Creating a diverse and well-rounded team in a business is important for success, especially now. However, as we make these hires in our offices and strive for a more inclusive space, some challenges can arise. Especially given how tense things are in the United States and the world right now.
That is why providing training for our employees on these topics is so critical. After all, perhaps one of the best ways to prevent unfortunate incidents is by educating people on these issues. DEI training is one of these methods that you should consider, especially if you are in the business world. Let me explain what it is and why you should care.
What is DEI
In simple terms, DEI is diversity, equity, and inclusion. These are some big terms that might sound kind of intimidating, but don’t worry. It’s all easily understandable.
Diversity means including people of a variety of different ethnicities, social backgrounds, race, religion, gender, and sexuality in a work force. It is very important to have this in a business because unique perspectives can lead to unique solutions to tricky problems.
Equity is not the same as equality and is something very critical to consider. It is about fairness and justice is a space and acknowledges differences between people that might make a situation more or less fair for them. That is how it differs from equality but is no less important, especially in this context.
Inclusion is the final part, and if you are curious, there is a lot you can read out there on this topic such as this page: https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/administration/admabout/diversity_inclusion/definitions. If a space is inclusive, they show appreciate and value for all of their employees without leaving anyone out. All businesses should strive for this.
Well, there are plenty of reasons why you may want to provide this service for your employees. The first one that I will touch upon is legality. It is illegal to discriminate against people for their race, ethnicity, sex, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation in most, if not every state in the United States.
You do not want to fall in violation of this – even if it is not directly you, the actions of employees reflect upon your organization. Obviously, a scandal like this can have a big impact on sales. No one wants that.
While it is probably best to focus on the interpersonal benefits of this, I would be remiss if I did not mention the benefits on a financial level. Companies that provide this are often more productive and have more profits. Less harassment legal cases are also a nice way to avoid spending money unnecessarily.
Of course, now I will turn to those aforementioned personal benefits. If you provide DEI training to employees, there will likely be fewer negative interactions between them. Sometimes, conflicts arise out of ignorance.
Someone may not know that a term is offensive or that they are being discriminatory or dishing out microaggressions. If they are taught what these things are, and what to avoid saying, there is less excuse for these occurrences. This allows for more personal accountability.
Some of the topics that are covered are reducing prejudice, avoiding stereotyping coworkers, addressing microaggressions, the basic meanings of the term’s diversity, equity, and inclusion, and cultural awareness. This final point is quite critical, as our culture is evolving each day – even in the business world.
How it Works
There is no one set way that it is effective – rather, there is a sort of umbrella for how it works. The primary goal is to educate employees and supervisors as well on the complexities of how discrimination both in the past and in the present has impacted our offices and organizations. However, it also should focus on helping people open their minds to a diverse set of perspectives.
This is something that often goes overlooked, so if you want to read more, you can here. As I said before, inculcating diverse points of view in your business can have some serious benefits.
You should seek to provide employees with a space where they feel safe and empowered to share their opinions. That is one of the key pillars of having an equitable and inclusive workspace. After all, without this, you may not even know there are issues happening to begin with.
Everyone deserves to feel secure at their job. While your company or organization will feel the impacts of diversity, equity, and inclusion training, what is most important is that the people working for your will too. It makes them feel like you care about them – which, of course, you should.
That is why most businesses are incorporating this style of training, and I encourage you to investigate it as well. You won’t regret it as you enjoy the perks of a more harmonious space.
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