Diversity and its corresponding aspect of inclusion have in recently acquired quite an inevitable and vitally imperative trait to corporate communities. The corporate world would be equally deemed unsustainable without the element of competition for the best talents in the market. The notion above gained precedence during the mid-20th century when civil rights movements had acquired a rather influential genre. This ideally set the tone for equality in workplaces in reference to blacks and whites. Almost half a century later, Diversity still holds a critical role in workplace environments. Workplace diversity is in the same context not only limited to differences between the workforce but also the acceptance and acknowledgement of these differences in the quest of working under one unified goal. Besides, apart from colour and race, diversity inclusion also includes gender, religion, caste, disabilities and any other viable difference resulting in a unique discourse community in the workplace. This is preferably the most stimulant that led to the inception of Diversity Training, an intuition aimed at increasing the awareness of differences among the workforce.
Diversity and Inclusion Training
The more companies desire for better talents inclusion in their workforce, the higher the demand for Diversity grows. Diversity training is not only a notion relating to educational aspects of inclusion but also the practical aspects of interaction among the workforce. It is more than a tool used in building diverse and inclusive cultures. Diversity training also assures a workforce free of discrimination and harassment claims (Paul, 2017). It is only valid if the management incorporates training to eliminate stereotypes related to any discourse community in the workplace environment.
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The path to a successful diversity training program includes various goals aimed at leveraging the interaction between different discourse communities in the workplace. Raising awareness is perhaps one of the most critical goals of diversity training. This clause tries to raise awareness on the value of collaboration and corporation between different cultures, genders, castes and ethnicities. Raising awareness also includes various activities that help each of the workforce associates appreciate and recognise different ideas from their colleagues. A company’s corporation is in the same context viewed as a collection of various items to the corporate world (Paul, 2017). These concepts encompassed within a company’s ability include but are not limited to cultural competence, unconscious bias, workplace sensitivity and civility. Through interactive media, diversity training is assured on raising awareness on such concepts and in turn, results in a more stable workplace climate.
Diversity training tackles current workforce-related issues but on a contemporary perspective. For instance, concepts such as cultural competency have been evident since the inception of Diversity in the 20th century. The concept mentioned above was initially used to create a better relationship between workforce associates of the same workplace climate. Fast forward to the current implementation the same notion; cultural competence has been adopted in police departments to help them relay a strong relationship with civilians (Forbes Coaches Council, 2018). The scope of its implementation has now increased to include more than the internal workforce of a company. The same concept has anchored the adoption of implicit-biased training and interaction (Paul, 2017). By such implementations, hidden attitudes based on the pervasive nature of social stereotypes are engaged. A perfect paradigm to the notion is the recent closure of Starbucks, a renowned coffee company, under the aim of training its employees on racial discrimination and unconscious bias; this was preferably a more contemporary anchor to the essence of diversity training in companies.
Commitment from the top executive committees of a company is preferably the best approach to a well-established diverse workforce. Diversity training does not limit its scope to only employees but also includes a program for the executives. According to Johnny C. Taylor, the CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, leaders should be at the forefront in setting paths and expectations for a culture that values everyone irrespective of their differences (Paul, 2017). Diversity training also provides a platform where leaders can change their current rules and regulations to adapt firmly and equally to inclusive behaviours in a company.
Diversity includes several discourse communities under one roof that embraces equality. Inclusion, on the other hand, ensures all groups especially the rarely represented, are well-acknowledged in the workplace environment. Underrepresented should be described in a state that makes them valuable to the company in every aspect. Diversity training works in a similar stroll, by appealing to an employee to look at the positivity impacted by such groups rather than considering their inefficiency in the company or the general society (Purnima, 2018). Such information is relayed under a concept of inclusive thinking or actions aimed at leading a positively-minded. Workplace sensitivity is another concept almost similar to inclusion. While inclusion works to recognise the underrepresented in a workplace, workplace sensitivity aims at acknowledging the difference in fellow workplace associates (Forbes Coaches Council, 2018). Diversity training also includes this concept to help employees understand the effect of negativity to their colleagues.
Problems Facing Diversity training
According to Shankar Vendetam of the Washington Post, most diversity training remains inefficient despite their known efficacy. A much pervasive approach of the concept is basing one's priorities in increasing racial and lifestyle awareness, tolerance and integration. Although such ideas are still critical to a successful diversity training program, they do not define the efficacy integrated into such a program (Big Think Edge, 2017). Managers and relevant personnel should adopt diversity training as a frequent program in everyday activities, not just a one-time agenda. A diverse workforce can only be considered efficient if the entire workforce, including the management, is involved in creating a positive culture in the workplace climate. The diversity training program is in the same context not limited to only employees, and the management but also relevant stakeholders who will be actively involved in interactions with the workforce.
Employees rely on their managements and leaders in setting paths for their working climates. Diversity training should be implemented in a way that shows an example of frequently emphasised concepts. It should highlight the essence of adhering to strict hiring and paying rules it an organisation. By such concepts, both the represented and the underrepresented communities in the company will view their presence as necessary. Such regulations should not, in any case, be linked to discriminations regarding gender, cultures, lifestyles or even race (Purnima, 2018). There exist various stereotypes of promotions regarding the gender, race or Diversity of employees. Diversity training should be used to convey an environment that relays equality from the internal organisation of the company, especially in situations like the one mentioned above.
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For decades, dating back to the late 20th century, organisations have implemented diversity training to aid in creating awareness. The aftermath of such programs is however not much notice to the corporate world ads the discrimination as per race, culture and social efficacy continues to take charge in most organisations (Big Think Edge, 2017). This does not exclude the effectiveness of diversity training in the corporate world. A well-trained and diverse workforce places a company in a relatively higher place among its pack on a competitive perspective. The biggest problems resulting in such conclusion can be based on the pervasive nature of society’s thinking (Forbes Coaches Council, 2018). Not all employees believe Diversity is a crucial component in building a competitive organisation. Most of them do not see the essence of including diversity workforce in all aspects of the organisation’s working. Some, on the other hand, hold stereotypes form their life experiences which are quite hard to change (Purnima, 2018). They end up influencing a higher percentage of the current workforce in holding negative impressions of the same.
Every employee holds his thoughts regarding his competence. Some in the same context believe they cannot help others if the subsequent aftermath is not part of his achievements. Such employees act as a hindrance to diversity training as they pervasive thoughts cannot be changed by one meeting (Big Think Edge, 2017). The programs can be, however, efficient if the practices are adopted as everyday activities. This will ensure emphasis of the concepts and in turn, relay a healthy interaction posture in the organisation. A similar point of interest is how companies might advocate for Diversity and inclusion in their workplace climates but lag in providing diversity-included environments in the workplace. The top leadership specifically fails in exhibiting day-to-day activities that encourage a culture embracing diversity and inclusion aspects. Leaders often undermine their impact on influencing others on the same concept of Diversity by engaging in activities or speeches that do not portray a culture embracing such notions.
Solutions to Problems Facing Diversity Training
As evident by most of the issues, the management holds the most influential aspects of diversifying a company’s workforce. Countering such problems can in the same approach be specified to the top executive management. To begin with, in the aim of providing diverse-inclusive environments, promotions, hiring processes and pay wages should be relayed in a manner that depicts respect to Diversity. They should also ensure their workforce comprises of more than one discourse community. Employees would, by this action, not have space for discriminating a specific race as they need them for a competent workforce (Big Think Edge, 2017). Despite finding a diverse workforce, they should ensure each organisational department comprises of various communities all diverse but unified under a common departmental goal. Leaders can also make diversity training effective by providing rewards and promotions are based on collective achievements (Forbes Coaches Council, 2018). The collectiveness of these achievements should group various employees under one common goal.
Resistance to Diversity is a rather ubiquitous concept. Such concepts might be conveyed in thoughts, feelings and actions that hinder the effectiveness of diversity-included environments in organisations. Research shows that whites are in this context much vulnerable to diversity-related consequences and resistances. The same analysis revealed that whites will always hold heightened threats as a response to Diversity specific to race and colour (Big Think Edge, 2017). Such employees in the workforce impact diversity training by influencing others into holding the same redundant perceptions.
The success of most 21st century based organisations is limited to an aggressive approach of other similar companies. Organisations high in the chain often understand the value of including Diversity in their workplace climates. Diversity, on the other hand, cannot be rendered effective if others do not help in the success of the program. Diversity training is equally critical in raising awareness of the same concept. The efficacy of diversity training is relative to its implementation mechanism and approach. Leaders should, by this fact, design best practices to help in implementing a successful training program. The training results in a positively shaped workplace climate by eradicating unconscious bias and other barriers to Diversity and inclusion. Diversity training further motivates the adoption of behaviours and attitude essential in building a respectful, inclusive workforce.
- Big Think Edge (2017). Diversity in the workplace: 4 Common challenges and solutions. Retrieved from https://www.bigthinkedge.com/diversity-in-the-workplace-4-common-challenges-and-solutions/
- Forbes Coaches Council (2018). Thirteen Effective Ways to Educate employees on Diversity. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2018/06/28/13-effective-ways-your-organization-can-educate-employees-on-diversity/amp/
- Kimberlee Leoard (2017). How should Diversity Training Be Implemented? Retrieved from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/should-diversity-training-implemented-1179.html
- Paul Gavin (2018). Diversity Training in the Workplace: What it is and why it’s important. Retrieved from: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.traliant.com/blog/2018/10/18/diversity-training-what-it-is-and-why-its-important/amp/
- Purnima Nandy (2018), 5key steps to implementing a successful diversity program. Retrieved from https://www.insidehr.com.au/5-steps-diversity-program/
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