Does Training Need to be Concerned about Diversity?

A couple of months back, our department was updating a photo on the dashboard of our LMS. Our company is over 80% white males but the previous picture included a mixture of males and females both white and Latino that showed more diversity that the company. While discussions were going on, my boss paid a visit to a branch and ran into some new employees that were just getting into our LMS for the first time. Interestingly one of them noticed the picture and commented that while it showed diversity, there was no one “like him”. This was a great reminder that an understanding and use of diversity is important to training, just as it is to all areas of a business.

Employees want to feel connected. Employees want to see people who are “like them” when they go through, training courses and materials. Seeing other people like them help them feel more connected to the company.

Empowering a diverse workforce also can develop creativity and innovation. Honoring diversity develops an openness to others and differences which leads to idea sharing, new ways of thinking and innovation which is a business advantage.

Building a diverse workforce helps the company connect with a diverse client base. Just as employees are drawn to training that involves people “like them”, customers are also drawn to a workforce that has people “like them”. Building up this diversity can increase your client base and build your bottom line.

The conversation we had about what picture to use on the dashboard of our LMS was an important one, one that can have consequences that are company wide. A picture that may just make one employee feel more connected can lead to so much more. What conversations are you having about diversity in your training department?

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