For years, companies have developed diversity training to reinforce the need for creating a heterogeneous and inclusive workforce (with a focus on dismantling institutionalized prejudice). However, organizations are now looking at diversity training to become a key driver in creating innovation in products, services, and business practices (Forbes, 4). Simply put, organizations need diversity training and to support diverse teams to remain competitive. These initiatives are no longer only about creating inclusive hiring practices for people from diverse backgrounds, genders, cultures, and languages, but also on supporting cognitive diversity, or building teams with differing points of view and life experiences. For example, cross-generational teams, or team members with experience from different technical areas and a wealth of perspectives, leading to unexpected and valuable results.
Even in 2013, organizations understood that those that support and promote diversity are “45% likelier to report that their firm’s market share grew over the previous year and 70% likelier to report that the firm captured a new market.” Flash forward eight years and here we are treading over the same territory. But this time, we have a deeper understanding of the learning technology that can effectively engage and delight learners.
Here’s how diversity training can give an organization a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
This is pretty simple. We all deal with problems differently. We all bring a dearth of experience when looking to solve a problem. It makes sense that when an organization encourages multiple voices and perspectives, these teams are more likely to find creative and innovative solutions. When you hire for sameness, you encourage complacency and the status quo. When diverse voices are expressed, a team is forced to consider and evaluate multiple perspectives in order to reach a consensus. Diversity training helps people managers and employees develop more effective team relationships and builds trust.
Employee motivation can be ignited in a number of ways. From delivering verbal rewards and supportive managerial behavior, to simply being heard and respected. In any case, eliciting the most from your team equates to better problem-solving, innovation, and business success. There are benefits to creating safe spaces where employees feel their voices are heard. Teams that work in inclusive organizations tend to work and contribute to their fullest, boosting innovation and increasing the overall productivity of their company.
Attracts and retains quality talent
In order to support a culture of inclusion and equity, organizations need to provide high-impact Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training. This is not only beneficial for the company, but for employees as well. They can learn transferable skills that they can take with them for the rest of their careers. For employers, diversity training prepares today’s employees to become your future leaders. Rather than searching for a quality hire (that perfect fit), you’re developing talent that already understands the technical skills required for the job and aligns with your company culture and values. Reducing the cost of employee turnover, talent sourcing, and onboarding should be key indicators as to the ROI for creating diversity training within your organization.
Diversity training can grow the value of a company
A company that offers diversity training and supports a culture of inclusion demonstrates that it is competently run, making it highly attractive to investors. As this Columbia University report states, “female representation in top management may have important implications for a firm’s competitiveness.” The same report shows that female representation on a company’s board has a direct correlation to the level of innovation at that company. This is a signal to investors that a company is competitive and likely to grow in the long run.
Provides deeper market insight
Employees from diverse backgrounds, cultures, languages, etc., can provide insight into products or services, or better understand the global market. In some cases, having employees with perspectives from gender and culture can provide insight into how a product or service may be best delivered to a particular country, or group of people. International companies have geographically-based marketing and business strategies that can best be understood by the people who come from there. As well, products marketed to only a male clientele are missing the larger picture (and a larger market share).
Take for example, the move by this major toy manufacturer to create a line of inclusive products to reflect the more realistic consumer population. These new products were developed by a dedicated team leader that championed diversity at her company, resulting in a more accessible product line and driving her business’ market share.
Join our diversity training workshop
The best way to begin your journey into diversity training at your organization is to purchase our course, Diversity to Boost Innovation from CoreAxis Learning Suite. In this workshop, you’ll develop the skills and knowledge to bolster innovation and creativity by creating a workplace environment that welcomes all perspectives and combats inherent obstacles.
- Articulate the importance of diversity in the workplace and identify the benefits
- Ability to apply techniques to build diverse teams
- Understand next steps to pass on knowledge, show value in people, and set the standards for inclusion
- Learn how to elicit honest feedback from your employees to continually improve your diversity and innovation skills
- Discover additional resources to build skills in motivation, building trust, change management and more