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Diversity training is an educational tool used by companies to improve the internal relationships and overall effectiveness of employees. The main thrust of the training is to educate employees about different backgrounds, cultures, customs, and points-of-view in order to prevent any offensive behaviors. Diversity training can help inform employees and prevent deliberate or unintentional antagonism related to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender.
Generally, diversity training seeks to emphasize the advantages of employing people with various backgrounds and talents in order to provide a well-rounded working environment. Businesses typically can benefit from embracing diversity and taking advantage of skills that all the different types of employees possess. This type of training can provide a natural team building experience, increase the bond between co-workers, and remove unnecessary barriers.
Diversity training can also be a useful tool to educate employees that are preparing to complete business transactions in other countries. The cultural differences between various countries can be vast and make it extremely difficult to communicate. Oftentimes, there is an inherent language barrier, misinterpretation of customs, or differing social norms that create difficulties in the interaction of cultures. Training can be the key to successful business transactions.
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.
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.
Alternatively, 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.
What's great fun is to have some corporate lawyer give a diversity training seminar, make a couple of racist or sexist jokes during it and then try to weakly play them off as the types of things to avoid saying. Such behavior confuses employees, but it is dandy fun to watch.
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