Diversity and inclusion training for managers keeps them informed on how to interact with people from various backgrounds. It is a component of the DEI Initiative (Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion). DEI must be regarded as more than just a theoretical and general commitment to “recognizing people’s differences” to achieve actual diversity, equality, and inclusion in the workforce. It has to be about creating an environment that is really inclusive and diverse.
Why Do Managers Need Diversity Training?
According to a Glassdoor poll on workplace diversity, 45 percent of employees believe managers are in the greatest position to improve diversity. Managers serve as a link between upper management and lower-level personnel. In a broader sense, their primary responsibilities include:
- Interacting and influencing staff daily
- Taking responsibility for the company’s social influences
- Assisting in the recruitment and training of new team personnel
Managers are critical to the effectiveness of any workplace effort, such as promoting diversity engagement in the organization. Managers engage with employees to make them realize how important they are to the team. Holding team-building activities allows each team member to focus on a non-work-related task while getting to know their coworkers in new ways.
They provide a variety of potlucks where employees may share their cultural heritage via cuisine. Business leaders drive everyone in the company to share and celebrate diversity by going above regulations and implementing diversity-building activities.
But how can managers promote workplace diversity if they have no idea what it is or how to implement it? This is when the value of training becomes apparent. You’re training company managers to promote a diverse working culture by providing them with diversity training. The employees will benefit from their managers’ efforts to promote diversity.
Training Laws for Managers and Supervisors
Employers are responsible for providing diversity training to their employees. Each employer’s training and development initiative should include a professional diversity element, according to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
“Such training should highlight the types of behavior that violate the employer’s anti-harassment statute, the severity of the rule, the responsibility of managers and supervisors once they hear of potential mistreatment, and the prohibition on retribution,” according to the law.
New managers must undergo firm training on managing diversity, from entry-level to seasoned personnel and from senior leadership to front-line manufacturing employees. Effective training teaches manager personnel how to spot inappropriate behavior and behaviors that indicate a lack of consideration for the distinctions between employees, consumers, suppliers, and vendors.
How do Managers Get Diversity and Inclusion Training?
Diversity and inclusion training, like any other type of training, may take many different forms. A skilled moderator will frequently come into the office and lead sessions wherein employees split into teams and accomplish tasks. It might, however, be offered online or as written materials for employees to complete in their leisure time.
As per industry studies, the most successful way is to integrate formal training with other diversity programs that are implemented over a long period of time. Also, combining both ideas of diversity, equality, and inclusion with a realistic application for developing values and capabilities related to everyday performance and decision-making is necessary.
Accepting and appreciating differences is the most difficult component of working in a varied setting. In many situations, dominating cultures still exist in the modern workplace, resulting in significant differences in graduation level and uniformity in elevated amounts. As a result, diversity and inclusion training can aid corporate culture in overcoming these conscious and unconscious prejudices.
How Managers Promote Diversity and Inclusion?
Take the initiative as an organizational leader to guarantee that all supervisors and managers undergo diversity training and treat all workers equally, regardless of color, gender, or ethnicity. Employees’ capacity to innovate increases by 83 percent when they “find their company is dedicated to and respectful of diversity and they are included,” according to a Deloitte research.
Any genuine or projected differences in mood or tone might make minorities feel alienated or insignificant, exposing the firm to discrimination litigation. Supervisors and managers should actively practice diversity and inclusion in the following ways:
- Regardless of linguistic limitations, treat all workers equally.
- Avoid assuming that all members of a group have the same sentiments; it’s necessary to understand broad cultural distinctions, but employees should always be treated as people with distinct wants and thoughts.
- Even if you think your comments are favorable, don’t make them about a specific group of employees.
- Don’t overcompensate any team of employees in the mistaken notion that more money would solve communication problems.
- Encourage workers to communicate openly and honestly and empower them to lead by example.
- As a key value of the organization, promote and encourage diversity and equal opportunity.
- Be patient with employees who are having difficulty comprehending English or adapting to specific communication techniques or communication styles.
Concentrate on customizing the training to your own organization by addressing your company’s specific concerns, and consider how the employees could react to various training factors (such as making it a compulsory element instead of voluntary, or online versus in person). Taking the effort to personalize the training might be crucial to the diversity and inclusion initiative’s success.
A Real-life Case
In 2018, a Starbucks employee phoned the police on two black males who had been awaiting a friend in a Philadelphia café without purchasing anything, resulting in a public image disaster for the company. Although the guys had done nothing wrong, they were detained, and the episode went viral.
Starbucks responded by closing all of its 8,000 outlets in the United States for a day of racial prejudice training. The diversity and inclusion training program was created to combat unconscious prejudice, encourage conscious inclusion, eliminate discrimination, and guarantee that everyone feels secure and comfortable within a Starbucks location.
According to experts in diversity and inclusion, evidence reveals that one-day training frequently fails to achieve even short-term impact. Starbucks executives realized that the problem would not be fixed in a single day and committed to developing a program that was important to the company’s mission and aligned with its values.
It requires time, careful preparation, and your managers’ proactive and knowledgeable participation. They’re crucial to the project’s success. This is why they must stay on board. Set goals, keep track of progress, and provide feedback on what’s working and what isn’t. Create a culture of responsibility, celebrate milestones and triumphs, but be prepared to pivot and bring your team with you if necessary.
In a Nutshell
In recent years, the need for diversity and inclusion has grown to the point that most individuals consider it when selecting a workplace. As a result, many companies concentrate their resources on conducting diversity and inclusion training. Diversity and inclusion training cannot be completed in a single day. It must be part of an ongoing program to have an impact and make a significant difference. And that necessitates keeping managers up to date, committed, and engaged throughout the process.