What is the importance of workplace diversity & Inclusion training?
Most leaders and managements teams know that an inclusive workplace is important, but what being inclusive and diverse means and how it is achieved varies widely from one company to the next. For some companies, it simply involves hiring and retaining a diverse cross-section of employees, but others have launched employee resource groups and training, and some have dedicated entire leadership teams that are responsible for equality, diversity and inclusion.
Inclusion revolves around day-to-day interactions between employees, managers, leaders and teams, so genuine inclusive workplace practices rely on the leadership support and grassroots energy of the company.
The Equality Act became law in 2010. It covers everyone in Britain and protects all workers from direct and in-direct discrimination, Harassment and victimisation. There are 9 protected characteristics under the law and they are:
- Gender Reassignment
- Marriage & Civil Partnership
- Pregnancy & maternity
- Religion & Beliefs
- Sexual Orientation
What does the term Diversity mean?
Diversity is about recognising that although we all share a lot in common, we are also different. We all have different life experiences, backgrounds and stories, and as a result we can all have different ideas and perspectives in all aspects of life, which is also a huge benefit in the workplace.
Research has clearly shown that diverse teams improve creativity and boost innovation, and a study by the Boston Consulting Group looked at around 1,700 companies across eight countries which found that organisations with diverse management teams have 19% higher revenues due to innovation.
With a diverse management team in place, companies are able to take advantage of the viewpoints and perspectives of leaders that allow diversity to flourish in the workplace, with factors including fair employment practices, equal pay, participative leadership and a culture to openness and new ideas.
What does the term inclusion mean?
Many use the term inclusion as an interchangeable one with diversity or equality. Everyone should have the right to access employment, the right to feel part of the team, be treated equally, with equal pay and equal access to training and development.
Inclusive organisations ensure that all people feel valued and they support their employees, regardless of their background or circumstances, to thrive at work.
Why is Diversity & Inclusion training important?
Research over time has proven that us as humans, tend to like those who are ‘like us.’ Whether we like this or not, we as people all have to actively challenge our unconscious biases. This is true in all acts of life, but also includes every aspect of the workplace, including hiring practices and how we communicate and lead our teams. We need to find ways to bring different perspectives and find solutions that accommodate all our differences.
Without challenging our unconscious bias, it is easy for companies to slip back into what is familiar for them, so the best way to challenge these behaviours and improve diversity is through training.
Successful diversity training raises awareness around diversity & Inclusion. It enables employees to become more familiar and comfortable with concepts like unconscious bias at work and cultural complacency.
Diverse teams have a unique advantage when it comes to decision making, with broader prospectives, more options for solving issues, reducing bias and increasing accountability.
The benefits of Diversity & Inclusion training
Here are the main benefits of diversity & inclusion training in the workplace:
- Boost recruiting and retention within the workplace
Retaining the best and brightest talent. When all employees feel their voices are heard and feel included, staff morale is higher, workers are more productive and they will be willing to take on more projects and provide more feedback to their employers.
- Increase Innovation
Different people see problems differently. If your workers don’t understand the prospectives of diverse groups then their solutions are less likely to develop comprehensive solutions.
- Better business Reputation
Companies that focus on building diverse teams have a better building reputation. When your workforce is made up of workers from all backgrounds, your staff members are more able to uncover the conscious bias that holds them back from identifying offensive content from your business. Inclusive ideas also reach more markets, reaching more demographics and markets.
Diversity & Inclusion Online Training
Our Diversity & Inclusion online training course is suitable for senior leaders, managers or any employee who wants to understand more about diversity and inclusion at work.
Our online training courses can be taken on any device that can access the internet with a free downloadable certificate available upon completion.
Are you ready to make diversity and inclusion part of your company culture?