Updated: Jul 9
Cultural diversity training is a must have in today's society as companies are becoming more diverse every day. The more diverse your organization is the better you are going to be able to understand others, which will lead to better performance and improved business outcomes. Leaders and employees play a significant part in the cultural diversity training and must buy-in for it to work best. Without having everyone wanting it to work out, there will be little to no tangible benefits. But with the right mindset, your team will reap many of the rewards we’re going to discuss below.
There are many different forms of cultural diversity training and each of them has different benefits. The training can include but is not limited to:
Training will help you have more confident and respected employees which leads to a successful workspace. What are some ways that your company could benefit from having a good diversity training program? Let’s take a look.
1. Diversity Training Creates Understanding
Diversity training creates understanding, which develops a relationship between your employees that cannot be formed in any other way. Without knowing each other's backgrounds, they will not be able to work as effectively together. But with most training programs, your team will be encouraged to open up and freely discuss their thoughts and feelings. Knowing both our differences and also the similarities we share can create a balanced workspace where everyone will be happy.
This is essential to organizations to create this balance and understanding which ultimately creates success and cooperation. Valuing other employees' cultures is a huge part of connecting with them on a deeper level which will help you all work better together. Diversity training is going to be something that needs to happen often in the workplace to continue growing these skills. It is not going to be easy at first to learn how and why people are different if you do not know why you are doing it.
But once employees start understanding how their understanding of differences will benefit the company things start working better for all stakeholders. Learning about other cultures is something that has been neglected over the past few years but is making a rise with corporate inclusiveness training becoming more important. Understanding will allow employees to support each other and allow their differences to draw them closer.
2. Learning to have a More Diverse Culture
Stepping into someone else's shoes is always something that is easier said than done! This is another added benefit coming from diversity training. It allows employees to see life through the eyes of other employees with different backgrounds and beliefs. This brings on a whole new thought process and allows them to become more creative. Now they are able to relate to more people in a new light, which can be highly beneficial for your sales team, HR executives and anyone else who publicly represents your organization.
After training you will now consider things that you never have before and will relate to more people than you could imagine. You will also be wanting to learn from others with different lifestyles, which will help you grow even more. The way that your employees think has been shaped since they were a little kid and it is hard to change. Diversity training is going to be able to force them to think in new ways and your business will see profits from this. Having everyone participate in the training allows your team to grow closer together.
3. Less Cultural Diversity Issues
Diversity issues can be common among companies due to differing pay rates, differing job responsibilities or even cases of harassment. Making employees and managers aware of these issues will increase productivity and improve working relationships. According to Verb, leaders will benefit from knowing everyone is being treated equally and respectfully. Employees can also learn the federal laws of race, ethnicity, and religious views. Discrimination of any employees in the workplace can lead to major penalties which are regulated thoroughly at the federal level.
Less diversity issues will lead to things like a greater respect for one another, less conflict, and lifestyle acceptance. Each of these will lead to higher teamwork and will help overcome other obstacles to create a better workplace. People getting stuck in their ways and not wanting to change is what leads to these issues, and cultural diversity education forces us to break out of our normal comfort zone.
Lack of respect and understanding as well as unfair treatment are the main things that training will work to change. Showing that diversity is part of your culture in your missions’ statement will also lead to a more diverse team. This will attract a diverse group of people to work with your business. This will also lead to having a more diverse workforce, which will ensure any employee is the right fit for the job.
4. Diversity Training Increases Management Success
Like most things, diversity inclusion begins at the top with your company leadership. If your leaders are not hiring diverse people or treating everyone equally, this is impossible to achieve. Having a leader that is passionate about treating everyone equally and learning more about other people's backgrounds and cultures is important. Without this what benefit would your employees see in doing this if they are different from others? Having a leader with a passion for all people creates a diverse workspace where no matter who you are or where you are from, you can connect with your coworkers.
The leader will then be able to create diverse teams which will get people from many different backgrounds connected. Leaders are being looked up to in every aspect and that includes how they treat everyone. Having leaders that care about everyone is going to be an important start in diversity training. Although leaders are important it takes everyone, no matter how high or low in the company to make training successful. It does not take a title to be able to treat everyone with respect and make a more enjoyable place to work every day. The culture of your organization starts with your leaders, works down from there and can grow each and every day. Teaching leaders how to be effective in their decision making and leading news skills will change the culture of the business.
5. Training Builds Employee Confidence
It’s important for employees to be able to be who they are and be confident in that. They do not need to be questioning themselves and who they are because of other people’s opinions. Knowing that they can be whoever they want to be, and others will respect them will go a long way. The fear of not being liked and respected gets thrown out the window with the correct diversity training. Gaining confidence is going to allow more people to be open to sharing their opinions and using their cultural differences as advantages instead of seeing them as faults.
People have an opinion on everything but most of the time they are too scared to say what they want, even if it’s something very important. When everyone starts using their differences is when the diversity training is working. Encouraging employees to engage and be themselves is the most practical and successful step to take. Allowing employees to speak with confidence gives the employees a sense of belonging and purpose. This sense of belonging and confidence will make employees want to share more and work harder. It is hard to have confidence when you do not know what others are going to think about you since you are different. That is why knowing that you are wanted and respected thanks to diversity training will allow everyone to share experiences on a deeper level.
6. Diversity Training Removes Business Biases
Unconscious bias decisions are decisions that employees are going to make without the proper diversity training. This can be something as simple as treating someone different based on the way they look, or act. This training actively removes biases and highlights each person’s differences as a good thing. This makes comparison go away and encourages everyone to respect each other’s beliefs and opinions. Once you show your employees their biases, they will see them and want something to change. It is the action of them learning what their biases are so they can see them and act accordingly.
When you put tools in place to highlight people’s differences that is when your employees are best able to shine. Instead of taking the easy way out and trying to make sure everyone is similar and gets along because of that, diversity training will be able to make biases known and will teach employees what to do when they have these tendencies. Diversity is something that is only going to make companies stronger if you are able to take away previous biases and treat everyone with respect.
7. Boosts Employees Value and Inclusion
Creating an identity safe environment can go a long way for your employees, and they will want to be there. Feeling support no matter what your background is can go a long way. Value based exercises when doing diversity training is critical to making your employees feel valued. When your employees do not feel like they have any value and are not good for anything in the company is when your organization will crumble. Allowing everyone to be true to who they are and knowing that they will be loved and respected is what identity training will lead to.
Managers and leaders must be the first to include everyone and show everyone they were hired for a reason. That reason is because they are valued, and the managers know each employee can bring something special to their work. When employees know they are valued that is when their best work will come out because they are not afraid to speak their mind. Differences are what brings out the best in companies because it makes you think in ways that you would not have if everyone was the same as you.
8. Raising Cultural Awareness
Employees may not be aware that they are having cultural biases and treating people different even though they are. It is something that is often forgotten especially if you are not in the minority of the group. Unless you are actively being trained and thinking about other people it is going to be very low on your list. That is why raising awareness of cultural diversity is important to every company no matter how big or small. No two people are the same but that does not mean that one is better than the other. These are the things that diversity training teaches you and will open your eyes to.
Some employees may not even realize they are treating people differently than they should be which is when diversity training can step in. It will show you the things that you and your business have been blind to for so long without even knowing it. Raising awareness allows employees to take practical steps in growing the diversity in their own lives and communities.
This article is brought to you by iPondr@Work. Be sure to check out our website for more information on diversity in the workplace.