While there has been a shift and many companies have become more inclusive and diverse in recent years, D&I training in the workplace is absolutely essential. When you get diversity training right, your employees will feel like part of the team, boosting morale and overall performance.
Build a solid diversity and inclusion training program and it will help you retain employees and attract top talent. If you include diversity and inclusion training from the beginning, your new hires will instantly feel accepted and part of the team.
Diversity and inclusion meaning
Unsure of the diversity and inclusion definition? Let’s start things off on the right foot to be clear about the meaning of diversity and inclusion. Let’s break down each word here.
According to the Oxford Language, “Diversity is the practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientation etc”.
Similarly, inclusion means “the action or state of including or being included within a group or structure”.
When looking for diversity and inclusion in the workplace, it means making everyone in the business feel equally accepted and part of the entire workplace.
Why is diversity and inclusion important?
Diversity and inclusion aren’t about hitting quotas or ticking off policies or programs; it’s about making the entire team inclusive. As a result, employees will gain deeper trust and will naturally feel more committed to their job and the company they work for.
The benefits of diversity and inclusion training
There are so many benefits of diversity and inclusion training you need to know about. While it can address prejudices and biases that may arise in any business, it’s also essential to include it in your training programs. Diversity training isn’t just applicable for HR managers, it’s required for the whole team.
Including diversity training programs in your business will help attract a diverse team, avoid bad online reviews and PR situations your company won’t want to be associated with. It will also provide an inclusive culture that will attract the best talent and improve employee morale and retention. If your employees are happy at work, they’ll perform better, which will help you grow the business faster.
Now that we’ve talked about why diversity and inclusion training is essential for your business, we’ll help guide you for what you need to include in the training to make it effective.
- Survey your employees
Before you put your diversity training together, you’ll need to compile the data around the employee demographics. This will help you understand what diversity looks like within the company and any stand-out concerns you need to look into.
Employee demographic covers a wide range of topics, so don’t think it’s only to do with age, sex, or race. Many companies factor in anything from the type of learners they have employed, personality, family status, life experiences, religion, and thinking styles. Uncovering this amount of information can be done by surveying your employees to help you understand them better.
- Focus on improvements
Once you’ve compiled the data from your employees, you’ll be able to identify areas for improvement. Check to see if personality traits, attitude on culture, on work ethics match up. If there’s a disconnect, you might like to organize workshops to understand better how your colleagues feel about working for the company.
- Create goals
Once you’ve figured out how to improve workplace diversity, it’s a good idea to create common goals so that your employees will be able to bond quickly and move forward together.
When you’ve created your goals, you’ll see an uptake in employee referral programs, a proactive company culture, and employees who all respect each other.
- Provide business objectives
When you’ve identified how necessary diversity training in the workplace is, you’ll soon realize that it can certainly aid the company’s business objectives.
Build a company that people want to work for and you’ll quickly discover top talent who will help you take your company to the next growth stage.
When you embrace a more diverse and inclusive workplace, your company will be highly regarded for providing equality in the workplace, which could help solve problems within the business quickly when you have a diverse team full of ideas to gain knowledge from.
- Lead by example
Start from the top and lead by example with the C-Suite team to improve workplace diversity. Although diversity and inclusion training is required across the entire company, your leadership team should represent the core values of working in an inclusive environment, which will send across a powerful message to the rest of the company. Your employees are likely to follow in the leadership’s footsteps when actively working towards the core values.
- Implement & Communicate initiatives
You’ll need to implement and communicate the diversity and inclusion initiatives by setting goals. Think changes in policies, staff training, diversity and inclusion events, and even recruitment as initiatives.
When you’ve implemented the initiatives, you’ll need to involve various stakeholders with a series of workshops to educate them on how to inform their teams appropriately. Team leaders will need to inspire, empower, engage and educate their teams and keep them up to date with the D&I initiatives.
- Offer flexible training
Gone are the days of training face to face in a classroom. Not everyone can learn at the same time in a room with others. If you offer flexible learning, your employees will be able to take the diversity training in their own time and at their own pace, which suits them. By transforming your diversity training online, you’ll be able to include more content, including webinars, live streaming teaching, online courses, and even one on one coaching.
- Turn inclusion into a workplace culture
When you turn inclusion into workplace culture, you’ll be opening the door to welcome new employees from various backgrounds who will settle in quickly, which can only be a good thing.
- Celebrate diversity in the workplace
Workplace diversity will create change, especially when it comes hand in hand with inclusivity. When team leaders can recognize a culture of employees demonstrating acceptable behavior, you can feel assured to know that the diversity training is working.
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