Avoiding Discrimination- Where is the Diversity & Inclusion Training?

The conversation continues since the last episode on Racial Bias in the Workplace.  We’re going to discuss avoiding discrimination and signs to look for that your organization needs diversity and inclusion training. First, we discuss equity and workplace discrimination, what they are, and how to maintain equity while avoiding discrimination. Then, we dive into diversity, inclusion, and equality training. What are the 3 signs that your management staff needs equality training, such as abuse of authority or playing favorites?

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Show Transcript

-Hey ….hey……Welcome to The MOD report.  This is the show where we talk all things HR and the crazy things, we go through in the hospitality industry.  I’m your host, Dr. Ryan Giffen.

-We are streaming this episode live via Facebook and YouTube.  After the live stream, you can access this episode anywhere you get your podcast including Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart, and many more! 

Today…..we are going to keep the conversation going since the last episode on Racial Bias in the workplace.  We’re going to discuss avoiding discrimination and signs to look for that you organization needs diversity and inclusion training. 

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Our differences (which make us individually unique and quite special) in today’s day in age, may….sadly cause workplace discrimination, where employees are treated unfairly due to a particular characteristic. Equity is vital in every modern-day workplace. With the workplace changes induced by COVID-19, having a strong team is more important than ever. 

Dealing with change, especially with the changes brought forth by COVID-19, is not easy for anyone in the workplace. Many are still working remotely or not working at all because of COVID-19. Your human resources department may be working on plans for your employee’s return, but have they considered how important equity will be during these times? Equity can keep a workplace from falling apart and makes your employee’s environment a happier, safe space…..and, as we discussed in my last podcast, necessary because it makes business sense and is the right thing to do.  Dealing with change isn’t nearly as hard when your employees have equal chances and no discrimination. 

So, What is Equity? 
In the workplace, equity means that everyone is receiving fair chances and treatment. This will allow employees to have equal access to advancements and opportunities. Equity leads to happier and harder working employees. Each employee will feel valued; where no employee has an advantage over the other. After seeing that they have a fair chance of advancing, your employee will work harder than an employee experiencing workplace discrimination. Retention will stay at an all-time high when every employee is valued. 

How can a company maintain equity?

For some companies, it may feel challenging to maintain equity due to the number of employees you have. However, in order for your employees to feel happy and appreciated, giving them an equal chance is vital. If you feel that you do not know your workers well enough to give them equal opportunities, it may be time for you or your managers to host an event that will allow you to get to know employees. 

What is Workplace Discrimination? 

Workplace discrimination involves holding an employee back or treating them unfairly due to their religion, race, sexual orientation, age, sex, or disabilities just to name a few. Despite the Civil Rights Act of 1964 making it unlawful to discriminate when hiring, employers unfortunately still hold bias over potential employees (and current employees). Employees who experience discrimination could be denied certain benefits, given a different salary, ignored in consideration for promotion, and more. The legal consequences of workplace discrimination can be severe, ranging in penalties from $50,000 to $300,000. 

How can you company Avoid Workplace Discrimination?

Take a hard look at your business. On the outside, you may feel that there is no way that workplace discrimination could happen within your company, but there are always cracks where it could occur. The best way to avoid workplace discrimination is to host frequent meetings or learning opportunities for workplace discrimination. Managers or owners who hear little about workplace discrimination are more likely to slip up. Making information readily available about workplace discrimination will not only help educate your employees, but will let them know that your company is against discrimination.  Sooo…..what’s likely needed is a solid Diversity and Inclusion training program. 

Diversity and Inclusion training has many benefits. It increases the performance of your employees and increases productivity. Your employees and managers will have a more positive working relationship, and the risk of legal action due to discrimination will greatly decrease. It might be hard for you to notice if your management staff needs extra training due to how busy you are. 

However, there are many signs that your managers may need some extra education about this topic of diversity and inclusion. A workplace with a strong emphasis in this area will prove to be an extremely strong workplace.  Let’s take a look at three areas you can evaluate to determine if your organization needs diversity, inclusion, and equality training:

1. Abuse of Authority 

Abuse of power in the workplace means that a manager may be misusing their authority. For example, if a manager is feeling particularly bothered or simply dislikes an employee, they may increase their workload. No employee will feel comfortable after experiencing (or hearing about) a manager who abuses their power. Even if one employee expresses that they feel that a manager has too much power, you should investigate immediately. Your managers may require the aid of leadership training programs or equality training. 

2. Playing Favorites 

If your workplace has an “in-group” and an “out-group,” there may be an issue with managers playing favorites. Many of us will remember the cliques in high school and how it felt to be included or excluded. While we couldn’t quit high school because of a mean teacher, your employees can certainly quit working for you. 

How can you notice that your managers are playing favorites? You might start by paying closer attention to the way your managers interact with employees. Do they seem friendlier towards some than others? Have they come to you with complaints about an employee that you felt wasn’t in the wrong? You might even have employees approach you about feeling excluded or discriminated against. This is a definite sign that you should look into leadership training programs, as well as equality training. Talk to the managers that seem to play favorites one-on-one and express that your workplace is a strong supporter of equality. If neither of these methods help, you may want to consider looking for a new manager. 

3. Things Aren’t Getting Better

If you have had previous problems with managers about equality that were addressed, but problems are still occurring, you may need to look into diversity and inclusion training. It may not be that your managers are not taking you seriously, it might be that they seriously need the training to understand how important inclusion and good leadership is in the workplace. If your managers seem to hold a bias against some of your employees, this training could influence them into creating a better relationship with those employees. 

Do you value people?  Your customers?  Employees?  Vendors?  If you truly value people….Do you have a diversity and inclusion training program?

A workplace that invests in such training programs will not only experience high retention and employee satisfaction, but likely can avoid pricey lawsuits are a PR nightmare blasted across social media or the nightly news.

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Thanks for tuning in! If you want to keep the conversation going come on over to my website, inospire.com or find me on LinkedIn, Twitter, or my YouTube channel.  Post your questions and/or comments!  I mean why not?!  It’s basically free access to a professor and consultant!

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The MOD Report is sponsored by Inospire, where cultures are built through innovation and Inspiration.  I’m Dr. Giffen, and we’ll see you next time!