There’s a lot of talk about diversity in our culture – especially in the workplace. Diversity seems to be the new business buzzword with companies increasingly eager to show their commitment to the idea of a diverse workforce by providing diversity training and initiatives. This commitment to diversity extends far beyond compliance to deliver real business impact and measurable return on investment.
While diversity training is a mainstay in any compliance program, the changing workforce is helping drive the push to adopt more inclusive procedures and policies. As millennials have become the dominant generation in the workforce, they are demanding businesses prioritize diversity and inclusion as a required benefit.
What exactly is workplace diversity anyway? According to Workology, it is the bringing together of a variety of people in one workplace. That sounds simple enough, and one could argue workplaces have always brought different people together.
However, true diversity training and initiative goes beyond just ensuring your organization is meeting compliance guidelines. It also includes:
- Experience – considering different levels and types of educational and professional experience
- Background – considering skill sets and personal employee stories that can enrich the workplace
- Characteristics – race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation and other areas
A diverse workforce is critical to recruiting and retaining millennials and the upcoming generation of workers, Generation Z.
There are also other benefits for companies to invest in a more diverse workforce:
- Provide a fresh perspective to established business processes
- Maximize productivity and outperform less diverse companies by 35 percent
- Have 3% more cash flow over three-year period
- Sixty-seven percent of candidates want to join diverse companies
- Seventy percent capture new markets
These are all irrefutably great benefits for your company. But does diversity training for existing employees make a real difference? According to Dr. Phyllis Wright, everyone has biases, either conscious or unconscious. Bias is normal. But sometimes, it is inappropriate, leading to the wrong conclusions or actions. Inclusion and diversity training can help raise awareness and abate the negative aspects of bias. Since only 20 percent of information we use to create our opinions comes from newly acquired outside influence, it is imperative that excellently designed inclusion and diversity training target reforming the remaining 80 percent.
A fantastic way to get your team up to speed and make sure that initiatives and ideas stick is to provide online diversity training. Not only can employees absorb the learning in bite-size chunks. They can do it anytime they need a refresher on important concepts and ideas in your diversity training. KnowledgeCity has an excellent diversity course to help get you started with continual learning.
7 Ways That Diversity Training Delivers Measurable Business Impact to Your Compliance Program
1. Attract and retain best employees
As noted, new generations of workers are demanding a flexible, tolerant and open workplace. Without diversity, you may find it difficult to find the workforce you need. Remember inclusion is an ongoing process. Just filling quotas or bringing in token “diverse” employees will not ring true for your workforce. Authenticity is key to your employees and consumers.
2. Create positive working relationships
Diverse teams are more productive, engaged and focused. A company culture must not only value diversity and inclusion, it must show employees how to change behaviors and build new ways of thinking. Incorporating “microbehaviors” makes real change happen, instead of scattered training sessions. These microbehaviors reinforce diversity ideals and put them into practice during the workday.
3. Greater engagement
Companies with more diverse workforces capitalize on these strengths. Engaged employees are 87 percent less likely to leave their jobs. Engaged workers also see the value diversity brings to their company and their jobs.
4. Increased performance and productivity
Studies have shown a diverse workforce leads to a more productive one. The infusion of new ideas, processes and perspectives enriches the current workforce, and fosters the development of new ideas and approaches. Diversity training helps build relationships between employees, fostering stronger links that increase productivity and performance.
5. Appeal to a wider audience of customers
Today’s customers want to know more about the organizations they support, including their stands on diversity. Social media has opened the door to new audiences. Reaching out through social media, seeking diverse media channels, and branding your company to attract a wider group of customers and candidates are key.
6. More innovation and creativity
A bigger pool of experience and knowledge naturally helps foster more innovation and creativity. Product development and placement are two areas where a cultural perspective can be beneficial.
7. Reduce risks for legal actions
When employees understand their company’s commitment to diversity, they are less likely to pursue legal action for discrimination. A company that practices diversity and inclusion is also less likely to violate the laws in the first place.
Also, diversity training can help you uncover systemic problems in your approach to diversity and inclusion to ensure that your organization is continually improving its processes. KnowledgeCity’s Discrimination in Business Practices can help you get started in crafting a more inclusive tomorrow today.
Diversity training is critical to your compliance program, because it delivers measurable business impact by creating a cohesive, productive workforce that is more diverse, innovative and engaged. Does diversity training pay off? You be the judge.
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