Diversity in the workplace is not a new concept, but implementing it with deep commitment and tangible success is still a work in progress for many businesses. Although today’s open-minded, forward-thinking employers want and strive to develop effective diversity programs, there is room for some occasional problems with diversity training.
Does diversity training work? The best answer is that it does with a great deal of information, support and effort from everyone. When properly provided, through dedicated coaching programs and certified diversity training professionals, it can work wonderfully, benefiting everyone involved.
Below, we will examine some issues associated with diversity training to see how it works and how it can work better for any organization, including yours.
What Is Diversity Training?
You probably have some idea of what diversity training is, but you might need a more detailed definition — especially regarding how it might apply to your business and, more specifically, your diversity program.
Diversity training is an initiative that an increasing number of companies worldwide continue to adopt and implement to create awareness of diversity issues to facilitate a more welcoming, cohesive and collaborative corporate culture for true organizational change.
Does Diversity Training Work?
Like any new goal, it takes time to achieve the desired goals and make sure they stick effectively. With that said, there are some issues to iron. That is not always easily done with HR and organizational leadership still trying to grasp the complicated process of developing, implementing and adhering to powerful diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Ultimately, training needs to go deeper, instilling more action-oriented lessons into the mix for peak diversity training effectiveness. It may not be enough to simply identify and acknowledge biases. Companies should attach actionable corrective steps to take at the end of the training and in everyday practice.
With the right training experts, also known as certified diversity coaches, businesses can employ new tools and techniques that help everyone — including leaders and staff — think differently about the lessons learned about individual differences and put newly acquired skills into everyday practice.
Without powerful support and deeper professional insights, you might find that you and your team members are too close to the issue, lacking the perspective to make the necessary changes effectively and permanently. In such situations, your training can become ineffective and fail.
Why Does Ineffective Diversity Training Fail?
Like any relatively new or newly implemented initiative, it often takes time and some trial and error before a diversity training program can level out and ultimately succeed.
Here are a few core reasons a diversity training program might fail:
- Resistance for reasons such as employees feeling victimized and not trusting the process or employees feeling targeted.
- Improper or ineffective implementation, such as programs that come across as perfunctory or tone deaf to what is truly going on within the organization.
- Inconsistent practices, such as only providing training as a reactionary measure, rather than as a core aspect of the company culture.
How Are Businesses Using Diversity Training to Cover Misconduct and Gain Broader Appeal?
It might not come as a surprise that some companies are going through the motions to cover existing issues, such as blatant misconduct or concern about the emergence of complaints, or to gain broader appeal in a world where diversity training has become the standard. In either case, it comes across as insincere, and everyone will catch on to the charade at some point. In the meantime, these companies could fall further behind.
What Constitutes Good Diversity Training and Outcomes?
Looking at the pros and cons of diversity training — with pros including happier and included employees and improved financial results, and with the cons being turbulent transitional periods and short-term financial investments — you will quickly note that the good points outweigh the challenges.
Some good diversity training outcomes include developing an organically cooperative and collaborative atmosphere among all employees and managers, reaping the benefits of a group of employees open to new ideas and experiences, and hearing all voices to learn new perspectives.
Find a Coaching Partner to Help Ensure That Your Diversity Training Program Thrives
At CoachDiversity Institute, our team will help you develop a rich and ongoing diversity training program that can ensure your leaders and employees thrive. Reach out to CoachDiversity Institute to learn how to turn your training professionals into coaching experts to improve your efforts, better assure your diversity training works, and provide ongoing value for everyone.