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

sensitivity training

Sensitivity Training In The Workplace

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.


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.

Related:


Tips For Implementing 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.

Before you start, Consider Hiring A Sensitivity Training Expert

If you don’t want to directly handle this task, you can hire an expert. These experts come into a new environment without any implicit biases and they are at liberty to discuss uncomfortable subjects that no one typically wants to talk about.

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

Professionals can also craft training that works for your specific company or go off a tried and true system them have implemented in other places.

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

1. Create a safe place to work (and talk)

The workplace should be free of things like harassment, bullying, and other types of discrimination. Before your training begins, make this clear to your employees.

An inclusive organization that promotes a safe place to work has a number of benefits for both the employees and employer.

2. Prioritize Communication

Are there any groups within the office that feel like they are outsiders to the rest of the workplace?

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

You’ll be surprised at what you could learn when you allow employees to be candid with each other. 

3. 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.

4. Extend Learning Beyond this Training

The learning doesn’t have to stop after a training session or discussion.

You could try things like 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.


“DIVERSE COMPANIES ENJOY 2.3 TIMES HIGHER CASH FLOW PER EMPLOYEE”

— 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 Program 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: Diversity Training in the Workplace (and Why it Matters)

Category: Employer Resources

Tags: Sensitivity training for employees, Culture sensitivity training, Sensitivity training for employees, Workplace sensitivity training, diversity training in the workplace, Cultural sensitivity training, cultural awareness training, positive work environment, online sensitivity training

Co-Author: Becky is a contributor for theJub. She’s a writing and talent acquisition specialist who loves to apply her skills through creative writing and editing.


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