A healthy workplace should make every employee, potential new hire, and partner feel welcome and accepted in the environment. There are many ways to go about making people feel that way, whether it’s by focusing on employee feedback and giving constructive criticism or by helping foster an inclusive and equal environment for all employees.
Here at Elevated Diversity, we can help you look at what diversity is and why diversity training in the workplace is important for all businesses.
What is Diversity?
Simply put, diversity is the practice or process of including and welcoming people from a wide range of backgrounds and demographics. Diversity means that differences are celebrated and respected rather than ignored or excluded. When places or businesses are diverse, they are accepting and supportive of everyone around them. Different types of diversity include:
- Socio-economic Background
- Ethnic Group
- Physical Ability
- Mental Ability
- Sexual Orientation
What Is Diversity Training in the Workplace?
While diversity is an important part of the modern work environment, it doesn’t always come naturally. People have internal biases and pre-set assumptions of certain differences that can be difficult to overcome. And many businesses are used to hiring in a certain way, making it difficult for new diverse groups to join the company.
Diversity training helps to create awareness about diversity issues and increase the levels of respect and cooperation among teams. Diversity training in the workplace often focuses on leaders, but there are important skills in diversity training that everyone in a business can work to achieve.
Why Is Diversity Training Important?
Unfortunately, there are many managers, leaders, and even companies that think that there’s too much going on in their place of business to focus on diversity training. However, the need for diversity training has increased significantly over the years.
The world has become a more global, connected place. With the use of technology, people are able to connect to others across the globe and understand the difficulties that different people of different backgrounds face during their daily lives. That puts pressure on businesses to understand and reflect in their own practices what is being seen in society around them.
Diversity training also helps leaders understand how to connect more personally with their teams, which can drive higher levels of motivation, commitment, and loyalty to the company. Diversity training helps brands stay ahead of changing workforces rather than reactively trying to catch up—often after a scandal or reputation-damaging crisis.
Finally, diversity training isn’t just about putting on a show of acceptance to make customers happy and increase brand loyalty. It’s the right thing to do. Every company should want to reflect important values and make sure that they are open, accepting, and willing to work with people of every type of background.
The Benefits of Diversity Training
Now that you understand what diversity is and what diversity training in the workplace means, let’s take a look at some of the key benefits you can get from implementing a diversity training program at your workplace.
Stop Harassment and Discrimination
The core values in diversity training revolve around respect and equality. Without those values at the heart of leadership and management initiatives in a company, there’s an increased chance that harassment and discrimination will occur. Diversity training helps leaders recognize when harassment and discrimination are occurring in the workplace and what steps need to be taken to remediate and stop those behaviors entirely.
Create a Safer Work Environment
When an employee feels as though they are being harassed or discriminated against at work, they don’t feel safe or secure in their jobs or personal safety. Every business leader and manager should want to take every step necessary to ensure that their employees feel safe at work and want to come and perform with the rest of the team. Eliminating any bias or discrimination that employees might face based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other trait makes the workplace a safer environment for everyone.
Avoid Costly and Damaging Legal Battles
A brand’s reputation depends on public perception and acceptance by customers. If a company is known to have discriminatory practices or a lack of diversity that isn’t being addressed, the reputation can suffer. Social media and digital technology mean that a scandal that might have been small in the past can easily go viral and become a major blow to a brand’s reputation.
In addition to the potential loss of revenue from customers when a brand’s reputation is damaged, there are also serious legal implications. Discrimination against certain traits is illegal, and if your company doesn’t invest in diversity training and equality practices, you can be caught in a lengthy and expensive legal battle.
Develop Inclusive Thinking and Ideas
A workplace that is diverse can foster new ideas, ways of thinking, and approaches that might have been lost in the silo of sameness that can happen without diversity training. When a business is willing to listen to different perspectives and voices, there is a better chance of finding innovations and places to grow as a company.
Find out more about helpful solutions and the benefits of diversity training in the workplace with us at Elevated Diversity. Get in touch to discover how we can help!