engaging, and it can be easy for employees to disregard or quickly forget what has been learned.
Micro-learning is a useful tool for encouraging employees to learn in small, easily digestible chunks. Similarly, gamification promotes engagement by rewarding employees throughout the learning process.
Another effective way of delivering training is via eLearning. eLearning is flexible and affordable, even when training has to be completed by hundreds or even thousands of employees. Because online training is self-directed it can be picked up as and when employees have the time. Interactive materials such as quizzes and assessments ensure employees engage with training and retain knowledge.
If your business utilizes a learning management system (LMS) you can also easily distribute training, as well as monitor how employees are engaging so you can identify who needs additional support.
How effective is diversity training?
Diversity training allows you to grow a well-rounded, happier team that is conscious of each other and empathetic of each other's culture, background, needs, interests, and lifestyles.
This leads to a safer and happier workplace culture, which increases teamwork and collaboration, which in turn increases productivity.
In fact, a study discovered that diverse companies produce 19% more revenue, which shows just how effective training can be.
What are some of the best courses in diversity and culture?
As we’ve already highlighted, there are a number of areas training should focus on to build an inclusive culture and make sure all employees are familiar with diversity, equality, and inclusivity. Useful training courses include:
Ready to enroll your teams in diversity & culture courses?
Here at Go1, we have a database of diversity and culture eLearning courses available to access right now so your business can build an inclusive culture.