Advertisement

  • News
  • Columns
  • Interviews
  • BW Communities
  • Events
  • BW TV
  • Subscribe to Print
  • Editorial Calendar 19-20
BW Businessworld

Inclusivity At Workplaces Require Exquisite Training Modules For Employees

Business matters, the bucks matter, but building a robust business model powered by a diverse workforce matters the most in today's time.

Photo Credit :

1459934242_ALji8v_workplace-shutterstock_870.jpg

Talking about entering and getting used to the ‘new normal,’ how will we enter a ‘better normal’ or a ‘new normal’ without having diverse teams onboard?

Though we have seen and read enough about the struggles of the LGBTQ community, we need to break it down to the basics for positive action to be taken beyond the policy drafts where the male and female workforce needs to be trained on how to welcome talent onboard and not people with “unconventional sexual preferences.”

Training Is The Pre-requisite For LGBTQ Inclusivity

Scratching the surface of this stigma doesn’t require hard work and the rattling of belief systems. I stead it requires harnessing disproportionate benefits through a diverse range of inclusive cultures. To make this inclusive culture work, it takes more than putting a policy on paper. 

Sandhydeep Puri, CPO, Sapphire Foods explains that “Acknowledging how this melting pot can create a conducive environment for growth in the right direction. This is exactly what the companies need to work upon closely with its employees to sketch the bigger picture.”

Putting a structure in place through learning modules that is progressive, supportive and, proactive towards the LGBTQ community is essential to harness the best out of a people-first policy. 

“An all-compassing inclusive culture can only be created in an organisation when we can address the training needs of a wide spectrum of audience. The significance of creating dedicated training modules to integrate LGBTQ+ community members with larger organizations would ensure instilling higher confidence in them with regards to creating an equal opportunity environment,” believes Manish Sharma, Director, PWC.

Puri added that Inclusion is never about a one-and-done meeting, it's a constant process and one of the important factors that drive this change is communication. Whether it's in verbal form or digital form through algorithms, reassessment of how communication takes place is an important part of the training modules. 

Host of things, such as; sessions, support groups, equal opportunity policy, all need to be embedded in the culture of organisations when it comes to the inclusivity of LGBTQ. The myth as an industry we need to bust is that still a large no of organizations looking at D&I from a gender lens only which is partially correct. In today’s era, LGBTQ has become the essence of D&I and that’s what organisations need to focus upon. Most importantly it’s the leaders who need to drive this change and that’s what we are trying to do by making these things mandatory for them.

Focussing on LGBTQ employment for corporations isn’t just good from a welfare and upliftment angle, but also makes good business sense. 

The Accenture India spokesperson stated that “a majority of our leaders in India are LGBT+ allies - we have curated 90-minute training sessions for them on how they can amplify our inclusive culture through their spheres of influence.” 

Companies like Ford Motors, Alcoa, Goldman Sachs, etc. have already seen the benefits of LGBT inclusive policies because it makes the company come across as forward-thinking and meritocratic.

How they could attain the benefits of such policies is by making sure that training the existing employees on welcoming the new community is of prime importance. Sharma further explains that the basis of such training should be a homogeneous mix of skill-based modules and behavioural training. High focus on D&I (Diversity & Inclusion) trainings across proficiency levels are the need of the hour. This will help drive the behavioural change for and by the LGBTQ community.” 

The training procedure needs to have a diverse set of people to define a business problem holistically and hence the training interventions must also focus on enhancing these skills to provide the LGBTQ+ community with an equal footing to contribute and make their impact felt within the organisation.

Embedding Inclusivity Within Cultures For A Brighter Future

Recognizing that each employee has a stake in inclusive culture is the first route to building a forward-thinking workplace. When the onus of making the workforce feel inclusive rides on every shoulder within the organization rather than just a team or the top-tier, it equates the accountability. The employees are the future of the organization. Creating a space that not only sprouts value but makes an employee feel safe and encouraged, requires unlearning of biases first. 

An Accenture India spokesperson elucidates upon their company initiatives by citing, “ we have created a vibrant ally network for our LGBT+ people and offer customized training, mentoring programs on LGBT+ inclusion that enable allies to become informed, active, visible, and vocal evangelists on the topic.”

In the age of globalisation and tech-driven markets, every organization is fighting hard to be different. Though that fight is crucial, this is exactly where the challenge lies and this is where the focus needs to be. Imagine losing out on a global talent just because they ‘don’t fit in the box? The world has moved on from ticking the boxes. 

Organizations that are still hibernating with ancient systems are bound to lose out on a massive resource pool. The LGBTQ community is not just a rainbow band but a band of talented individuals who deserve a great working environment and equal opportunities.

Who would miss out on this deal?