Sensitivity Training For Managers: Everything You Should Know

Sensitivity training for managers is a corporate group training that helps managers and employees develop more awareness about their roles in the group. It aims to bring peace among the managers and their employees. Sensitivity training for managers helps them become better leaders in an organization.

The need for sensitivity training for managers has increased with growing multiculturalism at the workplace. However, despite steps taken by firms to ensure inclusion in the workplace, 41% of managers are “too busy” to execute such policies. 79% of employees believe that their company is diverse, and only 20% want to hire women in leadership roles.

Sensitivity training for managers helps to address bias at the workplace. It prepares them for any incidents of discrimination and makes them better leaders. Sensitivity training for managers shows that the organization upholds its accountability. It creates trust among employees as the organization takes a step towards an inclusive workplace.

What is Sensitivity Training for Managers?

Sensitivity training for managers improves the dynamics between employees and managers. It teaches managers to be more empathetic and informed. For instance, sensitivity to disabled employees helps managers make informed decisions to make them feel welcome.

Sensitivity training is especially helpful in the prevention of discrimination. Managers are authoritative figures in an organization. By being prepared for any microaggression or offensive behavior, managers can prevent the violation of civil rights.

The origin of sensitivity training can be traced back to 1914. J.L. Moreno developed the ‘psychodrama’, which would pave the way for group training sessions. The technique was developed by Kurt Lewin and Ronald Lippitt in the 1940s. Lewin is credited with organizing the first training group. The results were satisfactory as they shed light on both individual and group behavior.

Globalization has compelled organizations to hire a diverse workforce. The 2020s saw the rise of social media activism, which furthers the cause of diversity and inclusion at the workplace. This has created a need for better leadership roles at the workplace.

Sensitivity training for managers involves intensive group discussion and interaction. It increases awareness amongst managers and improves human resource management. Even though organizations claim to be diverse and inclusive, only 14% of HR managers believe in boosting LGBTQIA+ awareness and sensitivity in the company. This dismal number suggests that having a diverse workforce is not the only goal for organizations. 

The responsibility of an organization extends to creating a safe work environment. Without awareness, an organization cannot expand globally. 

How can Sensitivity Training for Managers help your Organization?

Sensitivity training for managers is pivotal for the growth of an organization. It opens new opportunities for organizations and helps prevent discrimination. It is a useful strategy to increase employee commitment and productivity. Moreover, sensitivity training for managers improves the brand image. It creates a positive image of the organization and attracts top-tier clients. 

Here are 6 reasons why sensitivity training for managers is important in 2021:

  • Increases employee morale

Sensitivity training for managers is a positive step. It suggests that the organization is invested in the well-being of employees. It improves interpersonal communication at the workplace and boosts the morale of employees. High employee morale will increase commitment towards the organization. It also acts as an enabler of employee empowerment. This will reduce absenteeism and boost productivity. A business can significantly improve its performance through better awareness.

  • Better decisions by managers

Unconscious bias is a result of systemic oppression. This can occur in both employees and managers. However, unconscious bias is more dangerous in managers as it can significantly impact the lives of the employees. Consequently, unconscious bias in employers can impact the organization. The training for managers makes them more aware of social and cultural differences. It increases empathy and helps them make better decisions. 

For instance, the hairstyle of Black women is often considered unprofessional at the workplace. However, this comes from unconscious bias and can be abolished by an informed manager.

  • Enhanced communication

Sensitivity training for managers enhances communication between managers and employees. Sensitivity training helps managers understand the nuances of communication. This includes both verbal and nonverbal communication. 

For instance, an informed manager will be more aware of the implications of misgendering a person. They will ensure that the company policy is updated with appropriate pronouns and names. Since sensitivity training for managers is also based on feedback, it will help the organization measure the progress in the workplace.

  • More jobs for the underrepresented

While women are hired more today, women of color still have a long journey ahead. The reason is bias and stereotypes, which are still prevalent in the workplace. By educating managers through sensitivity training, one can improve the job opportunities for the underrepresented. Managers can help improve the recruitment programs. 

Sensitivity training for managers helps to create equal work opportunities for the marginalized. It promotes equal pay and accessibility to resources at the workplace. Problems like the wage gap can be minimized.

  • Increased employee participation

Sensitivity training for managers allows them to come up with fresh perspectives. They learn to include more employees in the decision-making process. It boosts innovation and creativity at the workplace as employees can participate in the brainstorming process. Diverse perspectives help an organization with better decisions. It directly impacts the progress of the organization. Sensitivity training for managers also gives them the strength to tackle against discrimination. 

Employees get the freedom to speak up, raise questions and concerns and report non-inclusive behavior at the workplace. Moreover, employee participation also helps employees feel valued. Sensitivity training for managers can therefore help to make a business scalable. 

Sensitivity training for managers helps in the progress of the organization since it boosts their commitment to the organization. Thus significantly improve the revenue of a business. It is an essential step towards creating progress and equity in the workplace. 

Goals of Sensitivity Training for Managers

Sensitivity training originally began with the discovery that emotional interaction with strangers was a possibility. Today it has become a method for teaching effective work practices to managers and employees.

Sensitivity training for managers focuses on three elements: feedback, here-and-now orientation, and focus on the group process. It aims to achieve greater social sensitivity at the workplace.

The following are the 10 goals of sensitivity training for managers:

  1. Improve the dynamics between employees and managers.
  2. Protect employees from violation of civil rights at the workplace.
  3. Increase bystander intervention and minimize incidents of bias.
  4. Increase employee interaction with managers.
  5. Help managers make an informed decision regarding discrimination policies.
  6. Create an empathetic and safe work environment.
  7. Increase social sensitivity at the workplace.
  8. Create an equitable work environment.
  9. Increasing awareness in the workplace.
  10. Help managers unlearn problematic behaviors.   

This kind of training is an effective recourse to bias. Even diverse workforces succumb to discrimination and alienation. Sensitizing and authority to differences shows that the company takes its responsibility seriously. It encourages managers to convert their apathy into empathy and safeguard the rights of their employees. 

The expansion of social media has made the world a global marketplace. Without sensitivity training, no company can hope to capitalize on this global marketplace. Sensitivity training for managers opens opportunities across borders and is thus indispensable.

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