Diversity Training Essay Sample
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Diversity Training Essay Sample
Diversity training is training for the purpose of increasing participants’ cultural awareness, knowledge, and skills, which is based on the assumption that the training will benefit an organization by protecting against civil rights violations, increasing the inclusion of different identity groups, and promoting better teamwork. The purpose of training is not only to increase awareness of workplace diversity, but also to develop and enhance skills among employees to help them communicate more profoundly in the future. Within the workplace, diversity training can also be used to combat ethnocentrism, racism, sexism, ageism, and overall exclusion. Cultural sensitivity has become increasingly important to providing a healthy and productive work environment. Sometimes, employees might be unaware that their actions or use of language is offensive, and diversity training implements an effective education without further increasing tensions or requiring the use of reprimand.
In addition, differences in race, sexual orientation, education and work experience can cause tremendous damage. Although diversity training cannot all together change individuals’ beliefs, it has the ability to increase awareness, impart knowledge and educate employees further on how to accept differences among fellow employees. The main goal of a successful diversity training program is to create a positive work environment by helping employees recognize and be tolerant of differences among co-workers. First, successful diversity programs help administrators delegate job assignments to subordinates and saves time in properly evaluating employees. Consequently, employees become more active in brainstorming and participating in projects, allowing for better teaching to occur. Secondly, diversity training benefits employees by increasing their motivation in regard to their work assignments. Diversity initiatives enacted by the organization help to optimize the money spent on employee salaries, benefits, recruitment and training.
In addition, Observers characterize diversity training in very different ways. Its proponents consider it morally right, because it respects diversity, recognizing the value and contributions of every human being. They also view it as economically sound, because it enables organizations to draw on multiplicities of talents and strengths. In the words of Hans Brader (2007), it’s opponents consider it an oppressive ideological re-education tactic, that actually injures the ability of organizations to attain their goals. It has been suggested that diversity training reinforces differences between individuals instead of concentrating on their commonalities, thus helping to further racialize the workplace and creating situations where people “tiptoe” around issues such as how to relate to people of different cultures as opposed to people learning to communicate with and truly understand each other (Hans Brader 2012). When diversity training is successful, employee commitment and motivation rises, which translates into fewer resources being spent on grievances and employee turnover. Nevertheless, diversity training often fails for several reasons.
First, diversity training fails because diversity programs are viewed as the latest human resource fad or because an outside agency recommends that they implement a diversity program. In fact, the majority of programs will eventually fail unless the impetus to create a diversity program comes from inside, rather than from external parties. Moreover, buy-in from employees will fail to take place unless an internal consultant who is familiar with the organization initially implements the program. When employees feel the material is not relevant to their job, many employees will simply see the training program as a waste of time. Finally, diversity programs fall short when organizations simply provide training, but fail to provide the resources needed to implement changes. For diversity programs to be more successful in the future, an action plan needs to be formulated instead of just a scatter shot approach to diversity training. A negative consequence of diversity training is that it sometimes results in perpetuating stereotypes about groups, such as people from Latin America not placing much value on promptness for meetings (DuBrin, A.J., (2009).
Human relations: Interpersonal, Job-oriented skills 10thed). A related problem is that diversity training might focus too much on differences instead of similarities. For example, even if people are raised with different cultural values they must all work harmoniously together to accomplish work. Although a worker believes that relationships are more important than profits, he or she must still produce enough to be a good investment for the company. With that being said, If the training program fails to stay in line with the important values of the organization, employees will lose interest and become non-responsive to changing their behavior following training. Finally, the organization needs to research and conduct an adequate needs assessment to insure the training material coincides with current diversity issues within the organization. Failure to keep abreast of the major diversity issues in the organization will cause employees to lose faith in the overall purpose of the diversity training program. Taking the time to appreciate the diversity of each employee in an organization will help produce a confident and committed workforce. On the contrary, R. Roosevelt Thomas, founder of the American Institute for Managing Diversity, says executives should focus on the skills employees possess, not how familiar we are with them.
Thomas puts it this way, “In a foxhole, I want someone who can shoot. I don’t care where they’re from. Some folks have to be reminded of that.” The most important accomplishment diversity training aims to achieve is to make all employees feel welcomed, appreciated, and utilized for their talents. It not only educates by pointing out practices or phrases to avoid, but it also emphasizes the positive qualities that diversity contributes to the workplace. Multiple perspectives, problem-solving ideas, and a variety of life experiences can all strengthen the efficiency and profitability of many different types of businesses. Finally, diversity training can provide a middle ground for mediation and teaching people how to interact with those who are different. It can be challenging for a business to find a forum for communication and resolution of problems. This type of education can aid in the process and guide conflicting parties through reaching a compromise or mutual understanding.
(DuBrin, A.J., (2009). Human relations: Interpersonal, Job-oriented skills 10thed) (eHow Contributor (2012). About Diversity Training)
(Hans Bader (2007). Diversity Training Backfires. The blog of competitive enterprise institute) (Sylvia Cochran (2008) About Diversity Training in the Workplace. eHOW)