Cultural Inclusion: Diversity Training In The Workplace

Successful multi-cultural organizations promote an inclusive work environment that is welcoming and supportive of people with talent and commitment. A culturally inclusive vision is to be a model of excellence – a place where all are treated with respect and dignity, and where all employees can fully participate. Being a model of excellence means getting and keeping the best people – the most talented and the most committed, regardless of other demographic characteristics – and channeling that talent and commitment toward providing quality and value to customers.  Further, customers expect organizations to reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.

An organizational culture that is culturally inclusive is complex and multi-layered, and thus requires a multi-pronged strategy to create and maintain it.

Traditional approaches to diversity training and consulting often focus narrowly on the awareness and understanding of differences in certain categories of people.  While this is an essential piece, it is not enough. Cultural Inclusion, on the other hand, focuses on how to bring in and keep the best of all cultures so that you have the best problem-solving, creativity, innovation, entrepreneurial effort, and excellent execution. Cultural Inclusion is integrally linked to the organization’s strategic direction, business plans, processes, and practices. It becomes embedded in the organization’s fabric. It is a process for culture change, not a specific event.

For the above reasons, Cultural Inclusion diversity training for leaders is not a “stand-alone” program, but is part of a larger initiative and will include consultation with you regarding the other pieces of the strategy.

Creating a culturally inclusive work environment helps you achieve important benefits:

  • Ability to attract and retain the brightest and the best talent in the marketplace
  • Being seen as a model of excellence, where talent and performance are rewarded
  • Significantly increased employee engagement and collaboration
  • Improved relationships between managers and employees
  • Diverse perspectives valued and sought out in order to solve business problems

Cultural Inclusion Training highlights:

  • The business case for cultural inclusion – why it matters
  • How good people unconsciously reinforce barriers to success, and how to change the thought process by having a different conversation
  • The leader’s role in changing the culture of the organization
  • How changing the conversation can change the culture
  • How to use conversation to bring diverse perspectives to solving difficult problems
  • How to ask different questions instead of assuming or stereotyping
  • How to listen in a way that ensures others feel heard; listening with empathy
  • How to positively and respectfully confront behavior that is out of alignment with core values

Cultural Inclusion Methodology

Participants in Cultural Inclusion spend most of their workshop time in practices with coaching and feedback in P2P Videolabs – AlexanderHancock’s trademarked process for rapid development of business communication skills. They bring their own real situations to use in the practice sessions, and gain insight and skills through customized exercises and case studies.  The practices challenge them to handle communication with greater cultural sensitivity. In some settings we have used culturally diverse actors in the skill practices and simulations.

Cultural Inclusion Customized Solutions

To ensure that training is not just an “event,” but instead produces enduring results, we customize Cultural Inclusion to fit your unique situation, business strategy, culture, and people.  After discussion with you and other experts within your organization, we select the emphasis, specific skills to be developed, key learning points, exercises, and case studies for practice to create a solution tailored just for you.

Cultural Inclusion Applications

The following are some of the ways our clients have used custom versions of Cultural Inclusion diversity training:

  • To ensure a successful start up in a new culturally diverse location
  • To equip leaders with skills for leading a culturally diverse employee population
  • To reinforce the corporate values of diversity, respect, and excellence
  • To support the company’s talent management initiatives
  • To educate and reaffirm commitment to inclusion after a provocative incident

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