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Why Is Diversity Training Important in a Purpose Driven Workplace?

Published on January 7, 2022

Diversity training helps employees and executives avoid conscious or unconscious bias and encourages a responsible and empathetic workforce.

The new generation of purpose-driven corporate employees expects diversity in the workplace. Diversity trainin helps corporate leaders achieve it.

Corporate leaders should recognize the need for diversity and inclusion measures to avoid complacency and take a proactive approach to equitable workplace practices.

According to a recent Gallup poll, 45% of U.S. workers have experienced some form of discrimination in the past year. This means every other employee has felt belittled, disrespected or treated unfairly as part of their job they fulfill every day. This is unacceptable.

What Is Diversity Training?

Diversity training can be any training program designed to teach a diverse workforce how to work together effectively and respectfully by reducing discrimination and prejudice. This is meant to improve a workplace’s ability to account for and better understand the differences among its employees.

When we say differences, we’re talking about, among other things:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Language
  • Sexual orientation
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Physical and mental capabilities

Diversity training gives workers the vocabulary to respect these differences without compromising happiness and productivity. There are plenty of ways to engage in purpose-driven diversity training, from workshops and one-on-one counseling to codifying specific employment and evaluation practices. Largely, though, all diversity training has a singular goal: to remove bias from the workplace and create a diverse and satisfied workforce.

Why Diversity Training Is Important

Diversity training provides a reliable, socially conscious way to make every employee feel included in a company’s corporate purpose and respected in their day-to-day work. At a high level, 69% of executives rate diversity and inclusion as an important issue. Diverse corporations are 35% more likely to outperform their competitors. This can be attributed to an engaged workforce trained to seek different approaches to a common goal.

The effectiveness of diversity training depends on a wide variety of factors, from the size of a company to the specific training approach. Some studies have found that diversity training can be a great way for employees to recognize their own biases and change their behavior for the better, while others have found that employees and company leaders might not be able to fully engage with the training if they don’t perceive an existing diversity problem in the first place.

Nonetheless, diversity training can have a measurable impact on employee behavior by virtue of teaching staff about the importance of inclusivity, empathy, and respect as applied to their role in company culture.

How Diversity Training Works

Diversity training works by giving a company the tools to identify unconscious biases and facilitate positive, meaningful interactions between members of a diverse workforce. The primary goal of diversity training is to give employees the opportunity to learn how to respect and account for the differences among their coworkers. This takes several forms:

  • Awareness training can give employees exposure to different cultures and backgrounds, providing them with an understanding of how to best promote respect and empathy among their peers.
  • Diversity audits can give a detailed account of your company’s diversity practices, from hiring and evaluation practices to workforce makeup.
  • Interpersonal skill training provides employees with the experience to sidestep cultural taboos and avoid unintentionally insensitive behavior during the workday.

How to Improve Diversity Training in the Workplace

Each company’s diversity training should be tailored to its corporate purpose and any identified workplace biases. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach guaranteed to eliminate prejudice, but due diligence can better position managers to start the right conversations.

Take measure of your company’s diversity by looking critically at the workforce makeup. To improve the existing diversity training program, ask yourself and your managers:

  • Are employees representative of my environment?
  • Does my company leadership reflect the diversity of my workforce?
  • Are there existing obvious biases that haven’t been formally discussed?

Answering these basic questions will identify any institutional weaknesses and help develop a diversity training approach for the workplace’s specific challenges and corporate purpose.

Diversity Training Programs

After identifying diversity training needs, an effective framework helps implement diversity initiatives. Audit your company and let us help you find an approach that compliments your workplace’s unique conditions. Our measured approach to diversity, equity and inclusion training and workshop programs will help your company reach the peak of its ESG potential. Diversity on its own isn’t enough. To create a safe, collaborative environment, guide your staff toward the change they want to see in the world.

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