Course Outcomes

This diversity course for managers will:

  • Explain a manager’s obligations under the law.
  • Offer a history of different approaches organizations have taken toward diversity.
  • Explore three distinct views of diversity and inclusion.
  • Suggest ideas for aligning organizational systems with goals of inclusion.
  • Discuss bias and steps for reducing it.
  • Offer strategies for establishing open communication addressing everyday conflict.

Course Overview

There are certain benefits that come from working with a homogenous group. Members who share a common background frequently have a similar understanding of the world, values that align, and a way of doing things that is familiar and comfortable.  And that’s great, until the team realizes that it is stuck in groupthink, it has missed opportunities, and it doesn’t understand its customer base as well as it thought it did. Diversity isn’t just a nice to have, it’s a need to have. 

Enter the diverse workforce. This group has a range of viewpoints, and many of those issues go away. Problem solved. Right? Not so fast, along with eliminating the problems created by homogeneity, many of the benefits disappeared too.

This course addresses the value of having a diverse workforce and the steps leaders in an organization can take to encourage and leverage differences. The course offers ideas for establishing a culture of inclusion and increasing appreciation for and understanding of others.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the value of a diverse workforce.
  • Describe how diversity goes beyond such differences as race, age, and gender.
  • Identify challenges that often arise when working with a heterogeneous group.
  • Explain how the law affects diversity in the workplace.
  • Identify and address inappropriate behavior.
  • Adopt a management style that encourages diversity.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

The Basics: Why Talking About Diversity Matters

In a global economy, organizations cannot afford to overlook issues related to diversity. The labor market is transforming and the buying public evolving with it.  In this opening discussion, we will look at demographic shifts and trends and how they have influenced and will influence the organization of the future. 

The Law: What’s Legal and Not

Few people embrace ideas just because they’re the law. Nevertheless, regulations that govern the workplace should be understood by the people in charge. Antidiscrimination and equal employment laws are no exception. In this part of the course, we will review a manager’s legal obligation with respect to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

A Little History: Five Approaches to Diversity Management

These days, talking about diversity management goes beyond a discussion about white males managing women and members of minority groups.  Instead, diversity management is about empowering all members of the workforce and managing them in such a way that they can reach their full potential. This workshop module looks at how ideas about diversity management have evolved over time.  We will also talk about the current state and the opportunities it presents. 

Three Paradigms: Understanding Different Views of Diversity 

Our next seminar segment focuses on three paradigms for considering diversity in the workplace: discrimination and fairness, access and legitimacy, and learning and effectiveness. Next, we will look at eight conditions that must exist in order for a learning and effectiveness model to work.

Organizational Inclusion: Aligning Systems and Policies

Once an organization commits to a goal of inclusion, it must turn its efforts to evaluating and adjusting its systems, practices, and policies. In this part of the program, the team will consider training, hiring, performance management, and a half a dozen other workplace systems.  During their examination, they will evaluate the extent to which barriers exist and actions they can take to reduce them.  

Moving Toward Inclusion: Everyday Activities

While the first half of this course looks at the need for workplace diversity, the history of diversity management, and actions organizations can take to move toward inclusion, the second half of the course addresses everyday challenges managers are sure to encounter. This part of the program explores actions managers can take to increase engagement, leverage diversity, and address bias – both conscious and unconscious. 

Smoother Sailing: Managing Different Viewpoints and Agendas

Conflict happens. If it’s managed well, disagreements and differing viewpoints can add value to a discussion. On the other hand, if no forum exists for an open dialog, silos are bound to develop along with disengagement and an “us versus them” mentality.

During this part of the workshop, we will explore tactics for establishing and maintaining strong lines of communication as well as strategies for reducing unnecessary disagreements and successfully navigating situations where two or more decidedly different views exist.

By the end of this workshop, participants should understand the business argument for inclusion and diversity, U.S. laws that govern workplace rights, various diversity paradigms, and steps managers and organizations can take to improve workplace communication and engagement.