With today’s global business dealings and diverse workforces, dealing with people “different” than you is inevitable. Some employees find this easy and are naturally more comfortable with “others,” while some employees need coaching or training on how to be respectful and inclusive of others. Learning respect for diverse coworkers (and customers, vendors, etc.) starts with workplace diversity training.
If you need to teach general diversity awareness, begin with skills like recognizing stereotypes, avoiding negative, discriminatory behavior, and teaching employees to find similarities between themselves and people different than them. Also, it’s helpful to coach employees to see the personal and organizational benefits of having diverse viewpoints, experiences, cultures and lifestyles at work, and to use that new perspective to build unity in your teams.
Diversity video recommendation: Diversity: Face to Face teaches four aspects of diversity awareness, all presented through stories of characters who live and work in a diverse world.
Generational differences are a particular concern for many organizations, as most of us are now working with 4 or 5 generations at once. This can lead to unique tensions and conflicts in teams when people perceive the work styles of generations other than theirs as different or “less than.” Help employees learn basic general characteristics (not stereotypes) of each generation, and this will help to build understanding of, and tolerance for, employees of all ages.
Diversity video recommendation: Four Generations: The Greatest Potential features vignettes depicting inter-generational conflict and shows how these events, when properly handled, lead to increased understanding.
Teaching inclusion goes a step beyond basic diversity awareness and just being respectful of others, to encouraging employees to include others in activities, teams, decision-making, and conversations. Inclusion begins with understanding how our brains work, and how even nice people can engage in unintentional intolerance and exclusion. Employees must learn to critically examine their thinking, assumptions, and perceptions to become more open-minded and inclusive of others at work.
Diversity video recommendation: Inclusion Insights: Stereotypes, Lazy Brains, and Unintentional Intolerance. Dr. Steve Robbins uses humor and storytelling to help people examine preconceptions and commit to being more open to different ways of thinking.
Workplace diversity training is a vital step to teaching employees to respect diversity, and become more tolerant and inclusive of others. Whether it’s learning about diversity awareness, generational diversity or inclusion, diversity videos are a great way to depict realistic workplace scenarios and model proper courtesy and respectful behavior.