There is a greater awareness nowadays of discrimination in all its forms, whether it be based on gender, race, sexual orientation, age, disability or anything else. Despite this growing awareness, some workplaces can still be lax on how to enforce anti-discrimination policies or crack down on it when it occurs.
What to Do
Ways in which this issue can be tackled is by implementing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training in your workplace. Employees can benefit from DEI courses that outline tips and best practices that will help them stop discrimination in its tracks and be more inclusive overall.
DEI courses cover a range of topics, including creating awareness of the discrimination that minorities or underrepresented groups might face, and how this affects their day-to-day lives. You might also consider delivering training on how to recognize and confront discrimination and microaggressions.
Everyone has unconscious bias that needs to be explored and recognized. DEI training can help ensure that these biases do not turn into actions that lead to an inequitable workplace. Alongside this is cultural sensitivity training and learning about how you can contribute to making your workplace more comfortable, accepting and inclusive. This training should also include guidance on recruitment and retention, protected characteristics and more.
For some, information is easier to retain when learning is put into action. Therefore, a good DEI training program might include looking at case studies or real-world scenarios in addition to having peer discussions for a deeper understanding of DEI.
In our society today, continuous development is more highly sought after than ever before. Individuals are constantly looking to progress in their personal and professional life. There is a constant need, both for employers and employees, to adapt, retrain, upskill. This may not always commonly include regular DEI training, however, DEI has become an invaluable skill set in today’s world of work.
A focus on the improvement of employees’ soft skills can be complementary to DEI training. Vital attributes for employees that can make your workplace more equitable and harmonious are listening skills, empathy, communication skills, team work and conflict management skills. At a basic level, individuals must understand how to operate effectively in a diverse workplace. This is a skill that can be developed through training, and it’s one that is even more vital to sustaining a thriving virtual workplace.
Benefits of DEI Training
There are many benefits to delivering DEI training. An inclusive and accepting workforce fosters growth for both employers and employees. It can offer improved employee engagement rates and better recruitment and retention processes; it can help to build stronger, healthier relationships between peers, and it can increase collaboration through open, transparent discussions. Additionally, a McKinsey analysis in 2019 found that companies that were in the top quartile of gender diversity were more likely to outperform others in terms of profitability. The same was said for ethnic diversity. This affirms that an inclusive and diverse workforce is also an effective and successful workforce.
How to Monitor Success
Being able to monitor the success of your DEI training programs is incredibly important. Without adequate measures to assess progress, your company may easily fall back into old habits that don’t support equity for all.
In some cases, if a company can afford it, it may be necessary to hire a DEI officer. Whether this is something you want to pursue, or if you plan to put other executives in charge of monitoring your DEI progress, it’s important to consider who is implementing your policies. Who is monitoring them to ensure that they are effective? How can you ensure that you regularly check in on your progress; that employees feel safe and comfortable communicating how they are feeling, especially if they feel like they are subject to discrimination? Fostering this environment of open discussion, especially on tough subjects, is what sets companies apart in terms of those that have genuine care for their workforce.
Overall, DEI training is more necessary and valued than ever before. Many programs and courses are readily available to drive a more inclusive future of work in your organization. Ultimately, the benefits of DEI training speak for themselves. After all, everyone wants to feel happy, included and heard at work.