The essence of workplace diversity is not merely having a team of employees who are different in regard to age, gender, religion, culture, and sexual orientation, but actually in building awareness and teaching acceptance within that team. Companies that really work on creating effective workplace diversity have significantly higher employee retention, much easier and more effective employee recruiting, greater opportunities for global business growth, and a positive work environment that increases employee morale and inspires everyone to equally contribute to the success of the company.
To achieve all of this, you need to implement employee diversity training. Here’s how you can develop an effective diversity training program that works and make sure that all of the bridges between every employee in your company are successfully crossed so that you can create a cohesive work environment. Learning Management Systems are widely used to create such diverse training programs.
Identify All the Stakeholders
This is the first step that you need to take to create a truly effective diversity training program. You need to identify all the stakeholders who will be directly affected by your training program. You can easily do this by interviewing all of your employees, including managers and other superiors, as well as by creating focus groups and online surveys that will give you an insight into your organization.
That way, you will gather all the necessary information about every stakeholder and learn about their behavior, so that you can know which behaviors need a bit of adjustment. Ask your employees about potential age and gender issues, whether or not there is cultural awareness in the environment, how effectively they are communicating, and whether or not there are some conflicts among them in regards to diversity.
All of that input will help you know how to approach your diversity training and what goals you need to achieve to create a positive work environment.
Define Clear Goals and Objectives
Once you know who the key stakeholders are and which areas need change, you need to define the objectives and goals of your program, as that will help you develop the best practices for diversity training. You need to know exactly what your employees’ needs are so that you can develop a strategy to empower them and inspire acceptance among them.
For instance, one of your objectives may be to improve communication in your company, so that no misinterpretation ever occurs. You may want to teach your employees not only to be aware of their differences in age, culture and religion but also to be able to value those differences, all with the goal of creating a positive culture that will ultimately improve your entire company and help you realize your vision.
Setting clear diversity training goals will significantly help you and all of your employees know how to work on achieving them. When all of them know which way they are headed, they will learn how to resolve any potential issue before it becomes a bigger problem that may negatively affect the company culture.
Provide Employees with Various Materials Concerning Diversity
You should create an online diversity training course, where you will provide your employees with materials that will help them learn about everything associated with diversity. You should teach them how they should value the differences among them and how important it actually is that they treat one another equally. After all, they are all human, and that is the only thing that they need to take into account. You need to make them fully aware of it, as that is the absolute key to their effective communication and collaboration.
You can create presentations and design workshops where you will engage your employees in interactive activities. The main goal of those workshops is for everyone to work together and improve their communication. Those sessions will promote unity and help your entire team become a single organism working towards achieving your company’s goals.
Also, you should create quizzes that will provide you with an insight into people’s biases and diversity issues. They need to recognize the issues and learn how to change their behavior because the key to a successful work environment is to treat others the way they want to be treated. Your workshop sessions and online quizzes will help your team learn how to work together through problems that may hurt morale within your organization.
Assess Your Employees Regularly to Evaluate Their Satisfaction and Teamwork
You need to evaluate the success of your diversity training program regularly so that you can see whether or not the stakeholders are practicing what they have learned. If some of them are showing resistance and genuinely disagree with the program, you should openly talk to them and explain the main goals of the training more thoroughly. You need to make sure that they don’t hurt the office morale and that they truly understand what is at stake if they don’t jump the bandwagon. They need to understand that they are hurting your company by not treating everyone equally.
That is why assessment is a vital step in your diversity training. What’s important is to assess your employees every once in awhile even after the training has been completed. It will help you ensure that everyone really values diversity and understands the importance of teamwork, no matter their culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender or age.
Diversity training is one of the most important types of training that every company should prioritize, especially if they want to reach the global market. However, many companies take approaches that don’t actually yield positive results, but the steps above will help you conduct diversity training that really works.