Diversity, like a changing technology or a global economy, is a business reality. The trends, the changes in technology and global competition require adaptations and have implications for organizational effectiveness and competitiveness. Diversity is no different. Consequently, to understand how effective management of a diverse workforce, it is critical for organizations that seek to improve and maintain their competitive advantage.
Focusing on diversity and looking for practices to create an inclusive organization—one that makes absolute use of the contributions of all employees—will generate increased productivity. As such, diversity training is a critical component of the present and future success and growth of an organization's business strategy. Diversity training discusses the topic of and need for diversity among colleagues and client relations. Diversity training can also aid in the recruitment of a diverse employee and client bases by addressing ways to further diversify products, plans and practices.
When a company or organization decides to implement diversity training into its workplace culture, it is imperative that companies take proactive steps to ensure that diversity initiatives are seen as opportunities to improve the overall productivity of the company and its employees in a bias-free, diverse workplace. Fundamental to the success of diversity training and education is the inclusion and participation of all employees in the diversity training process. It is important to recognize that certain individuals or groups within an organization may be resistant to change because they perceive a diversity initiative as a direct threat to their status and power. The following four steps can be incorporated into the initial discussion when diversity training is first broached:
Managing diversity requires the use of several sets of skills: communication, cross-cultural competency, critical thinking, conflict management and problem solving. Cultural diversity training also includes developing the capacity to identify and empathize with the beliefs, values and mores of others. The implementation of a diversity management-training program incorporates these skills and an educational component that allows participants to address issues of prejudice, discrimination and biased behaviors that could impact employee and client relations.
When preparing to discuss the need for diversity training in your organization, it can be helpful to address the following questions:
Diversity is a training ground that requires hard work, commitment to business ideals, and an ability to learn how to handle change by adapting to new situations and learn from people who are different from us. Because change is the only certainty ahead, making adaptations required by diversity keeps an organization flexible and well developed. Strengthening the ability to respond to changing environments and demands is a strategic business imperative that is critical to ensuring organizational viability.
Over 265,000 adult workers employed in more than 265 corporations, government agencies or small businesses in the public and private sectors have participated in A WORKPLACE OF DIFFERENCE®