We are all aware of this year’s Oscar nominees list and the furore it has created. Though it includes actors with tremendous acting prowess such as Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and others, it has been criticized for the conspicuous absence of African-origin actors of renown such as Idris Elba and Will Smith who have given praiseworthy performances. With famous celebrities such as actresses Jada Pinkett, Lupita Nyong’o, and director Shelton Jackson “Spike” Lee verbally venting their displeasure and making it known they will boycott the awards ceremony, the omission has highlighted the racial divide. In fact, this is the second year in a row when actors of color have not been nominated for the Oscars. Isn’t it a truly disturbing trend?
With organizations today being spread across the globe and comprising employees from every region, of every ethnicity, language, and race, it is very important to ensure that organizations have fair, inclusive, equal employment and equal opportunities policies in place. Organizations have to foster a culture where diversity is appreciated and embraced to help employees complement their strengths and diminish differences.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, in his blog says they have prioritized diversity and in the last year hired over 11,000 women globally – 65% more than the previous year. In the U.S alone, they hired 2,200 Black and 2,700 Hispanic employees, an increase of 50% and 66% respectively. Almost all global organizations are exhibiting the same recruiting pattern.
In this context, how do you ensure your employees treat each other fairly – with respect – and embrace the diversity prevalent in their midst? How do you ensure your organization is a tolerant workplace where everyone is given a fair chance to grow and succeed irrespective of linguistic, racial, religious, and gender differences? How do you teach your managers and leaders to treat everyone fairly and stay away from prejudices?
Imparting cultural and diversity training is the perfect solution. Teaching managers and employees to be open and welcome differences will foster a healthy work environment. Let’s now see how custom e-learning is the best training solution to address this need. E-learning courses can:
Be rolled out across the world
An e-learning course, once developed, can be made available to your employees all across the world. This will help reduce development and training costs, the time and logistics associated with conducting extensive classroom sessions.
An e-learning course can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your employees. Though many off-of-the shelf courses are available, they will lack the personal touch a customized course offers. Develop a course that talks to all your employee groups.
Use scenarios effectively
E-learning courses can harness the power of scenario-based learning to make learning more relevant and meaningful to employees. Use scenarios that draw from real life to sensitize employees and build empathy.
Use videos effectively
Include videos of the CEO or top management addressing everybody and welcoming the unifying effect of diversity; this is a very effective way of conveying the importance given to inclusion in the workplace. You can also include videos of employees from minority groups who have risen to positions of power and influence. This will instill confidence in other employees who are in a minority.
Be developed into micro modules
Create small byte-sized modules on inclusivity that can be accessed from even mobile devices. This will encourage even employees on the move such as your sales team to take up the learning as they will have the convenience of accessing the modules from the device of their choice, when they are free and not engaged in client-related activities.
Also, small nuggets of information make learning engaging and ensure learners retain what is learned.
Be translated easily
E-learning courses can be translated into all major international languages and localized to meet the requirements of employees across the world. This will help employees take the courses in their native languages and thereby learn and retain better.
So pay heed to your employee composition and provide a happy, inclusive workplace for all. Do not single out just a majority for appreciation or promotions. More importantly, do not nurture a culture where certain groups are neglected or ignored. In short, avoid the Oscar-nomination syndrome.
Release the power of e-learning which is the most optimal method to train your employees on cultural diversity, foster sensitivity and create a fair work environment.
Have other ideas? Share your thoughts with us.