You have set off on the right path but are still facing instances of inequality, lack of diversity or even discrimination. Read here about why your staff may need training to move forward.
Training employees to promote an inclusive workplace environment
So, you have discussed with your employees about the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion, made a plan on how to improve EDI in the workplace, set up ways of monitoring any progress, and reviewed your recruitment process. However, you recognise that you have some way to go towards creating a completely safe workspace and inclusive company culture.
Part of what makes us human beings is that we take on a number of biases without even realising it. Furthermore, we often don’t realise our actions may be harmful despite our intentions being good.
To successfully complete the plans of creating an equal, diverse and inclusive workplace you have to acknowledge the influence of unconscious bias and the damage caused by using exclusive language. This guide looks out the several options out there which look towards helping to train your staff so that they can root out any exclusionary tendencies in your company.
There are three ways in which your company can choose to tackle this last stage of development. Some are more desirable depending on the size of the enterprise, such that you may have enough resources to achieve everything in-house.
- Talk to an external diversity training provider who will teach your staff members on a case-by-case basis, as and when you need them. This is usually desirable for smaller teams who may only need one or two sessions.
- Hire or train a member of your staff to work full-time on developing and teaching equal, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including ensuring the company stays on track to completing its EDI program. Many external EDI training providers have options to train a member of staff so that they can undertake this role. This is usually preferred by larger enterprises.
- A hybrid of the two. This means that there will often be a range of training sessions to help your employees get off on the right track but then elect a number of EDI ambassadors in the workplace to encourage the continuous movement in the right direction.
First and foremost, if you don’t already have a person dedicated to HR who is able to facilitate open and safe discussion, you should access training to understand how to achieve this properly. Discussion is the foundation to equality, diversity and inclusion, but it can provoke conflict if not overseen by a professional.
Accessing training to facilitate the identification of issues, expression of personal examples of discrimination and discussion of different perspectives is essential to you achieving your EDI ambitions. Part of this training is often explaining the use of inclusive language and why that is important.
Something that can seem insignificant to those in the early stages of their EDI development is the influence of unconscious bias. However, to truly root out discrimination and to develop a safe workplace and inclusive company culture learning how to identify and overcome these biases is essential.
Taking a seminar or lecture on unconscious bias will not fix it overnight, which is why ongoing discussion is really important. Furthermore, we encourage companies to suggest taking implicit-association tests which help to highlight which biases people have. Once you have identified a bias, you can work to rectify it.
As aforementioned, achieving diversity and inclusion cannot be achieved overnight. In order to ensure consistent development, you have to have frequent discussions on your progress and experiences, as well as establishing several safe spaces for people to discuss.
Where groups from the protected characteristics can talk openly are called support networks and are massively encouraged by our team.