A recent Harvard Business Review lead article analysed why Diversity training programmes in corporations generally fail. One of the main reasons cited for this failure is that people don’t change simply because they’re sent on a workshop to learn more about one another. If we really want to transform South African organisations, being legally compelled to report on the achievement of better representation of the EAP in our workforce profiles is only one step towards the goal of more diverse organisations. Business has to transform from within, and that means changing the hearts and minds of all the people in the company. It’s called INCLUSION MANAGEMENT rather than “Diversity Training”.
Here are most successful, proven steps to achieving this:
- Top leadership and senior management commitment to business transformation
- Continual review of all company policies, procedures AND informal practices to eliminate subtle forms of discriminatioN
- Interrogation of all daily work practices and company policies by an independent group of elected employees (Employment Equity Committee)
- Regular diversity workshops that engage all employees and challenge all stereotyping or exclusionary behaviour
What makes Diversity and Transformation workshops fail?
- Ignoring the need to train, incite and engage top management first
- Attendance by less than 80% of the total workforce
- Dominance of certain groups, or under-emphasis of very real gaps in company representation of all people
- Workshops that are dry or patronising
- Trainers who fail to engage the participants using adult, challenging and relevant methods
- People being “spoken at” rather than engaged with
- Minimising or ignoring individual employees’ fears, resentments, scepticism, past experiences and personal paradigms
Training your entire workforce reaps enormous rewards as people become more engaged and supportive of the process of transformation. The result is better teamwork, productivity and collaboration – and a greater overall commitment to making a more diverse, inclusive organisation where every employee feels valued for their individuality.
Want to know more about our Diversity and Inclusion training workshops?
Read our course outline HERE, or contact us to have our specialist consultant call you to discuss how we can help you with a well-planned company Diversity intervention.