The idea of diversity training is becoming increasingly popular since there are myriad benefits to diversity in the workplace. Indeed, there tend to be many benefits to diversifying your team and sustaining a safe and inclusive work environment for everyone you employ. Unfortunately, however, diversity training has not been shown to be highly effective for actually creating diverse and inclusive workforces. In fact, in many cases, diversity training has been shown to have no effect or an unintended, negative effect. Nonetheless, many training consultants and HR departments attempt various types of DEI training with intended outcomes, whether or not they actually measure whether their intentions have been met.Free Consultation for Team Training
Expected Benefits of Diversity Training
Creating a more inclusive work environment for employees of all backgrounds, worldviews, and lived experiences is highly desirable, in whatever ways this can be achieved. Here are some of the various benefits that diversity training initiatives typically intend to deliver.
1. Eliminate Discrimination and Harassment
Diversity training is often espoused as an effective way of overhauling a discriminatory company culture into one that treats all of its employees with respect and equality. Diversity training intends to help employees and managers alike recognize where discriminatory behavior or words have become acceptable and how to address the myriad problems with that.
2. Safer Workplace for All Employees
When discrimination and harassment are no longer normalized in a company’s culture, and employees understand the problematic nature of that behavior, the work environment becomes safer for everyone, especially employees that are marginalized or typically face abuse due to their race, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, or faith. No employee should have to work somewhere they don’t feel safe, so recognizing if and how diversity training can solve the issue of safety is critical.
3. Avoid Lengthy Legal Issues
Diversity training regularly intends to help keep companies from having to pay hefty legal fees for discrimination or harassment lawsuits. Additionally, companies may save time and their public reputation by ensuring they haven’t normalized a discriminatory environment and that there are clear roads to proper management escalation should an employee complain of such an issue.
4. Improved Innovation and Company Growth
Diversity and inclusion training is sometimes designed to help foster the talents of all employees and their diverse experience, perspective, and talents. By cultivating a diverse workplace, you’re growing the mindset of the company which can not only lead to more innovative approaches to the work, it can also improve customer relations.
5. Increased Productivity
When employees are celebrated, rewarded, respected, and can feel safe in their workplace, they can put all their energy into the work. Rather than having to worry about safety, being intimidated, or facing retaliation repercussions while trying to keep themselves protected, diversity at work allows employees to stay focused on why they are at work in the first place. Training may be able to help with this.
6. Decreased Conflict
When employees get a deeper understanding of the importance of diversity and when they get to know their colleagues beyond just their obvious differences, empathy can flourish. In this environment where respect, understanding, and inclusion reign, sparks for conflict will decrease. Instead of discriminatory tensions acting as kindling for a conflict fire, people can focus more on expressing themselves fairly and effectively. Good training should aim to decrease workplace conflict.
Resolving employee conflict is challenging work, and it’s still up for debate as to whether diversity training can help. If you need help with conflict across diverse work populations, get support from neutral and experienced professionals who can diffuse rather than ignite the tension at work. Contact Pollack Peacebuilding Systems today to get the right solutions for your team.