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Types of Diversity Training in the Workplace - How to Create an Efficient Environment

For a workplace to function efficiently, both employers and employees need to be fully aware of the types of diversity training. When a diversity training program is inexistent, it can significantly hurt the value of the brand. 

There are several types of diversity training programs that employers may go for, all of which are able to improve the work environment. This article will clear some of these details for you.

Note: If you want the best way to train your employees about diversity and inclusion, try EasyLlama. Our bite-sized modules can help all of your employees how to create and manage a diverse workplace environment. Test drive our diversity training program today.

What Is Workplace Diversity Training?

Diversity inclusion training is a training program that aims to increase understanding and promote awareness among people with different backgrounds and possibilities. 

There are multiple options that companies may go for, such as EasyLlama. The purpose of the type of program is to allow them to live harmoniously in the workplace.

It tackles the areas where people might have an unconscious bias or outdated beliefs, offering the necessary information to counter them. Its purpose is to train the workers to treat each other with dignity and respect, regardless of their backgrounds. 

Effective training diversity programs will teach the employees how to catch a bias within them or unlearn a negative behavior that is linked to it. It will offer the necessary information so that the employees can take the negatives and turn them into positives. 

Why Is Diversity Training Important?

Don't underestimate the impact diversity has on the workplace. When there is unconscious bias going on, communication is often not that smooth. This is why companies in the past used to hire people with similar backgrounds and part of similar "patterns."

That being said, multiple reports show that diversity is more likely to deliver profit and long-term value. The chances of out-performing other companies increase, as diversity and inclusion lead to a wider range of experiences. 

First, when you have diversity in the workplace, it becomes much easier to gather different points of view from different groups. Thus, diversity and inclusion go hand in hand, as you cannot have one without the other. 

When there is diversity but no inclusion, unconscious bias will also appear. It might be because there is a slight bit of race discrimination, or they might be biased about their sexual orientation. 

This is why diversity and inclusion are important. These training programs will improve relationships between coworkers. After all, no one really wants to stay in an environment where they don't feel welcome, and employers can't do anything to keep them there.

Benefits of a Diversity Training Program

Diversity training has various benefits that spread into two different categories. On one hand, diversity in the workplace brings certain benefits to your business, including:

  • It can bring value creation in the long term
  • It can offer bottom-line success of the business
  • It can avoid relation disasters in the workforce 
  • It brings new talents on the job that have fresh points of view
There are plenty of business advantages, but a diversity training program such as the one from EasyLllama can also bring benefits to the employees in the workforce: 

  • It improves employee engagement 
  • It aids employee retention
  • It offers employee morale a boost
  • It promotes a diverse and inclusive culture 
Put together, these organizational diversity benefits will improve the well-being of your business. Once employees begin to go through different types of diversity training, this will lead to a chain of good results.

Employees begin to feel like they are more respected, become happier with what's around them, and are more likely to work hard for the company. Diversity inclusion will make it easier for employees to express their thoughts, to deliver their services, to show interest. This will bring organizations to higher ranks. Although you may encounter some issues of diversity in the workplace, the benefits show it is well worth it.

Four Different Categories of Workplace Diversity

Diversity in the workplace can take various forms, and there are multiple types of diversity out there. Here is how diversity in the workplace is often classified:

Internal Diversity

Internal diversity typically has to do with characteristics that people were born with. The person concerned did not choose these characteristics for themselves and cannot really do anything about them. 

For example, internal diversity can include race, age, physical ability, assigned sex, or even sexual orientation. These are the personal characteristics that define a certain individual, and regardless of how much people may complain or shun them, there is nothing that can be done about the way they are. 

External Diversity

This diversity type also describes a person in particular, but it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with their characteristics. These aspects are not something they were born with, but something that they acquired along the way.

For example, not every person is born with religious beliefs; they grow up into them. Also, not everyone is born with education; they receive it along the way. 

External diversity can also include family status, relationship status, location, citizenship, and life experiences. These types of diversity are, indeed, descriptive of a person, but not something they were born with. In other words, these can change or be morphed. 

Organizational Diversity

Also referred to as functional diversity, this deals with the functions that are assigned to people by a company or an organization. Basically, it is a role or a characteristic that you may have within the workforce. 

For example, some subset types of this diversity may include your job function, the payment type, your employment status, your place of work, or your seniority. Regardless of what you do, diversity will be there, expressing a specific set of skills.

Worldview Diversity

Worldview diversity deals with how employees see and experience the world. There are multiple factors that set the pillars for this kind of diversity, but in many cases, it is also influenced by other categories of diversity - i.e., internal or external.

This can include anything from their moral compass, political beliefs, or outlook on life. In the end, every person pertains to their own diversity, a worldview that they associate with. This diversity can change with time, based on the life experience of the individual.

Breaking Down Types of Diversity Training In the Workplace

Depending on the issues to be addressed, there are different identity training types to be addressed. EasyLlama typically offers every type that you may need for diversity and inclusion, as you can see below.

Based on the workplace, multiple options may be added to a wider training course. That being said, employees also need to make the necessary decision, depending on the people category that they are hiring. 

When doing diversity training, it is necessary to consider as many aspects as possible. This is why a course with a chapter on race identity will also have a chapter on, say, sexual orientation. It all depends on the people that you are planning to hire. 

Ethnicity and Race Identity

Ethnicity is often confused with race, but they are two different factors. Ethnicity is a learned behavior (external diversity), whereas race is something that was biologically determined (internal diversity). They can occasionally overlap, but it's not necessary. 

For instance, a woman may be Korean-American - and by race, she might see herself more as Korean or Asian. However, if she grew up in America and doesn't associate with the practice of the Koreans, she might consider she has American ethnicity.

These types of diversity training are important to set up, as these categories of people are known to face discrimination. Bias training among employees will reduce the gap, encouraging the inclusion of diversity within the workforce. 

Age

Regardless of the time, there will be different generations of people working within a certain company. All of these generations will have their own ideals and belief, something that may cause a bridge in communication. Eventually, this can lead to a bias within the work environment called "ageism".

Ageism is the tendency to harbor negative feelings against employees of different age. This is further made worse by stereotypes, which cause people to put a label before beginning to communicate. For example, a baby boomer is seen as a workaholic whereas a GenZ tends to ghost employees while looking for job security. 

Age discrimination may occur at any age, which is why diversity training programs are a necessity. This diversity training will encourage inclusion within the workforce, improving the relationships between employees at the workplace.

Disabilities and Physical Abilities

By hiring people with diverse disabilities and experiences, your company will reap two benefits: it will create a more inclusive and diverse environment within your ream, and it will also bring unique perspectives within the organization.

A person with a disability or a certain physical ability will likely have experienced life in a different way compared to the average person. This is why they may know certain ways to go around a situation - ways that may not have normally occurred to other people.

To encourage diversity and inclusion, make sure that the environment is ADA compliant. Your company should be able to support their needs. Diversity training among the employees will also be necessary, in order to improve employee engagement at the workplace.

Sex

Gender is a characteristic that people were born with - an internal diversity that no one can really do anything about. At the same time, in different workplaces, discrimination among sexes can also occur. For instance, let's take a man working in a place usually for women or a woman working in a domain for men - this can cause difficulties. 

Diversity training can help remove these biases tied to sexes, making the workplace more diverse and inclusive. It will also help keep your employees at the company, as it should remove discrimination and possible harassment. 

Citizen Status

Wherever you go, the chances are that you may always come across immigrants at the workplace. The problem here is that while these individuals might have their citizenship (or lawful residence), there will still be a rift between those who grew up there and those who did not.

This is why training at the workspace is necessary. It will remove unconscious biases in the workplace regarding one's citizenship status and will improve communication among employees as well.

Diversity training on citizenship status will also improve your company's overall diversity. It will bring diverse ideas to the table, while lowering the unemployment rate. This is because a citizen that is not facing discrimination at the workplace is less likely to quit. 

Socio-Economic Status

The socio-economic status of an individual differentiates them from others based on their income, education, and occupation. At the same time, it strongly indicates the privileges that a person has based on their resources. 

Diversity training is necessary here so that companies can encourage people of multiple socio-economic statuses. The training programs will include recruitment content that will resonate with the individual.

If you are an employer, make sure that you give your employees the appropriate income, resources, and benefits for their appropriate status. At the same time, use diverse and inclusive benefits so that there is no gap between the diverse workforce. 

Education

Education can vary significantly by location and is often influenced by the areas and possibilities of a particular state. This means that no two people can have the same education, whether they want to receive it or not.

Moreover, in some cases, higher education can be extremely expensive, and not to mention unattainable. Nowadays, many companies are going past the education of the individual and look at their experience instead. 

With that in mind, many people might not be able to go past this. This is why this type of diversity training program is essential, as it removes any potential bias concerning the education of the individual. 

Upbringing and Family Responsibilities

Family and upbringing also differ from one person to another. No two persons will ever have the same upbringing and family responsibilities. Depending on the person that they are, they might need a different kind of support.

This is where diversity and inclusion come in. As an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure that employees have access to certain benefits based on their obligations (i.e., medical leave, elder or child care benefits, and so on).

Also, it is the job of the employer to offer bias training to those on the team. Regardless of the environment, there might still be a couple of people that do not agree with these benefits, calling them "special privileges." 

The purpose of the training is to find the root of the problem and to remove the bias. It should help the people understand where these benefits come from while ensuring comfort for those who are in need of it. 

Beliefs

Beliefs - whether they are religious, political, or moral beliefs - represent one more reason why there is often a rift between co-workers. Someone with a specific set of beliefs may have a difficult time working with someone that has different beliefs. A bias occurs, and this can cause differences within the organization.

This is why diversity training helps with the better functioning of the environment. The problem-solving function of the training will work to find common grounds between the workers - to remove a wide range of biases within the organization.

Most companies often hire people with the same beliefs and morals. However, diversity training can help see through those unconscious biases and work through them. This should help with diversity and inclusion, allowing other workers to collaborate better with one another. 

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Sexual orientation is still a strong reason why people are being discriminated against at the workplace. Indeed, nowadays, things are becoming easier to handle - with many states already allowing same-sex marriage.

However, even if the state allows it and even if people say they have no problem with it, there is still some unconscious bias in regards to the matter. Many of these things happen simply because people are not informed. 

Diversity training programs concerning sexual orientation can help remove implicit bias. Diversity will help the workplace by allowing employees to communicate better, as they learn more about laws and issues that the LGBTQ community faces.

Gender identity should be addressed in these training sessions as well. Not everyone may identify with the sex they've been assigned upon birth - but at the same time, they may still be facing discrimination. Training will make the environment feel more diverse and inclusive.

Methods of Providing Diversity Training

There are many ways in which diversity training may be delivered. However, three main methods stand out, based on the preferences and possibilities of the company.

Face-to-Face Diversity Training

Face-to-face training requires an in-house training team, to deliver information at a certain location. This usually takes the most resources but is also the most effective. By meeting with the employees directly, you encourage diversity and inclusion.

Fully Online Diversity Training

This is the most cost-effective option, as there is no need to book a place in order to train your staff. It is also the most time-saving one, as you do not have to break your staff into smaller groups. 

Hybrid Online

This type of diversity training is a mix of the first two. Half the classes take place online, whereas the other classes take place face to face. It is a good option to save resources while providing in-depth teachings.

Diversion and Inclusion Training Tactics

When setting up diversity training in the workforce, you will need to apply different training tactics as well. As someone from the leadership, you should make sure that these tactics are part of your toolkit.

Common Ground

For the workplace to function efficiently, employees may need to set up common ground training. This will help find similar values, priorities and goals in order to align the individuals and help get them on the same path.

Cultural Sensitivity

Cultural sensitivity training allows people from a dominant group to understand and empathize with a group from a minority. The training will teach how to approach under-represented groups with the proper sensitivity.

Facilitated Conversation

In many circumstances, voices from different minorities or diversities are not properly heard. Training for facilitated conversation will help the employees that are not very vocal to make themselves heard. The training encourages them to bring up potential issues so that they can receive the proper feedback.

Accommodation

Accommodation training will encourage employees from various diversities to advocate for their own needs. For example, if an individual has specific environmental, physical or religious needs, this training will set the space for them to express their thoughts. It promotes diversity and inclusion, making the employees feel safer and more comfortable at the workplace. 

Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias is perhaps one of the most important types of diversity training tactics. This program will help determine ways in which individuals might engage in oppressive behavior. The aim is to stop these practices and promote employee engagement at the workplace.

Inclusive Management

This type of training is oriented towards supervisors and its purpose is to recognize oppressive and discriminatory practices within the management. It aims to put a stop to the biased system within the workforce, all the way from the top. This will make the workplace a more comfortable environment for diversity.

Anti-Oppression

This diversity training tactic teaches employees how to shift from just an ally to an active collaborator. The course will teach them how to take action and support their marginalized colleagues. In this training, a variety of areas are covered, including anti-sexism, anti-racism, and anti-transphobia.

Community Engagement

This diversity training goes past the internal organization and helps members of the team to get a  better view of diversity and inclusion. This version of diversity training has the purpose of seeing how well your community interacts with one another. The training will also tell you the best ways to improve community engagement at the workplace. 

The Bottom Line

Diversity training can be very useful in making your company more inclusive. It should lower discrimination and harassment, allowing the employees to get past their biases. 

If you want to reach the goal of a more diverse environment, you might want to try the diversity training program offered by EasyLlama. It's a high-quality and carefully organized program that will improve productivity at work tenfold.