Global business is expanding boundaries, but also making the world a smaller place. 21st century businesses recognise the importance of diversity and the merits of difference, creating multicultural, multi-faith teams of varying ages and genders. This diversity brings with it the challenge of differing views, contrasting beliefs and the risk of workplace conflict.
It is important for the company to harness this diversity and find opportunities for teams to work together, optimising performance and achieving the goals of the business. Training in the workplace is an essential part of creating an inclusive workplace culture and developing a workforce that is sensitive to, and values, difference.
Goals of training
The way people treat one another in the workplace has a huge impact on business performance. The way people interact has a direct impact on productivity- but also on team dynamics, client relationships, staff retention and other areas that are business-critical.
The benefits of diversity training are recognised as an integral part of developing a culture of respect and inclusion
Fostering an environment of unity
When people are able to work together, regardless of difference, businesses move towards a more unified workforce, one which shares a common language, sense of purpose and agreed goals. This marks a shift towards higher morale, improved retention rates and lower attrition.
Benefits to the company
Diversity training brings long term benefits to the company - empowering employees and driving engagement. Employees are better able to interact with colleagues and clients and are often motivated to increase performance and productivity. Financial gains will result of course, but in addition the image of the company will almost always be enhanced, not only in the eyes of the employees - who become brand advocates, but also in the eyes of external stakeholders and the public. An understanding and celebration of difference will help companies to compete internationally and attract top talent.
Training in the office
For the training to yield good results, it must not be made compulsory. On the contrary, it will be more effective if it is done voluntarily, increasing ownership and accountability within the training cohort. This kind of training is about embedding the merits of diversity and the benefits of getting it right – rather than presenting diversity as a compliance issue that focuses on the risks of getting it wrong.