While the demand for cultural diversity programs has increased dramatically, there is very little information available on what makes these programs effective and how you can measure their real impact? The problem is that most organizations are conducting these sensitization programs in quick manner just to meet their diversity training goals. Barring a few organizations, most organizations don’t even have a competent trainer on-board.

Biggest Problem – Managers See These Trainings as Non-productive!

Manager feeling the pressure because of workload

Worst problem being that managers see these trainings as a non-productive part of their daily regimen. In fact they are often forced by the HR department to enroll for these trainings. If your manager doesn’t see any advantage in a diverse workforce then it’s going to be pretty hard for any trainer to break his/her stereotypes. To get a fair bit of idea about your manager’s involvement in this regard, make sure you ask them these 5 questions.

5 Questions to Ask Your Managers!

  • Do they have a diverse talent pool, if yes what diverse sourcing channels do they use?
  • Do they support any diversity initiative like veterans hiring or women in tech?
  • Do they post their openings on diversity job boards? Have they collaborated with any school that has students from minority?
  • How many D&I trainings have they taken for their own team?
  • Do their job advertisements reflect bias of any kind?

Creating the Ideal Cultural Diversity Training Program for Managers!

The ideal cultural diversity training program should not only educate managers on different cultures but also impart them the skills to manage the differences. Most importantly it should help the leaders in eliminating any stereotypes that they may have and inculcate a sense of respect for each and every individual, irrespective of their ethnicity or religion. To ensure that your program is a success, make sure it meets all these criteria.

Cultural diversity training taking place

1) Certified Trainer

Make sure you get certified trainers who have good amount of experience in training leadership candidates on cultural awareness. Ask trainers in advance about the curriculum of their training and what all resources they will share with the managers. This will give you a good idea about their past experience and hold on the subject.

2) Leadership Involvement

If the higher management is not involved in the process then the whole training can go for a toss. It’s important for the managers to understand management’s commitment to diversity. Make sure the reminders for such trainings are shared by top-level executives from the management.

3) Training on Overcoming Stereotypes

Often managers have pre-defined conceptions about candidates from a particular religion or ethnicity. It’s important to educate them on the differences between cultures, what’s acceptable and what’s not in different cultures, why people from one community behave in a certain way, and much more.

4) Mandatory Session on Bias-free Recruiting 

Every cultural diversity training program should have mandatory bias-free recruiting It should train managers on a variety of topics including blind hiring, diversity-friendly job descriptions, maintaining consistency in interview questionnaires, and much more.

5) Performance Monitoring 

It’s important to monitor the impact of these cultural awareness trainings. Holding feedback sessions and sending out timely surveys are an important means not just to measure the training’s effectiveness but also to improve the overall structure of the training program.

Changing the perception of leaders requires a concerted effort from the HR department. Make sure you have a well-established process, competent trainer, relevant follow-up material, and a defined feedback mechanism. Most importantly, accept the fact that changing the perception of individuals takes time, so be patient in your endeavors.

 

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