Diversity Training and Career Development

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By: Diane Williams

Diversity is a coDiversity Training and Career Developmentnfusing word, and can mean anything to different people. Thus, there is a compelling need to understand this term for theoretical and practical purposes.

Conducting diversity training can provide far-reaching benefits to an individual’s career in the workplace. Though the initiative can be expensive, however, it can create a meaningful shift in the business resulting to improved employee relations.

In this regard, there is a need to outline the reasons of diversity training for discussion purposes:

–  Mutual respect and cooperation

Mutual respect is a valued work environment with due consideration to differences in culture, race, gender, or sexual orientation. Lack of this usually results to high incidents of legal action due to discrimination and harassment charges.

If conducted appropriately, diversity training can help promote mutual respect among employees in the company’s workplace and the public in general.

Mutual respect can be achieved through a strict anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policy to be implemented by the manager or employer. Understanding various individual similarities and differences helps to see the merits and contributions of individual employees.

–  Good morale and tolerance of colleagues

Through diversity training, people can improve their understanding and appreciation of different cultures and viewpoints around them, and therefore promote tolerance.

In addition, a comprehensive and interactive training helps to improve the morale of people and promote participation among them to efforts on work-related tasks and responsibilities.

Employee satisfaction is important in any company. Without some form of diversity training, there is miscommunication going around. This diminishes understanding and compassion, which negatively results to low morale and productivity.

Diversity training will certainly ensure that everyone in the company, from the managers and supervisors to the rank and file, will think and feel that they are valuable to the company.

–  Building team players

To be really effective, diversity training must be experienced not only by managers and supervisors but all members of the work team in all levels.

Poor diversity training programs, meanwhile, brings to mind the notion that these are just for show, do not really reduce workplace discrimination, and do not truly encourage active participation among all employees in the company.

If the training is conducted among a few people, it projects the impression that the team is divided, which defeats the purpose of the training.

A knowledgeable and experienced training facilitator is needed to get everyone to share their thoughts and opinions on specific issues, rather than merely conduct written exercises that do not mean anything.

–  Formulation of policies

Diversity training programs introduces new policies that help promote an environment of mutual tolerance and acceptance in the workplace.

Such training can trigger the formulation, and consequently the implementation, of new company policies regarding discrimination, intolerance, and harassment.

To reverse the rising trend of harassment and discrimination incidents, employers and managers are beginning to rethink of incorporating the discrimination and harassment policies of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission into their own company policies.

Without adequately explaining or clarifying salient points, these policies can only result to confusion that may lead to employees’ morale to plunge. Rather than arbitrarily impose new policies and regulations, it will be a good option to turn employees into active policy-makers.

–  Mitigation process

Diversity training programs improves the company’s good image and reputation in the community, making it a true supporter of employees’ welfare.

Such training helps diffuse any threat of harassment and discrimination complaints or charges by employees against their managers and employers.

In addition, carrying out such program sends a clear message that the management strongly adheres to the laws and regulations related to equal employment opportunity.

Diane Williams has 15 years of experience mentoring human resource professionals and recruitment agency personnel.


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