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Webucator's Free Diversity Training for Employees and Managers Tutorial

Lesson: Diversity Leadership

Welcome to our free Diversity Training for Employees and Managers tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's Diversity Training for Employees and Managers course.

Managers and employees can all be diversity leaders. The more people working together to embrace different thoughts and ideas, the more successful a company can be. This lesson offers suggestions on how to manage discrimination, encourage a positive environment, and lead a successful team through the use of diversity.

Lesson Goals

  • Learn how to manage diversity discrimination.
  • Learn how to encourage diversity within a team.
  • Learn how to create a successful and diverse team.

Managing Diversity Discrimination

Managing diversity discrimination means that the supervisor must know how to handle discrimination and harassment complaints, but it also means knowing how to lead by example and prevent discrimination.

Handle Discrimination and Harassment Complaints

If you are a supervisor and an employee comes to you to report a harassment or discrimination incident, follow these steps:

  1. Help the victim.
    1. Explain that he or she is in a safe environment to discuss these issues and thank him or her for coming forward.
    2. Let the victim know that he or she is safe and will be protected from any backlash from the accused harasser or others in the company.
    3. Maintain confidentiality and do not speak of the incident to others besides human resources.
    4. Listen and take detailed notes regarding the incident. Ask the victim if he or she has confronted the harasser yet and if he or she kept any records of the incidents.
  2. Create a formal complaint or involve human resources.
    1. Depending on your company policy, either involve human resources or create the formal complaint yourself.
    2. The formal complaint or grievance process includes interviewing the victim, witnesses, and the accused harasser.
    3. Maintain the victim's confidentiality.
    4. The ultimate goal of the complaint process is to protect the victim and stop the harassment.
    5. After the company has performed an investigation, make sure a suitable resolution was reached for your employee.

Lead By Example

Supervisors should:

  1. Treat all employees equally and with respect.
  2. Value each person's ideas and contributions to the team.
  3. Support a collaborative environment.
  4. Praise ingenuity.

Employees will be more likely to appreciate the benefits of a diverse team if they see a direct value from their supervisor. Employees can feel threatened by their different co-workers if supervisors do not manage the team properly.

Interrupt and stop any discriminatory comments or behavior you observe immediately. Make sure that your team knows that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.

Understanding How to Manage Diversity Discrimination

Duration: 5 to 10 minutes.

Answer the following questions and then discuss as a class.

  1. If a victim tells a supervisor he or she is being harassed, what should the supervisor do first?
    1. Tell the employee to call a lawyer.
    2. Tell the employee that he or she is overreacting.
    3. Tell the employee, "Sorry but HR is the only department that can help."
    4. Help the employee by making him or her feel safe and by listening to the problem.
  2. What are good ways for a supervisor to lead by example and prevent diversity discrimination?
    1. Treat all of their employees equally.
    2. Value each employee's contributions.
    3. Stop discriminatory behavior immediately.
    4. All of the above.

Solution:

  1. D. Help the employee
  2. D. All of the above.

Encouraging Diversity

Managers and employees are both responsible for the success of diversity in the workplace, but managers have the added responsibility of leading by example.

Here are some ideas to help managers encourage diversity:

  1. Start a mentoring program pairing individuals with different skills together to learn from each other.
  2. Teach your team about other cultures, which could include art, food, history, holidays, etc.
  3. Offer classes or lectures specific to diversity.

There are many other ways to encourage diversity within the company. A positive attitude and a message of equality go a long way.

Common Pitfalls

When encouraging diversity in the workplace, managers should try to avoid the following common pitfalls:

  1. No diversity discrimination policy in place, or weak policies.
  2. Poor communication of the benefits of a diverse workforce, which can result in failing to get employee buy-in.
  3. Lack of diversity training.
  4. Management does not lead by example so employees see inconsistent messages.
    1. The company as a whole should represent diversity. This means that individuals representing different cultures, ages, genders, and races have roles throughout the company at all levels.
  5. Confusing affirmative action with diversity.
    1. Affirmative action is when a company gives special consideration to a specific gender, race, culture or other group that has a history of discrimination. The company may hire or promote these individuals in order to offset previous unfair acts in history.
    2. A company with many different races may look diverse, but if they all think the same then this is not diversity and does not bring the benefits of diversity.

People are naturally drawn towards individuals with similar traits. Embracing diversity is sometimes difficult. Managers must encourage employees to see diversity as a way to make the company stronger. In order to successfully convey this message, management must be educated in diversity and believe in the benefits themselves.

Understanding How to Encourage Diversity

Duration: 10 to 15 minutes.

Answer the following questions and then discuss as a class.

  1. True or False: Encouraging diversity is the responsibility of managers and employees.
  2. Why would a mentor program be a good way to encourage diversity in a team?
  3. How does a company as a whole represent diversity?
  4. If a company hires people from many different cultures and races, does that make it diverse? Why or why not?

Solution:

  1. True
  2. Pairing individuals with different skills together is a great way to learn from each other.
  3. Individuals representing different cultures, ages, genders, and races must have roles throughout the company at all levels.
  4. No. A company with many different races may look diverse, but if they all think the same then this is not diversity and does not bring the benefits of diversity.

Creating a Successful and Diverse Team

Managing diversity is about valuing individuals and respecting what each individual brings to the team. It is not enough to acknowledge differences; you must promote an inclusive environment in order to create a successful team. Management must celebrate individual differences, not just tolerate them.

Creating a diverse team starts with hiring. Hiring based on skills is easy, but finding people with the right attitude who are open-minded and represent different ways of thinking is the key. It is much easier to teach someone new skills than to change his or her attitude.

Once you have a team in place, the manager's work begins. A diverse team left without effective management will struggle. Learning to work together as a cohesive unit takes time and energy and someone must lead the team to success.

The following are suggested techniques for successfully managing a diverse team:

  1. Make sure that your employees feel valued and included in business strategy. Employees who feel appreciated are more likely to contribute more and care about a company's success.
  2. Get to know each of your employees as an individual. Recognize his or her unique talents and abilities.
  3. Communicate with each employee by giving both positive and constructive feedback on a regular basis. Do not give people who are different from you an easier or harder time.
  4. Treat each of your employees fairly and equally. Give each person opportunities to shine and grow.
  5. Make sure that each person is participating equally on the team. Assess your meeting techniques and management styles to make sure they work for everyone involved.
  6. Create an open, safe work environment where each of your employees feels comfortable voicing opinions and sharing ideas. Make sure no one is ridiculed or bullied by other teammates or by you as the manager.
  7. Be aware of the feelings and any tension within your team and intervene quickly.

Understanding How to Create a Successful and Diverse Team

Duration: 10 to 15 minutes.

Answer the following questions and then discuss as a class.

  1. True or False: Management should tolerate individual differences so employees will see the benefit of diversity and acknowledge these differences.
  2. True or False: It is better to hire based purely on appropriate skills because it is easy to train someone to be open-minded and embrace diversity.
  3. Which of the following is NOT a suggested technique for successfully managing a diverse team?
    1. Recognize each of your employee's unique talents and abilities.
    2. Treat each of your employees fairly and equally.
    3. Be aware of the feelings and any tension within your team and intervene quickly.
    4. Require that each of your employees adapt to your meeting techniques and management styles.

Solution:

  1. False. Management must celebrate individual differences, not just tolerate them.
  2. False. Finding people with the right attitude who are open-minded and represent different ways of thinking is the key. It is generally much easier to teach someone new skills than to change their attitude.
  3. D. is not a suggested technique. You should assess your meeting techniques and management styles to make sure they work for everyone involved and adapt them as needed.