Diversity training is generally used to educate employees on ethnic and racial differences in order to reduce prejudice and discrimination and to promote a respectful and productive work environment. A lot of the negative attitudes associated with diversity come from a lack of experience and familiarity with other cultures.
The same can be said about generational differences and the tension found in multigenerational workforces. Generational stereotypes can be just as disrespectful as cultural and ethnic ones, so it’s important to provide training that works to unite divided groups of employees. Diversity training can help to accomplish this so that other functions in the workplace—daily job functions, employee training, and OSHA compliance, among others—can run smoothly and effectively.
A Diverse Employee Base is an Asset
Having employees from multiple generations on your team is definitely an asset. If all of your employees share the same skills, backgrounds, and personalities, it’s hard to cover a lot of ground and display a wide range of talents.
Take advantage of leadership skills that are often found in older generations. Leadership is such a vital component of your company’s safety culture, and you don’t want to miss an opportunity for success by ignoring some of these specific skills.
Find out how to recognize strong leaders and put them to good use by downloading this free leadership ebook today!
The same is true of your millennials and their technological know-how. Some people might view this as lazy or pompous—when young employees always try include technology—when, in reality, it’s actually more efficient and innovative. Tap into the resources your millennials may offer to create a potentially safer and more beneficial environment that utilizes technology to its fullest potential.
Generational Stereotypes are Harmful
Generational stereotypes can be just as disrespectful as cultural and ethnic ones. Stereotypes can lead to prejudice, discrimination, hurt feelings, and an unfriendly work environment. Your employees don’t have to be best friends, but it’s important that they work together well and respect one another. Diversity training can help to scrap the stereotypes and set everyone on the path to an inclusive and cooperative workplace.
A great way to put multigenerational talents to work is to create pairs or small groups of employees so they can collaborate and pool their resources in a constructive environment. Rather than focusing on the differences between them in a negative light, they can use their differences to come up with something awesome!
Successful Communication is Key
Communication can be a huge barrier between employees who have different backgrounds and experiences. As with diverse cultures, diverse age groups tend to communicate differently from one another. As we’ve explained countless times, a successful safety culture relies heavily on effective communication throughout the entire workplace.
By completing diversity training, your employees will learn about the different communication styles that may be the most effective in a diverse group and what kinds of strategies they can use to approach situations without judgements and assumptions. Education on diversity helps to spread more understanding about various personalities, cultures, and so much more—and that includes the cultures and attitudes of generations outside of your own.
Diversity Appeals to Great Opportunities
Whether you’re looking to expand your customer base or recruit fresh new talent, establishing a workplace that’s full of employees from all generations can appeal to potential newcomers. Why? Seeing an inclusive environment is enticing, and knowing that an employer cares more about employees’ skills than their generational stereotypes is a welcoming thought. As for customers, they can rest assured that your company picks the best people for the job, regardless of age.
Customers and employees alike want to know that a company is being objective and unbiased when it comes to hiring the right people to get the job done. When your team learns to work together despite their differences, you can improve communication and safety and attract more customers and potential employees.
Your options for finding a great diversity training for your team are vast. Perhaps your current safety training resources provide a course on diversity training. Ving’s training content library houses a couple of options on workplace diversity that can be sent out to employees on any internet-capable device. So what are you waiting for?