If you’ve been tasked with starting a diversity training program for your company, you’re making the right move. Besides, making each and every one of your employees feel empowered and accepted at your company, it has business incentives as well. According to McKinsey & Company’s Diversity Matters report, companies in the top quarter for gender diversity outperform their competitors by 15 percent and those in the top quarter for ethnic diversity outperform their competitors by 35 percent.
So a diversity training program can unite your company leading to a healthier bottom line.
It’s important to gain buy-in from the entire company on your new training. Even if your company has given you the green light to start this training, not everyone within your organization may understand why the training is needed. This is especially true if everything seems to be running smoothly. But besides the benefits we’ve mentioned, there are other factors for initiating this training. Listing these benefits will help everyone within your company understand why a diversity training program is a must.
Why organizations need a diversity training program
- Attract and retain employees
Employees want more out of their companies these days. Besides a paycheck, they want culture. And even if you are a small company, you can offer these employees a great working environment. If you provide a collaborative and welcoming company, you will attract key candidates. A diversity training program is key to creating this and also retaining these valuable team members long-term.
- Positive team collaboration
When you spend eight-plus hours a day at work, you want to enjoy your co-workers. And you also want team members who bounce ideas off each other and help when one team member is stuck on a task. One way to foster team collaboration is with diversity training. This will help everyone understand each other better and fosters more open communication.
- Increases productivity
This goes hand and hand with number two. The better your employees interact and bond with each other, the stronger the teams become. And the more teams communicate, the more productive the company becomes.
- Better customer relationships
It’s no secret that business is becoming more global. And with the Internet, your company reach is farther. So businesses these days are attracting a wider range of customers from different backgrounds. In order to retain and gain new customers, you must understand your customers better. A diversity training program will not only help internally but externally with these customers.
- More creative solutions
No matter what industry you are in and what competitors you may have, you want to stay ahead of this competition. This includes thinking creatively and coming up with new products or services. Diversity training can help team members better brainstorm with each other. And when they collaborate, different opinions can bring about the most innovative solutions.
- Less legal and human resources issues
You may think your employees and managers are well versed in how to treat one another, but this is not always the case. There are several cases of discrimination every year by employees. A strong diversity training program can educate your employees on how to correctly interact with each other.
Best practices for a diversity training program rollout
Once you gain buy-in from your organization and employees, it’s time to initiate your diversity training program. But in order to ensure the success of your program, you need to follow some best practices.
1. Integrate into company training platform
If you are using a learning management system, you want to make sure your diversity training program is rolled into it. If you’re using something like a company Intranet or relying on emails to get the training done, consider moving all training to a learning management system. Having all your training in one centralized LMS will make it easier to assign, track, and assess whether employees have taken the diversity training you have set up. Plus, it will make it easier to discuss this topic within other training tracks like customer service or sales for example.
2. Vary training methods
Not every employee learns the same way. So you want to vary the types of training you use. For example, you can use classroom lectures, online discussions, mentoring, and group exercises to ensure employees retain what’s being taught.
3. Company-wide initiative
Your diversity training program should not be geared to just one sector of your employees. Everyone in your organization from C-suite managers to customer service employees to support staff can benefit from this training. It will strengthen both internal and external relationships for your company.