Inclusion and Diversity Training: Is it Making a Difference?
Does your inclusion and diversity awareness training do what it is intended to do? Are we gaining useful information that we immediately apply to the workplace setting? Most individuals and company representatives would say yes, even though the recent news displayed this week’s headlines from Diversity Inc. shows a different story.
There are so many resources that can make us inclusion and diversity superstars. I sense the problem humans have related to inclusion is we try to please everyone by including them. If we include them, they should feel excluded, right? This is not the case in many instances. We become so inclusive; we end up losing focus on why we were “including” someone in the first place. If someone can sense that you are included them just because the intent loses power.
Diversity is another story. When you hear the term, do you think of race, age, sex, gender, religion, disabilities, or sexual orientation? Most of us do, but diversity is so much more than that. Diversity training should also address how to communicate better with individuals from various backgrounds and decreasing the levels of unconscious bias in our critical thinking and decision-making.
Inclusion and diversity training is a mission-critical element to every company’s bottom-line as it fosters engaged, innovative, and productive employees. Understand that whether you provide awareness or skills training to your employees, training is only half the battle to an inclusive and diverse workplace. The second half consists of having the proper practical skills to identify and defuse uncomfortable situations and restore relationships damaged by cultural misunderstandings.
Inclusion and Diversity training is not a quick fix. It takes time and the efforts of employees from the top-down to make this process work. Do not forget to set micro and macro goals to measure the success of inclusion and diversity training to ensure training has the intended effect you desire to have in your department and organization.