Training in inclusion can be helpful and eye-opening in the workplace. Think about what you want to get accomplished in your workplace when planning diversity and inclusion activities. It's important for employees in any office to feel a sense of unity and belonging. Choose specific activities that will give employees a broader experience and help them understand and relate to others by showing them that the ways they think they are different from others often reveal the things they have in common. At the end of the day, everyone has their own challenges and has a need to be understood.
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Take your whole office outside of their comfort zone with an off-site outing. Visit another group and work together on a day of community service. You may choose to feed the homeless, volunteer at a school or help build homes for the less fortunate. The important task to accomplish is to get your employees working as one team, regardless of differences. Getting unified to one common goal will help when you return to the office and re-evaluate the way everyone works together.
Take your employees outside to play a leisurely sports game. Have them play one round of the game to the best of their abilities. Then hand out a deck of cards that have different disadvantages listed on them. One player might not be able to run. One player might have to sit out for a minute whenever someone bumps into them. The disadvantages may be silly, annoying or outrageous. Play a round of the game as dictated by the cards. Discuss what it's like to play the game with an unfair disadvantage. Gear the conversation toward unfair things that happen in real life and in business.
Employees can be treated differently because of their race or age. They can get laid off because of lack of seniority or miss out on a promotion they deserve. The object of this exercise is to get everyone on the same page where they understand the importance of equality and inclusion.
There can be a communication barrier from one culture to another. While one ethnic group tends to be more vivacious and use gestures to communicate, another may be more conservative and may use less eye contact as a form of respect. Make a list of common communication tips about several cultures and have employees match which rule goes with which culture. This should help employees understand that it's not about them when they're dealing with someone who they don't communicate well with, and to be tolerant of other points of view.
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