Diversity is when different types of people, with different cultures, ethnicities, races, genders, and ages are included and accepted in the workforce. Man has differentiated between other races and kinds for a very long time. One wonders where it all started from. Since we all eat, drink, and do the same things throughout the day, what makes us essentially different?
Well, that question might not have a simple answer but the answer to “Is diversity important in the workplace?” is very simple. The straight answer is yes. And we will tell you why.
The concept of diversity training is pretty common in the corporate world now. Corporations and businesses realize the importance of diversity, which is why they do these trainings where diversity is explained, celebrated, and appreciated.
However, not everything goes as it should. Unfortunately, most companies pay attention to diversity training like it is a formality. Their higher-ups demand diversity trainings, so they hold them. But, not all of these organizations measure the effectiveness and impact of their diversity training. This defeats the purpose of holding diversity trainings in the first place. So diversity training, technically, doesn’t work like it should.
What Is Diversity Training?
In simple words, diversity training is when the awareness of people of new cultures, genders, ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities is raised in the workplace. This helps employees to broaden their view and to be more accepting of other people.
Generally, they consider it safe to work around the same type of person who lives around their block. But someone who doesn’t match their ethnicity, race, gender, or age looks almost like an “outsider.” This can lead to mean, nasty remarks and a different behavior toward the outsider. Therefore, to avoid this from happening, companies hold diversity trainings regularly and they invite trained professionals to speak about it.
Importance of Diversity Training
So now that the definitions are out of the way, we can finally talk about the relevance and importance of diversity training in the 21st century.
The first reason why diversity training is highly essential in workplaces is because it raises awareness. Not all workers come from backgrounds where they are taught a lot. Due to this, they may have some second thoughts in working with new people. Plus, they may also keep some biases in mind, which can be conscious and unconscious as well.
With continuous sessions of diversity training, employees will be able to broaden their vision. Through this, they will allow themselves to believe that they are probably not the only ones living on this planet. This can also get rid of some grievances or second thoughts about working with a fun person who comes from a diverse background/ethnicity/age.
Fifty-seven percent of employees believe that their companies should have more diversity. This is obviously because they want new types of people to work with them. Working around the same people can be boring, and it can dull people from working productively. Whereas, working with a person from a different background, or perhaps a different ethnicity can promote productivity at work.
Why is that so? Well, to be honest, being around different people is very helpful. It can motivate people to show up for work the next day because they will be able to get to know new people better, make more connections at work, build friendships, and all that stuff. This is definitely something that managers need to understand. Inculcating diversity in your workplaces and allowing different people to work is always amazing.
Furthermore, diversity training will always promote healthy production of new ideas. When people belonging to different cultures and ethnicities work together, collaboration occurs because people have different norms, beliefs, and cultural values. When everything intermingles with a person who has different norms, values, and culture, then new and innovative ideas are born.
To explain this further, let’s say X gives an idea to increase productivity at work. Y, who comes from a diverse background adds on to X’s idea by quoting an example from their birthplace. This covers the drawback or the weak point in X’s idea. Successful managers are looking for this exactly. They want new cultures and people to connect and exchange ideas. When broad perspectives enter the workplace, problems can be solved differently.
One unique importance of diversity training is that it promotes empathy. To some people, diversity may not mean a thing. They might not even be interested in understanding other people. But some workers actually find interest and they try to passionately understand people who come from different backgrounds.
With time, they increase their comfort levels and this is how empathy develops. When someone thinks beyond themselves, then they begin to care for them and feel for their needs. This is why managers pay so much attention to diversity training. In the long-term, this will aid employees in decision-making and team working. When working in teams, you won’t always have a person who has the same background as you.
This can be troublesome if the employee is not well-versed in diversity training. However, diversity training is only impactful and important when its purpose is to broaden understanding. Diversity training isn’t just about do’s and don’ts, it’s a lot more than that. Successful managers will pay attention to this point especially.
Diversity training is one way through which managers can promote diversity in their workplaces. There are some other ways as well. Beyond theory and understanding, there’s a thing called doing. Nobody learns when they are only told what to do. Unless they interact with people from different backgrounds, races, and genders they won’t know how well they understand diversity.
But yes, diversity is an amazing thing.
It allows organizations and workplaces to thrive. Plus, that is how different workers intermingle and exchange what they know. This covers their drawbacks and the strengths if one person supports other people out there. So in a way, diversity acts like a shell of armor that protects organizations and workplaces from cracking under pressure. A workplace where diversity training is properly implemented will never know failure. Due to different types of people at work, there will always be innovation and idea production at work.
Why is that necessary? Well, when an organization stops producing new and innovative ideas, it stops growing. Even if the organization is alive and working, idea generation prevents it from decaying over time. That’s exactly why managers are so worried about making their staff and workforce aware of these things.