Today’s workforce is changing at an amazing pace. The older workers from the Baby Boomer generation are nearing retirement age. A younger generation is stepping in to take their place in organizations around the world.
As this shift happens, companies need to adjust their cultures, policies, and practices to better support younger and more diverse employees.
The viewpoints and opinions of employers themselves are important in many ways. However, one thing organizations can’t do is deny the diversity of their employees. Doing so is not only counterproductive to success but may even be illegal.
In June 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that workers cannot be fired for being gay or transgender. The ruling stands as the only federal statute protecting LGBTQ+ employees from unfair firing by their employer.
However, nearly half of U.S. states have laws that protect employees from discrimination in the workplace based on their sexual orientation. Still, members of the gay and transgender communities say they face harassment and discrimination at work regularly.
In a report published in 2021 by the Williams Institute, researchers found that 46% of LGBTQ+ employees reported experiencing discrimination or harassment in the workplace. Because of the hodgepodge of state laws and a lack of federal regulations, this practice may not even be illegal in every state.
But even without legal repercussions, organizations failing to protect LGBTQ+ employees lose out in the long run. That’s because promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace has benefits that stretch into every aspect of a business.
In this article, we will define exactly how including LGBTQ+ inclusion and diversity training benefits an organization. We will also outline why companies that overlook the value of diversity will struggle to compete in the future.
The benefits of inclusion and diversity training
Promoting inclusion and diversity in the workplace makes sense on every level. Organizations that include a diverse group of employees outperform those who don’t in many metrics. Let’s look at some of the biggest benefits of having a diverse workforce.
Diversity fosters opportunities for problem-solving and creativity
When a diverse group of people works together to accomplish a task, they bring different skills, experiences, and perspectives to the table. Multiplying these things will always create a better result than limiting them.
Diverse workforces have more insight to draw from, which makes problem-solving easier. A wider variety of ideas and talents increases the pool of information that teams draw from. Creativity flourishes instead of stagnating.
Diverse teams make smarter decisions, and faster
One study from Cloverpop found that diverse teams are 87% better at making decisions than individual decision-makers. The research also shows that diverse groups make decisions twice as fast and improve the results from team decisions by as much as 60%.
Strategic thinking from a group of diverse individuals will inevitably include a greater variety of ideas.
Strategic thinking from a group of diverse individuals will inevitably include a greater variety of ideas. Diversity also increases the way teams cooperate and communicate.
These things benefit decision-making to drive greater results. In contrast, groups that include just one person or people from similar backgrounds tend to stick to singular decision-making methods.
Diverse organizations are more productive and profitable
The current generation of professionals embraces diversity and inclusion. So, it makes sense that they gravitate toward organizations that champion these things in the workplace.
This could be the reason that diverse workforces are more productive and create higher profitability for their organizations.
Diversity increases retention and reduces turnover
A great advantage for organizations that embrace diversity is an increase in retention. This is especially beneficial in today’s job market, where companies are struggling to attract and keep skilled workers.
The percentage of the workforce who is diverse or values inclusion at work is growing. Companies that include these concepts in the way they structure their teams are better able to compete in the labor market.
When employees are comfortable and feel included as a valuable part of a team, they are more loyal to their organizations. They tend to stay with a company longer.
They also have higher engagement and increased morale. Both of these things increase employee productivity and get better results.
What’s your biggest 2022 HR challenge that you’d like to resolve
Answer to see the results
Simplify benefits administration
Improve our virtual onboarding experience
Streamline HR processes
Automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks
Any of the above
Diverse workplaces have a better reputation overall
The future of work is one that values diversity and inclusion and works to find ways to support these ideas. These values are highly desired by job seekers and the public as a whole. So, when companies shine as examples of diversity, the public takes notice.
This includes a better reputation among customers, job seekers, and the general public. Fostering inclusion puts companies in a better position in the marketplace in every aspect.
Employees will feel more supported and be more likely to become brand advocates for their organization. Customers will speak highly of organizations. Everyone benefits from increased diversity and inclusion.
Diversity training prepares employees for changing scenarios
The benefits of including diversity and inclusion training for employees are many. Today’s workers value these things from their employers, but often they are not given the tools to navigate them successfully.
People are different and have different experiences. Some may understand the importance of professionalism and fairness in the workplace. Others may not know what is acceptable and what is not.
Without training and education on these issues, employees may find themselves handling situations inappropriately. This could create an environment where LGBTQ+ employees feel uncomfortable interacting with coworkers.
Having a diverse workforce won’t do any good if companies don’t take steps to help workers successfully communicate and cooperate with each other.
For example, inappropriate jokes, slurs, or misgendering with incorrect pronouns can quickly create a hostile work environment for LGBTQ+ individuals.
That’s why it’s so important for training courses to include the importance of diversity and inclusion. It gives employees the tools and knowledge they need to be a successful team. It also sets a standard and communicates expectations of actions that are unacceptable.
How to create training for diversity and inclusion in the workforce
Companies that want to add diversity training to an organization’s coursework need to consider these things:
- Teach the importance of fairness and equality in the workplace.
- Train for success. Explain how teams and organizations perform better when they include individuals from diverse backgrounds.
- Teach the importance of creating an environment where everyone feels safe and free from harassment and discrimination.
- Use team building and communication tools to increase cooperation.
- Include scenario training to give employees resources on how to respond to situations.
- Explain how employees can report incidents of discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Include specific information about how to contact HR executives.
Diversity and inclusion training is valuable for everyone
Organizations that provide employee diversity and inclusion training are taking proactive steps toward success and cooperation. Also, they are creating an environment that proves they value these things in the working environment.
The makeup of today’s labor force is more diverse than ever, in many ways. Companies that take actionable steps to make their workplaces open, inclusive, and fair environments for everyone will be better positioned for success.
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