A diverse workplace has many advantages. Innovative ideas can be found and implemented. It provides for expanded horizons and is a source of dynamic talent. According to OfficeVibes Pulse Survey Data, 19% of the employees feel that everyone in the organization does not respect their identities.
Diversity workshops help in engaging and positive interaction between groups and facilitate a reduction in prejudice and discrimination. It ensures high employee morale and harmony among the employees.
Diversity Workshop Ideas at the Workplace
- Recognition And Response To Microaggression:
Microaggressions refer to daily verbal and non-verbal insults and slights that may be intentional or unintentional. It indicates negative messages. Hence, it identifies microaggression, and providing counseling for the same, will help understand and eliminate the root cause of the problem.
- Implement Hiring Practices For Avoiding Ageism:
There must be diversity in the workplace across different races, religions, genders, and cultures and across different age groups. The enterprises must also include people from various age groups and generations.
- The Silent Interview:
Hand out questionnaires asking what their favorite food is, hobbies, taste in music, favorite place, languages they speak, and what they value the most. It helps them understand the employees better and connects them on a more personal, intimate, and emotional level.
- Provide Sensitivity Training:
Education of employees on how their attitudes must be should be done at the workplace. They must understand that their behavior and actions, knowingly or otherwise, affect their coworkers. By following this, they become aware of how to treat them.
- Walk-In Someone Else’s Shoes:
Perspective thinking is a great way to walk in someone else’s shoes mentally. The steps include:
(i) Let the team share the varied, diverse backgrounds each member has, say, their education, race, sexual orientation, etc.
(ii) Pair each member with another one with a different background.
(iii) Let everyone write about the challenges that they feel the other person has faced that occurred due to their background.
(iv) Discuss and mention within the team or otherwise.
According to the Harvard study, this technique helps build empathy among the employee. It would guarantee positive behavior towards the minor groups. It would lead to less mistreatment of such groups and ensure their inclusivity in the workplace.
- Bring Bias To The Forefront:
Bias must be confronted, and reduction of non-inclusivity language is possible by calling it out and encouraging others to do so. Let the employees call out bias openly, and those who are called out must pay a certain fee. This practice would help in the reduction of their bias.
- Find Out How The Employees Feel:
Employers can ensure diversity in the workplace by being friendly to all the employees so that they can openly disclose their issues to which the employer would take necessary actions. This would help the employer understand the perspective of the employees.
- Learn What Shaped People:
By knowing about the key moments in the employees’ lives, the employer can understand them more. By being open and honest, bonds can be formed, empathy is increased, and there will be an improvement in relationships.
- Anti-Harassment Measures:
Anti-harassment measures must be discussed in these meetings so that no employee feels unsafe in their workplace. To constitute a good workshop, the meetings must also cover stereotypes, unconscious bias, cultural awareness, etc.
- Creation Of A Channel For Diversity And Inclusion In The Company’s Communicative Tool:
The employers can look forward to creating a channel for diversity and inclusion of the employees so that they would come forward with their issues, views, and suggestions for improvement.
- Conduct Interactive Activities:
My Fullest Name:
In this activity, 5 or 6 people are included in a group and are asked to share the story of their respective names. The other members can ask questions like who gave that name and the reason behind it, the name they prefer, any nicknames, and so on. The main objective of this activity is to share historical and cultural identities within the group, which would help in interactive understanding.
I Am… But I Am Not:
Even in this activity, 5 or 6 people are to form a group where they fill a piece of paper with two columns in which the left side must contain “I am…” and the right side must contain “ I am not….” The main aim is to fill out the ones they identify with on the left side and acknowledge any untrue perceptions that affect them. Everyone is expected to present who they are and not to the members of the team. A lot of trust and patience is required to do this.
The Person I Least Want To Be:
This exercise compels people to make choices about which privilege and level of oppression they feel are worse to have. Identities- privileges and oppressive issues, are picked at random. This must not resemble any person in the room. Various examples of people having the privilege and facing oppression are provided. The individuals pick what they find is the worst. They are then asked about the reason behind it. Someone from each group must summarize all the core reasons behind these choices.
This exercise helps to attain an understanding of the people of how they perceive oppression and privilege by posing such questions. This helps the people recognize their own biases and challenges them to understand others’ notions of the same. It calls for them to think from others’ perspectives of why they chose a different option that they think would be the worst position.
After conducting certain activities to ensure diversity in the workplace, the employers must ensure feedback from all the employees. The rank of Asian-American men and women fell by 4% and 5%. This is very effective to know to what extent the activities were successful, and they will know what changes are to be made to make it more effective, engaging, and useful for the employees.
Harvard Business Review states that among companies in the United States of America, the proportion of black men only increased marginally from 3% to 3.3%, which does not mark a significant increase from 1985 to 2014. Without effective measures to make the employees feel safe and inclusive, these numbers would drop further.
The aim of diversity workshops must be to focus on the employees as human beings and not on mere facts. The employers may consider offering affordable housing to the employees if the city it exists in is very expensive. In addition to this, they can set the rates in the cafeterias cheap and affordable for the employees. This helps them financially on a much more practical level.