Four Must-Have Diversity Training Topics for Your Organization
Many organizations are actively at work on meeting their diversity and inclusion goals. While there are a number of topics that should be covered in order to effectively train a corporate team in diversity, there are four must-have topics to include. These topics include microaggressions, LGBTQ issues, stereotypes, and racism. These are important because they are extremely sensitive areas for people with multicultural backgrounds. Popular culture in today’s society makes it seem as though there are no boundaries when making racially or culturally themed jokes or comments. This is not true for the workplace where insensitive remarks can carry disciplinary action or legal consequences. Making sure your employees have an awareness of these topics and how they affect the workplace is a great way to keep your whole team feeling safe, happy, and productive.
Microaggressions are defined as verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults to the target person or group. Microaggressions can often be very subtle insults, but the offended person is very aware of the slight. Some people are truly unaware that they are using offensive microaggressions, but some use them to discreetly discriminate against others. It is important for employees to understand the effects of microaggressions and why they are unacceptable. They often impact a team negatively, while staying under the radar.
Employees should be aware of how to communicate and show respect to co-workers who are part of the LGBTQ community. Knowing how to communicate with LGBTQ co-workers means understanding how to address people who use pronouns or don’t identify as cisgender. Respecting them includes preventing the use of microaggressions, not using derogatory terminology, and not using words that are considered anti-LGBTQ slurs.
Stereotypes are when assumptions are made about people based on their gender or culture, or is based on religious or physical attributes. They exist in all aspects of culture including sex, race, gender, sexual identity, age, ability, nationality, or religion. They lead to bias, microaggressions, and discrimination in the workplace. These assumptions may or may not be voiced, but they can affect how employees are perceived, approached, or treated.
Racism is something that is often hidden in the workplace, but it is one of the most damaging issues that can affect an organization. Racism leaves such a terrible stain on the reputation of a business that we’ve seen many employees get fired from their position for racist remarks that were posted on social media, while they were off-the-clock. If racism becomes an issue within your organization, at best you could lose valuable employees. At worst your company could face getting sued and paying out costly damages.
Diversity and inclusion initiatives carry benefits that strengthen companies financially and operationally, but they are mostly about making sure all employees feel valued and like they belong. Organizations must take a clear stance against actions and behavior that lead to discrimination or harassment. These topics are part of a thorough approach to enhancing the employee experience within your organization. No matter what the background or cultural make-up of your employees are, everyone in the workplace can benefit from training in these areas.