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

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 a crucial step in building an inclusive and equitable workplace culture.

The concept of treating everyone with respect and fairness may seem natural, but 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 employee's understanding of their role in building a more equal workplace for everyone.

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 are covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. 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?

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

Sensitivity training benefits include:

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

Why Racial Sensitivity Training Is Important

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

Racial sensitivity training is essential because it demonstrates to customers and employees that as a company, you value diversity and inclusion. By doing this, you 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 who is knowledgeable about diversity 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. Certain 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 important 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 a diverse group of 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 building a fair hiring process. To avoid unintentionally excluding applicants from underrepresented groups, incorporate the rewriting of job descriptions to differentiate between necessary and desirable skills and removing gender-specific language. Another practice to utilize is conducting blind resume reviews in which you omit names, schools, addresses, and any 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 taken into consideration and valued. Additionally, whenever possible, companies should make 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 to introduce 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 both 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 conditions that are welcoming and secure. A training program like our Diversity and Inclusion Training creates an opportunity to point out areas for improvement in your company's racial diversity and inclusion initiatives.