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Equality And Diversity - Why Are They So Important?

Feb 29, 2008
Equality and diversity have always been high up on the business agenda and so it is important that all employees understand it. Yet it is worrying the number of people who say they do not fully know the laws that are there to protect everyone in the workplace.

To address this issue many organisations are investing heavily in equality and diversity training. This has made it one of the most popular topics of learning and development in recent years. Although this sounds promising development is being implemented throughout the UK many organisations are only doing so because they need to be seen as 'ticking the box'.

This attitude towards equality and diversity does not help an organisations' culture as it leads people to see it as just going through the motions. Another aspect that hinders employees embracing this type of training is that they see it as a waste of time because the concepts are seen as common sense.

Even though a lot of the concepts for equality and diversity training is seen as common sense there are still substantial numbers of cases brought before employee tribunals because of inappropriate behaviour. This highlights the need for development to be taken seriously because if there is discrimination, for example against skin colour, religious beliefs or sexual orientation then we as a society still have a large problem.

When looking at the laws it is not surprising that there is a high level of confusion. Many people are still actually unaware of the laws and the changes the Government has made. This is why organisations should do more than just invest in training; it should be fully embraced with a high level of importance placed on it.

The benefits that equality and diversity can bring are more than just protecting an organisation against Government fines and employee tribunals. It can create high levels of team spirit, motivation and belonging, all of which have an impact on an organisations' overall success. In basic terms, training makes good business sense.

Due to its sensitive nature and complexity, some organisations are not sure how best to tackle equality and diversity training. The best way to do so is to make sure that a specialist is used, whether it be an in-house specialist or an external learning and development provider. The reason for this is to ensure that the doubters are dealt with effectively as well as making sure that your employees are told about the most up to date laws.

Whichever way an organisation decides to invest in this type of training it needs to reflect the established procedures that the organisation uses when dealing with these issues.

So next time equality and diversity training is on the business agenda go with an open mind and prepare to embrace what you are told, after all it really does bring about positive benefits to everyone.
About the Author
Shaun Parker is a recognised business consultant. He really values the use of Equality and Diversity as a method of improving your business.
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