With populist leaders around the world singing the tune of protectionist and shunning others who seem different is a serious concern not only for the business community but also for the rest of the world. And apparently such narrow thinking also has the tendency to seep into organizations. It simply gives permission to certain individuals to think and behave in a way that is racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobia, etc. And in 2017 in a modern society such attitudes are unacceptable and detrimental.
And if such backward thinking continues, then the rift within any organization takes hold and cracks begin to appear. If unchecked, such narrow thinking toward immigrants, women, LGBT, people with disabilities and others is like a cancer that continues to spread.
CEOs, HR personnel, managers and supervisors need to be alert as how staff members are treating one another. Even in organizations where cultural harmony one time seemed to be prevalent can shift in a very short time.
Diversity and cultural sensitivity training for all staff members should be done on a regular basis instead once or twice a year . Offering training randomly is like going to the gym once in a while, not beneficial in the long term.
Furthermore, the training must be strategically planned as to when workshops will be held and also what issues need to be dealt with. The person who is organizing the event must work closely with the diversity trainer to make sure the workshop is custom designed instead a generic one because every organization has different issues.
In the workshop there should be simple tools and techniques which the employees can incorporate into their workplace. And it is highly recommended to explain to the staff as to why diversity training is taking place. Once they understand the value of diversity training then they are more likely to participate and take action to make their workplace a harmonious and welcoming for everyone.