Creating An Inclusive Workplace With DEI Awareness Training
As technology makes workplaces global, more and more companies find themselves having a diverse workforce made up of people from totally different backgrounds. As a result, they employ diversity, equity, and inclusion training to ensure a genuinely supportive and inclusive work environment. In this article, we will talk about the DEI awareness training topics you must cover in your corporate training program.
What Is Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion Awareness Training?
One can call DEI awareness training any program designed to mitigate prejudice and discrimination, facilitate effective collaboration among colleagues, and help employees move from tolerance to acceptance. Such training programs aim to reform corporate culture so that companies can create safe, compassionate workplaces where all employees receive support, respect, and recognition regardless of their background and identity.
Why Is DEI Training Important?
As social justice and mental health movements gain momentum, employees ask for more respect and inclusion in the workplace. The reality of the matter is that, one way or another, the workforce is more diverse than ever, whether we are talking about culture, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. Therefore, businesses that take steps to change their culture through DEI awareness training are already one step ahead, enjoying benefits such as increased innovation and performance, more effective collaboration and teamwork, and ultimately, higher revenue.
Now, let’s explore 6 DEI training awareness topics that are necessary to achieve the same results in your organization.
6 DEI Awareness Training Topics To Add To Your Online Training Program
1. Diversity Vs. Inclusion
Starting out your DEI training program, it’s important to clarify the meaning of these central terms. Diversity refers to the representation of different groups in your organization. But the mere presence of diverse people in your organization can’t achieve much if it’s not coupled with active participation and acceptance on a social and professional level. Inclusion, in other words, means supporting diverse employees and giving them a voice so that they can drive changes that will bring equality for all employees.
2. Unconscious Bias
This is a popular DEI awareness training topic, and for a good reason. Not all negative behaviors in the workplace are intentional. Some stem from prejudices hardwired in our brains, whose existence we may even ignore. But unconscious bias can still be hurtful, which is why it is an issue you must address. Help your employees identify and overcome preconceptions that could be hurting their relationships with co-workers. Although changing one’s worldview can take time, it’s worth the effort to promote inclusion and innovation within your organization.
Microaggressions can be a byproduct of unconscious bias. This term refers to everyday verbal or non-verbal actions that can come off as insulting, negative, or derogatory. Microaggressions can be intentional or unintentional, and some examples include interrupting or dismissing women when they’re talking, assuming pronouns, or making remarks about someone’s appearance. Educate your employees so that they can recognize these behaviors, and give them the tools they need to retrain themselves not to repeat them.
4. Disability Awareness
DEI awareness training can also refer to the inclusion of differently-abled people in the workspace. It’s essential that your employees receive disability awareness training so that they’re up to speed with disability rights and laws. This will ensure that all employees receive equal respect and opportunities. In addition, you must educate your staff about the obstacles and discriminatory practices that disabled people face on a daily basis. This way, they will be made aware of things they can do to support their colleagues to navigate the workplace more conveniently.
The topic of racism is particularly multi-faceted, as it can include anything from cultural diversity to differing religions and members of the LGBTQ+ community. However, if you want to foster an open, accepting, and non-judgmental work environment, it’s crucial that you address it. Employees must learn not to give in to stereotypes, be open to each person’s way of self-expression, and accept diversity in all its forms. Above all, it’s important to emphasize that you won’t tolerate discriminatory behaviors. This way, you will be able to promote innovation and creativity and help your business grow.
6. Bystander Intervention
Often, even though employees don’t engage in discriminatory actions themselves, they don’t know how to act when it happens in their presence. They are either afraid for their own safety or just worried they will make things worse. Therefore, bystander intervention is a necessary DEI awareness training topic that ensures the formation of a collective responsibility to embrace inclusion among employees. Give your employees the tools they need to safely intervene and effectively de-escalate a conflict to reach a resolution.
Making DEI Part Of Your Corporate Culture
Diversity, equity, and inclusion training cannot be a one-and-done project. For it to become a genuine part of your corporate culture, you must make sure to follow up and reinforce the training material. Repeat courses annually or gather feedback from your employees to catch any issues early on. DEI awareness is a broad spectrum, and it takes time to cover everything. Hopefully, this article has given you a good idea of where to start to make your business as inclusive and open as possible.