Sensitivity Training: What Does it Mean to be Racially Sensitive?

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training is becoming more and more crucial in today’s multigenerational and multicultural workplace. Empathy for how others may be experiencing the world, whether working in the office or from home, is critical to building an inclusive and equitable workplace culture.

Treating everyone with respect and fairness may seem natural. Still, people commonly make decisions based on stereotypes and unconscious bias at work, such as who to hire, promote, or invite to join a group. These behaviors can undermine D&I initiatives and result in accusations of discrimination and harassment if they are not detected and addressed.

Incorporating workplace sensitivity training into the company’s long-term strategy will help improve employees’ understanding of their role in building an equal workplace.

What Is Racial Sensitivity Training?

The main goal of racial sensitivity training is to make employees more aware of their attitudes and behavior toward others. This includes individuals who belong to various racial, ethnic, and gender groups as well as diverse genders, sexual orientations, ages, abilities, and religious groups that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act covers. Employees that receive sensitivity training are also taught how to respect those with various backgrounds, experiences, and communication styles.

What Are the Benefits of Sensitivity Training?

Implementing a diversity program helps make workers aware of an organization’s dedication to fostering an environment where everyone is treated with respect. This could make workers feel more at ease and enhance corporate culture.

Sensitivity training benefits include:

  • Improvement of employee retention
  • Increase in morale
  • Reduction in workplace harassment
  • Progress of recruitment efforts to create a more diverse workforce

Why Racial Sensitivity Training Is Important

As mentioned, racial sensitivity training aims to increase employees’ self-awareness so that they may work together to create a safe workplace for all team members, regardless of race or other characteristics.

Racial sensitivity training is essential because it demonstrates to customers and employees that you value diversity and inclusion as a company. Doing this can boost employee morale and make a positive first impression on both potential and current employees.

HR professionals can only do so much, especially if they are not specialists in diversity. Therefore, it’s ideal to bring in someone knowledgeable about a variety if you haven’t already. This person has the advantage of entering a new environment free of unconscious prejudices and being able to discuss topics that we may typically avoid.

Additionally, employees can pick up knowledge that goes beyond simple interpersonal communication. Specific strategies can be used in a few instances, such as making a sale or de-escalating a conflict, especially in more customer-facing positions.

5 Ways to Build a More Racially Sensitive Workplace

It’s essential to continue integrating racial sensitivity into the workplace even after you organize racial sensitivity training for employees. Here’s how companies can continue to create a more racially sensitive workplace:

Hire for Diversity Positions

To create a workplace where everyone feels safe, employees should have access to a team or individual, such as a diversity officer, with whom they can discuss issues of racial intolerance. This will create a secure environment for everyone to report any behavior that worries them. Employing individuals or teams for D&I roles demonstrates to workers your company’s concern about racial disparity and a call to action to address it.

Build a More Diverse and Inclusive Workplace

When looking for new hires, send out applications or advertisements for job openings to ethnic communities and educational institutions. Build a fair system by including diverse people in every interview hiring process.

By doing this, your company will be able to grow, and applicants from a variety of ethnic origins will feel encouraged by a company that embraces people of all backgrounds.

Build a Fair Hiring Process

To help with building a more diverse and inclusive workplace, begin with making a fair hiring process. To avoid unintentionally excluding applicants from underrepresented groups, incorporate rewriting job descriptions to differentiate between necessary and desirable skills and remove gender-specific language. Another practice to utilize is conducting blind resume reviews in which you omit names, schools, addresses, and other identifying or irrelevant information from resumes.

Receive and Act on Employee Feedback

Utilize surveys, employee resource groups, or a suggestion box to gather input, then act on it. Tell your workers when you’ve put their suggestions into practice, so they know their feedback is being considered and valued. Additionally, whenever possible, companies should make the results of team ideas available. This can maintain team members’ interest in enhancing the DEI initiatives of the company.

Talk About DEI

Finally, you can improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace by continuing to talk about it, keeping it on the mind of each employee. Share DEI efforts and results wherever possible to clearly show your commitment. For example, you can display your commitment to DEI on the company website along with achieved public demographic data. Another example would be introducing your DEI programs to new hires during the employee onboarding process to get them involved as soon as possible.

Diversity and Inclusion Training

Employers and employees can benefit from learning about diversity and inclusion in the workplace through racial sensitivity training. The goal is to improve their attitude and knowledge so that all employees, regardless of background, may work in welcoming and secure conditions. A training program like our Diversity and Inclusion Training creates an opportunity to highlight areas for improvement in your company’s racial diversity and inclusion initiatives.