- Employee Development & Training
- Training in Diversity
- How to Conduct Diversity Training Exercises
How to Conduct Diversity Training Exercises
Diversity training allows people to value differences.
Diversity training exercises help employees understand the importance of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative
Action, including the legal requirements. Diversity in the workplace contributes to successful planning, problem solving and
decision making because of the different views people bring to their jobs. Focusing on similarities, rather than differences,
allows people from different social, economic and cultural backgrounds to respect and value other individuals.
Establish and obtain consensus
on some basic ground rules for participation in diversity training exercises, such as what can (and cannot) be discussed.
Avoid introducing topics that cause unnecessary stress on your employees. Start with less volatile topics.
State the exercise goal and learning objective,
relative to your organization's needs. For example, if you want to promote awareness about the changing demographics in your
workforce, create a quiz listing the facts and provide a prize for participants who complete the quiz quickly and accurately.
Use training methods that involve
your employees. For example, to encourage participants to take responsibility for their views and habits while learning how
to communicate in increasingly diverse environments, set up a small group discussion exercise in which each participant describes
what skills, knowledge and experiences they bring to the workplace and also what they give up when they become part of a larger
group accomplishing strategic goals.
Describe work-related scenarios so participants can immerse themselves in difficult situations to practice the skills
necessary to manage complex interactions. Use lectures, discussions, role plays and multimedia presentations to enrich the
learning experience. Divide groups into pairs to role-play how to prevent workplace violence, recruit and retain a diverse
workforce, negotiate and resolve conflicts. Obtain and play videos such as those that are available from the Newsreel.org
website. Use media to challenge what people think and create a more inclusive environment in your company.
Act as a role model to create a supportive learning
environment. Confront inappropriate behavior observed during the exercises and educate participants about diversity issues
and strategies. Encourage participants to monitor their own behavior.
Monitor and evaluate the use of exercises. Allow for anonymous feedback and incorporate suggestions into the way
you conduct your diversity training exercises to respect ethnic, cultural and gender differences in your company.
Photo Credit colorful tacks image by Corey Chestnut from Fotolia.com
Enter subhead content here