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What Is Diversity Training in the Workplace?

Diversity training is an ongoing process to educate employees on the proper way to treat people of different backgrounds. The main goal of a successful diversity-training program is to create a positive work environment.

Definition

The purpose of diversity training is to increase participant’s cultural awareness, knowledge, and communication. Diversity training can benefit an organization by helping to prevent civil rights violations, increasing the inclusion of different identity groups, and promoting better teamwork. The main goal of a successful diversity training program is to create a positive work environment by helping employees recognize and be tolerant of differences among co-workers.

Why Diversity Training

Diversity training represents the opportunity for employers to educate employees about diversity. Although diversity training cannot completely change an individual’s beliefs, it does have the ability to increase awareness, impart knowledge, and educate employees on how to accept differences among fellow employees. Organizations use diversity training to bring out the best in their employees. Organizations also want to break down the barriers that separate different types (ethnic, social, political, etc.) of employees so they can work together and be productive as a team.

How to Create Diversity Training

Establishing a diversity-training plan takes time and effort. There is more to it than just hiring someone to talk with employees about diversity. For diversity training to be effective an organization should ensure their training program is an ongoing effort supported by top management. Below are a few of the important items that must be implemented so that diversity training is successful.

  • Integrate training into organizational practices and goals.
  • Adopt specific definitions for workforce diversity, affirmative action, and equal employment opportunity.
  • Setup workforce diversity policies
  • Establish a resource library for participants to use following the training.
  • Identify non-training activities that will support lessons learned from the training, which include posters, staff meetings, newsletters, informational brochures, and videos.

Importance of Diversity Training

Workplaces today have more employees that are diverse, and they will need to work together more effectively. Employees and managers need to understand that there are different rules in different cultures and different ways of communicating. Workplace diversity training is designed to promote understanding of differences among employees and their managers. Below are a few possible advantages of having a diversity training program in place at an organization.

  • Getting along: Employees that have attended a diversity-training program often get along better with each other.
  • Trust: Employees learn to trust other employees from different backgrounds.
  • Respect: Employees learn to welcome and respect others.
  • Ideas: Employees discover how to respect the ideas and perspectives of co-workers.
  • Talents: Employees’ talents are recognized more often.
  • Organization Culture: A company’s culture begins to encourage positive interaction from all different groups.

Overall Summary

Diversity training educates people about different cultures in order to facilitate better communication. As the workplace becomes diverse, people of all ages, physical abilities, ethnic backgrounds and races will need to work effectively together .Diversity training is not a one-time event. Diversity training is an ongoing process to educate employees on the proper way to treat people of different backgrounds.