Diversity Initiatives

With myself contracting the last 12 odd years, I have noticed that organizations with high workplace diversity often exhibit increased creativity and problem solving. Diverse values, skills, and experiences lead to different ideas. The more ideas there are, the easier it is to find the right solution. Additionally, organizations that embrace diversity are more open to change and can adapt and respond to client needs. Diversity initiatives can lead to not only improved customer service and problem-solving, but often result in increased employee productivity as well.

Diversity initiatives are often confused with Equal Opportunity Employment (laws and requirements that prohibit workplace discrimination). However, EEO are mandated by law whereas diversity initiatives surprisingly are not.

I feel that the most best diversity education should be deployed across the entire company (as in every department and employee should be committed to the program). There should be a specific goals that are measurable and tied to the company’s overall business strategy. Many diversity initiatives focus on recruitment, general employee training and sales or marketing efforts.

One way to do this may be cultural competence. This is the ability to successfully navigate diverse cultural backgrounds and accomplish goals by respecting each other’s differences.  Ways to introduce this could be;

Awareness of your own worldview: How conscious are you of your own prejudices? It is often hard for us to spot our own biases, but diversity education can help expose personal prejudices.

Your attitude towards cultural differences: How do you react towards people of backgrounds different than yours? What is your ability to adapt your views of other people and other cultures? Role playing and scenario based learning are a good way to break down these biases and open discussion with others.

Your knowledge of different cultures: The more knowledgeable you are about other people and cultures, the less likely you are to say something offensive. Furthermore, cultural knowledge can help with problem solving, management roles, traveling, and more. This could be a simple exercise like a monthly gathering for teams to share and celebrate each other’s cultures and traditions in a respectful way.

Cross-cultural skills: Skills refer to the ability to look at and interact with others. Such as being self aware of your communication style, your jargon, tone and even speed. Emotional Intelligence is a huge thing, but that is for another topic, another day. That’s enough for now.

Published by theirishduck

I love the ability where I can plan, prioritise, design, develop and deliver blended learning solutions for a variety of markets. I love to consult and advise about the best use of digital learning and improve design standards in line with evolving ways of working. I also enjoy to keep up to date with, understand and regularly recommend emerging technologies and practice to improve individuals, teams and organisational capabilities. With over 12 years digital learning experience and demonstrated experience in both instructional design and eLearning development, I have also a lot of experience conducting training needs analysis including how to leverage principles such as design thinking and root cause analysis to understand and address performance gaps. I also have led many facilitation workshops and even presented at iDesignX and Game Developers Conferences both here in Australia, Wales and in the United States. I bring loads of coding experience in Java, ASM, C++, HTML, JavaScript, SCORM and xAPI, as well as proven capability using Adobe Captivate, Trivantis Lectora and Articulate Storyline 360 Studio authoring programs. Of course, Adobe Creative Cloud is also part of my toolbox which I also use daily. Being taught traditional and advanced 3D animation techniques, I love hand drawing and polymer clay sculpture, but can also use the Blender, 3D Studio Max, Maya and Softimage applications. With strong multimedia, training and programming backgrounds, I understand modern learner behaviour including micro and social learning, I am very familiar with most LMSes and app-based (XCode and Android Studio), adult learning models and e-solutions. I also possess the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, whilst being pro-active in delivering work independently with minimal supervision, but enjoy working in teams. I've been told I am a resilient, relationship focused guy which can manage and navigate conflicting views and stakeholders/subject matter experts.

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