How to Implement Sensitivity Training in the Workplace (and Why it Matters)

Sensitivity training in the workplace is one of the most integral components of an organization's overall training strategy.

Your diverse team is comprised of people of different backgrounds, beliefs and personalities, and it's important that everyone is respected and treated appropriately, regardless of who they are.

Here’s how to promote an inclusive working culture that appreciates the diversity of your staff and team members.

Implement Sensitivity Training

Sensitivity Training in the Workplace

Questions Answered

  • What is Sensitivity Training?

  • Is Sensitivity Training Effective?

  • Why is Sensitivity Training for Employees Important?

  • How to Implement Sensitivity Training?

What Exactly is sensitivity training?

Sensitivity training is intended to help employees within an organization acknowledge and respond to attitudes and behaviors that may unwittingly cause offense to others, especially members of various backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures.

During this training, employees are brought together in an open environment to participate in group discussions and activities.

Is sensitivity training effective?

Some say diversity training is simply a way to create the perception that a business is being proactive towards acceptance, while others (like us) believe it’s a great way to enhance peoples knowledge around biases and build towards a more inclusive future.

Diversity training results vary from business to business, but we believe it’s an effective way to grow an inclusive team within an office.

Why is Sensitivity Training for Employees Important?

  • It helps employees to be more sensitive and accepting of each other's existing diversity which leads to better understanding among team members.

  • It educates team members about constructive behaviors by correcting behaviour and emotional actions and reactions.

  • Managers are able to gain insight into their own behavior as well as understand who employees are as people, helping them thrive in the workplace.

  • It also builds strong interpersonal relationships among team members. If your employees respect each other's feelings, they will likely be happier and more productive.

  • It raises awareness among managers and employees and helps create a workplace free of discrimination and harassment.

How to Implement Sensitivity Training In the Workplace

The bulk of sensitivity training involves taking time to self-reflect, examining your beliefs, feelings and values, and then realizing how they might affect how you relate with other team members in the workplace. 

It should be noted that the delivery of sensitivity training is of critical importance for the training to be successful. If delivered poorly, it can have a negative impact on the culture of your organization.

Here are a few tips to successfully bring sensitivity training to your workplace.

Consider Hiring a Sensitivity Training Expert

An expert comes into a new environment without any implicit biases, and is at liberty to discuss uncomfortable subjects that no one wants to talk about.

Professionals can also craft training that works for your specific company.

Additionally, it shows that your business cares enough about inclusion and diversity that you're willing to invest in it. 

Treat Each Employee as an Individual

Let employees know and value each other on an individual basis/merit instead of making assumptions based on their backgrounds.

A good way to do this is to encourage and incorporate a diverse range of talents in efforts to achieve organizational goals. 

Prioritize Communication

Are there groups that feel like they are outsiders?

Create an environment that allows people to feel comfortable to air their concerns knowing these concerns will be taken seriously.

You'll be surprised at what you could learn when you allow employees to be candid. 

Provide Opportunities for Self-Reflection

To further promote sensitivity in the workplace, offer scenarios that prompt employees to think about what they would do if a similar situation occurred.

This self reflection is important for self awareness which allows us to look neutrally at our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions.

Extend Learning Beyond Training

This could include creating a series of posters, newsletters, and emails that display messages encouraging workplace sensitivity.

Your company's handbook can also dedicate an entire section to the organization's zero tolerance policy for any form of discrimination.

— Builtin

Wrapping Up | Sensitivity Training in the Workplace

While the idea of treating everyone with respect may sound simple, individuals often fall back on assumptions, stereotypes and unconscious bias.

Sensitivity training helps these employees remain sensitive and accepting of the existing diversity in the current workplace. A better understanding within the organization helps enable relationship building with other team members.

To recap, look to promote diversity and inclusion throughout your company with these sensitivity training practices:

  • Consider Hiring a Sensitivity Training Professional

  • Treat Each Employee as an Individual

  • Prioritize Communication

  • Provide Opportunities for Self-Reflection

  • Extend Learning Beyond Training

We hope this help - best of luck!


Title: How to Implement Sensitivity Training in the Workplace (and Why it Matters)

Category: Employer Resources

Tags: Sensitivity training in the workplace, Sensitivity training for employees, Culture sensitivity training, Sensitivity training for employees, Workplace sensitivity training, diversity training in the workplace, Cultural sensitivity training

Author/Contributor: Reid is a contributor to theJub. He's an employment and marketing enthusiast who studied business before taking on various recruiting, management, and marketing roles. More from the author.