How To Understand Diversity & Inclusion Workplace Training
Diversity and inclusion workshop training programs have moved to the top of many companies’ HR priorities. Recent changes in laws, demographics, and accountability have changed the workplace a lot in the past few years. Today we are bombarded with many emails offering training in the areas of Diversity and Inclusion, Diversity and Racial Conflict, and just Diversity Training for your Employees. How do you know which is the most appropriate for your company, both leadership and staff? Should you take free courses to get the feel of the course and the complexity of the content? And finally, should you choose eLearning, webinars, onsite learning, or a series of workshops? Online learning is usually the most inexpensive, but does it cover all the subjects you want to address in a way that supports your policies, or is it a superficial overview of the topic that’s unlikely to yield results?
As you know, the introduction of technology and the globalization of our workforce means workplaces are now more diverse than at any other time in history. Empathy and inclusion can be challenging for employees who must collaborate to become successful as a team. It is vital to learn from one another throughout your organization and respect different life experiences to better support employees with an appropriate skillset for this ever–changing world. Sensitivity, self-awareness, and cultural competence are fundamental soft-skills for the modern workplace.
Training around this topic must be engaging, with relevant questions and real-life scenarios that reflect your workplace values and those of your leadership team. After surveying many of the D&I courses available from online providers, we designed our own course to be especially well–rounded.
Common Diversity Training Topics Like Unconscious Bias and Microaggressions
We first take steps to define many common terms related to bias, diversity, and inclusion while also supplying examples of how they might arise in a workplace setting. Participants are then encouraged to recognize how inequity, injustice, and other harmful bias effects impact cooperation between co-workers or between a business and the community. This cautious approach illustrates the need for inclusionary behavior in the workplace. It encourages the adoption of such practices to a greater degree than a course that uses a confrontational approach.
CTG’s D&I training does not place blame on each other’s biases or implies that an employee is one of privilege but has everyone realize that the biases, whether unconscious or not, do occur at work and we need to learn from them so we treat our co–workers, leadership, customers, and stakeholders with respect and dignity at all times; that it is okay to agree to disagree over certain issues while at work without civility or not willing to understand ones culture and experiences.
Regarding unconscious biases, we discuss the implicit bias, the affinity and conformity bias, the horns and halo, and last, the confirmation bias. We thoroughly explain the impacts of all types of discrimination, exclusion, and stereotypes in the workplace. By including a Harvard Business Review, we demonstrate the impact this behavior has on actual workplace consequences through statistics. By giving examples of how to act (or not to act), employees and leadership will have some direction on how to handle a situation if encountered. Furthermore, we spend time on solutions with simulated conversations with selective answers and how to positively turn the behavior around for the company’s success.
Leadership Diversity Training and Implementation
Our CTG workshops for the leadership team describe ways to discourage discrimination and stereotype disparate treatment and disparate impact within the workplace. We encourage management to recognize microaggressions amongst employees and how to have a conversation with them to understand what they are doing can be harmful and hurtful to a co–worker even if they did not do so intentionally in the beginning. One must recognize and own their behaviors and impact making someone feel uncomfortable even though it may be subtle.
Culture Competence is another critical component for leadership to learn and promote within the organization for further growth and success. Understanding and initiating cultural competence in the workplace will also help with productivity and overall employee performance. This, however, does not happen overnight; it is a process and must continually be worked on, and committed to acquiring measured results. If you are hiring department heads or employees from a different country or culture, know your own understanding of the potential employee’s cultures, practices, attitudes, and skills.
Promote a holiday calendar for the different cultures or religions in your workplace. Encourage a pot luck with your staff to choose and share a traditional dish they consider a “comfort food.” Introduce new hires with an employee or team they may have something in common with to increase inclusion. Have periodic luncheons where the company brings in food that the employees select; encourage that everyone sits together and shares about their hobbies or what they like to do on their time off or where in the world they would like to travel to first and why. We learn from these engaging activities and become more inclusive with our people.
Moving forward with cultural competency also brings in intersectionality, which ensures the company is promoting equal rights for everyone; cultural humility, which is having an understanding of histories, honors in certain cultures, languages, and traditions that we cannot only recognize but for our employees as well. And last in this area of cultural competency is understanding appreciation and appropriation in the workplace. We may, through this training workshop to appreciate the cultures of those we work with and not taking without permission one aspect of someone’s culture and using it for our personal interest at work which may cause that person to be hurt or upset.
Insensitivity Through Lack of Training Can Lead To Liability
The employer and the aggressor’s liability cost is substantial today and can put the company’s finances at risk let alone the individual found to be at fault. Everyone must understand and accept responsibility in all situations in this context. The impact the learner will leave with at the end of the course in both employee and leadership/management workshops is that insensitivity in any area of diversity in the workplace includes but is not limited to, ethnicity, all our differences, gender, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical abilities/inabilities, attributes, religious or ethical values, national origins, and political beliefs. This is definitely a far cry from the Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964 and for very good reasons.
In the recent POTUS Executive Order that was recently announced deals with federal agencies, contractors, the military, and grant recipients with the D&I training use not use federal taxpayer dollars. It also put stringent controls on these trainings to not further racism or “perpetuate racial stereotypes and divisions and can use subtle coercive pressure to ensure conformity of viewpoint” according to the executive order.
Our diversity and Inclusion workshop in the workplace training courses and workshops do not refer to divisive concepts or mention that one race is superior to another. Furthermore, we do not imply that the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist, we say the opposite. We do point out that racial and sex discrimination has become less acceptable and not tolerated (more illegal) throughout our history, especially since 1964. Our course takes a very standard definition of individual racism and denies that an individual is racist by virtue of their own race or sex.
Gender Diversity & Inclusion Training
In another historic decision for the rights of employees who have been excluded or discriminated against in the past because of their sexual orientation as a basis for sex discrimination, the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) on Monday, June 15, 2020, ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects all gay, lesbian, and transgender employees in the workplace. The 6-3 ruling was authored by Chief Justice Neil Gorsuch and followed by the four liberal justices and Chief Justice John Roberts. This was a landslide decision. In a quote from Chief Justice Gorsuch, “today we must decide whether an employer can simply fire someone for simply being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear.” According to the 1964 law language, it bans in all employment situations, discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, or sex. Furthermore, Gorsuch stated, “it is impossible to discriminate against a person (employee) for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating…based on sex.” In fact, the ruling was more remarkable as half of the states do not have any legal protection for LGBTQ employees. As of decades ago and today, the federal law will protect all employees in this protected group from being terminated or denied other employment opportunities solely on the basis of their gender identity and sexual orientation.
When it comes to the social context relating to diversity and inclusion in the workplace and in general, Yales professor, Eskridge noted that “the LGBTQ people have come a long way in the last generation,” in fact he said, “the country has come along way in the last generation,” and this is specific to how we need to recognize and be more inclusive of those employees regardless of their gender identity and sexual orientation within the workplace. Health benefits and other legal matter access must now apply to those partners in same–sex marriages.
Custom Diversity & Inclusion Workshops
For the leadership team in custom workshops, CTG trainers will discuss and practice strategies for conversations to confront immediate observations of or complaints of an employee, managers, outside entities who work with the company representatives around any stereotypes or other behaviors that are discriminatory or basically inappropriate. Once again, it is imperative to not allow these types of behaviors or exclusions to fester or become rooted within any organization. The leadership team should encourage respectful attitudes and behaviors at work and lead by example at all times.
CTG’s workshop team, with leadership, will work through the conversations of how what occurred impacts the individual and the organization itself. We need to question the person’s intent of what happened to better understand where they need more training to understand the impact, but where and how this is not going to be tolerated in the future. If we actually observe the actions, we need to act upon interrupting the situation in a respectful manner to not allow the behavior to continue. Furthermore, we need to provide some counterexamples to the person on how they could have “said it better” not to humiliate a co-worker in front of their peers, gossip, or spread rumors but accept responsibility for their actions and find a way to apologize and how to correct their actions moving forward in the relationship. Depending on the complaint or actions observed, we need to “humanize the target”, bring to their attention that person’s individuality, their sensitivity to that phrase, or how to be kinder and gentler with your conversations. And finally, we must encourage and make those we work with to feel free to express their discomfort with a situation, language, reference to, or person. We need to provide them with a reporting procedure for such matters and to know and understand there will be no retaliation against them for coming forward. From that point, management can correct the behaviors or actions, to ensure that those involved have learned from their mistakes.
Get Started With Your Diversity and Inclusion Workshop Initiative
Many companies today are moving forward with D & I Initiatives or Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives. Some companies are even weaving their D & I into their mission, vision, and values statements and introducing new hires to understand these areas when coming on board and joining the team. CTG can assist employers with this initiative however, it is always recommended an employer’s Human Resources representative have any policy reviewed by their employment law attorney or in-house counsel.
In determining which training module, workshop, or method for the training,(eLearning, webinar, or onsite English and Spanish available), CTG is prepared and ready to assist you with that choice. We can customize sections of the modules to meet your company’s objectives and provide “add-on” mini-courses that are not contained in the general training course overview we provide. Please feel free to schedule a phone consultation with one of our Sr. Executive Trainers to better understand your needs and objectives and answer any initial questions you may have. Additionally, our courses’ demo and further explanations and discussions can be scheduled regarding the general course and the workshops. As always, we are here to make this training or any of our courses a positive and well-invested decision a success!
For general information, visit our website today; www.compliancetraininggroup.com