In a well-balanced workplace, you’ll come across a range of individuals of different ages, races, religions, genders, backgrounds, personality types and skills.
Cultivating diversity in the workplace can boost innovation, problem solving and productivity, while also fostering happier employees. Cultural diversity and inclusion training is one effective way to promote understanding and awareness in the workplace.
But what exactly is cultural diversity training and why is it so important? Read on to learn more about what these training programs entail, and their benefits in the workplace.
What is DEI training?
Diversity training programs aim to help organizations and their employees become more inclusive in their way of thinking and operating. With that said, training programs may differ in their approach depending on an organization’s specific goals and the areas that need improvement.
For this reason, inclusion training often begins with an employee survey to identify what an organization’s goals should be and develop strategies for reaching those goals.
Examples of goals your organization may want to set include creating a positive work environment where people from all walks of life feel respected and supported, increasing the number of people from underrepresented groups within your organization, or using more inclusive language within job postings and communications.
DEI training may also help organizations identify practical changes they can make, such as building wheelchair ramps and accessible toilets or providing employees with nursing rooms, prayer rooms and gender neutral bathrooms.
Positive impacts of DEI training
Research shows that diversity training can benefit organizations in a number of different ways, from boosting revenue to driving innovation. Following are some examples of the most important ways in which DEI training may benefit your organization.
1. Safer work environment
Supporting diversity and inclusion in the workplace can help employees feel safe and respected regardless of their personal beliefs, gender, race or sexual orientation. Promoting an understanding and acceptance of cultural and social differences can also reduce workplace conflicts and foster better relations between employees.
2. Increase employee morale
Emphasizing the importance of diversity in the workplace can build a greater sense of community and increase employee morale. Building a diverse and harmonious workforce is also one of the best ways to reduce overall stress levels and help workers feel happier and more productive.
3. Improve employee retention
Promoting diversity within your organization can boost your employees’ sense of belonging and help them feel more connected to their work. This in turn will help them feel more committed to your organization. Ensuring that each individual’s views and beliefs are respected at work can also encourage employees to voice their opinions and share feedback, which is crucial to implementing changes that will improve employee retention.
4. Develop more inclusive company valuesDiversity and inclusion training can help your organization develop more inclusive company values and also communicate these values clearly in order to attract top talent. One survey found that 70% of job seekers consider a company’s commitment to diversity important when evaluating a potential employer.
6. Drive growth and revenueIn addition to enhancing employee satisfaction, diversity and inclusivity can boost your organization’s growth and profitability. Why? Although it should come as no surprise, research shows that when employees feel safe and respected, their performance improves. One report on diversity by McKinsey showed that organizations with more culturally and ethnically and diverse boards were 43% more likely to experience higher profits than those with less diverse boards.
7. Foster innovation
Companies with a diverse workforce have the benefit of getting perspectives and ideas from people of different genders, ages, cultural backgrounds, religions and abilities, which can greatly boost creativity and innovation. A report by Harvard Business Review confirmed this by showing that companies with more diversity saw more innovation. This innovation also resulted in 19% higher revenue and 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee.
Now that you’re aware of the potential benefits of diversity and inclusion training, it’s time to look at some practical ways you can implement it in your own organization. Start by evaluating your company goals as well as budget and location, and consider the benefits of online vs. in-person training programs.
Most courses will address a range of relevant topics including the different types of bias, their effects and how to counter them. But, depending on the feedback you get from your employees, you may want to focus on specific areas, such as monitoring workplace diversity or dealing with problems such as microaggression or workplace bullying.