In a global and interconnected economy, companies are hiring employees from all backgrounds and walks of life. This means that as our employee and customer demographics continue to become more and more diverse, we need to be ready to identify with those individuals and, more importantly, celebrate those differences in a respectful manner.
Diversity in the workplace is about unification of ideas and facilitating interactions between individuals across different backgrounds. And while ethnic and racial diversity are important, we’re also talking about all forms of backgrounds, orientations, and expressions of identity.
If you’re going to create a welcoming work environment and a vibrant company culture, investing resources in diversity training should be high up on your to-do list.
What is diversity training?
Simply put, diversity training is professional training regimens that are implemented with the intention of reducing prejudice and discrimination in the workplace. In place of discriminatory behavior, diversity training teaches individuals from different backgrounds to work together and respectfully celebrate their differences.
For a long time, diversity training referred to only racial diversity training. While still important, diversity training should include several intersections of one’s identity, including their nationality, sexual orientation, religion, gender, language, socio-economic status, age, physical or mental capacity, and more.
Diversity training programs are all about increasing awareness, knowledge and communication.
Benefits of diversity training and why it’s important
There are a lot of good answers to the question, “Why is diversity training important?” At its best, diversity training can help employees feel more included, which will lead to happier, more productive, and more loyal employees.
Other benefits of diversity training for employees include:
- More attention spent on individuals with unique backgrounds leads to more perspectives and opinions in the workplace. This can increase creativity, enhance problem-solving, and allow you to gain cultural insight into domestic and overseas markets.
- More welcomed employees are more productive employees. In fact, happy salespeople sell up to 37% more than dissatisfied workers.
- Creating a company culture that is inclusive will help you retain employees for longer and contribute to your brand and reputation.
- Diversity training discourages toxicity in the workplace, which is something no employer should want in their office.
- No one wants to violate any civil rights, and the more your employees know about what it means to be inclusive, the less likely you’ll have to deal with any civil suits.
- When we understand our differences better, we’re more sensitive and empathetic with one-another. This leads to better communication, more collaboration, and a greater sense of community.
The question isn’t whether to implement a diversity training program, it’s how and when you should implement it.
The more we embrace individuals with different backgrounds and identities, the more we’ll need to understand those differences if we’re going to work together in a respectful and productive manner.
Best diversity training programs to implement
There are a number of excellent diversity training programs that you can implement, and we’ve picked out a few of our favorite ones.
- Cornell Diversity & Inclusion Certificate Program
- Certificate program for entire company
- Multiple courses make up the program
- Helps understand root causes for biases
- 100% online program
- Grovo by Cornerstone
- Offers a library of thousands of microlessons
- Geared toward managers and team leaders
- Curate, customize, and create lessons for employees
- All-in-one platform that helps you proactively engage with your employees
- eLesson: Unconscious Bias, Microsoft
- Manager and employees can both take lessons
- Library of videos, articles, and interactive content that teaches viewers about inclusion, diversity, privilege, and unconscious bias in the workplace
- Diversity in terms of innovation, business, happiness and productivity
- Provides creative, multinational scenarios and storylines to help educate learners
- FutureLearn: Purdue University
- 3-week program with a 3-hour weekly commitment
- Teaches workers about unconscious bias and inclusion in the workplace
- Underscores ethnocentric mindstate training
- Developed by Charles A. Calahan, who directs and facilitates the intercultural development of faculty, staff, and students at Purdue University
These are just some of our favorite picks of some popular diversity training programs out there, but there are dozens of great online programs that can help fit your needs and scope.
Methods of Diversity Training
There are two major diversity training methods that most companies implement to work alongside their program.
The first of these is perspective-taking, which is a method that places you in someone else’s shoes. A Harvard Business Review study showed that training programs that allowed users to take the perspective of LGBT individuals or racial minorities improved attitudes and behavior toward these groups.
The second method is goal setting, which is the act of setting concrete goals for your employees to reach every month. An example of this might be to challenge inappropriate comments that an employee overhears or to find ways to celebrate differences with your employees, like recognizing non-national holidays.
Whether your training program is in person, hybrid online, or asynchronous online, you can utilize the above methods to help your employees stay mindful of their training and practice what they learn.
How Grokker can help you create a positive work environment
Grokker takes all the work out of workplace wellbeing with its holistic and easy to implement approach. Importantly, we believe that wellbeing is at the heart of any successful diversity program and are committed to ensuring our solution is available to and accessible by everyone in the company’s global customer base.
Our patented video technology focuses on behavior changing scientific approaches:
- With a library of over 4,000 mindfulness, exercise, nutrition, sleep, and financial wellbeing videos for every interest, goal, and background, your employees will never run out of ways to connect and recharge.
- Employees at your organization can access Grokker form anywhere, on any device, and connect with any of our 130 experts in the online Grokker community.
- Grokker strives to eliminate the guesswork by providing your employees with custom recommendations, whether they have 5 minutes or 50 minutes.