Old school diversity training has come into question. The controversy raises questions about whether such training is an effective means to address bias in the workplace. But one thing is clear: Ignoring the issue until after a problem occurs can have serious consequences. So, what are companies supposed to do?
The problem is twofold for handling diversity training for restaurant and retail organizations. First, create an environment where all employees feel equally respected and empowered to work within the organization. Second, encourage your frontline employees to treat all customers with unbiased and outstanding customer service.
The answer to both questions may be the same: a mobile workforce enablement platform that provides mobile, individualized, and thoughtful training that empowers employees to engage with it at their own pace, whenever they need it.
One thing diversity training is not: a video played for employees as they get hired, and once a year after that. Biases grow from stereotypes learned over years of a person's life and cannot dispel them in an hour or a day of training.
But that doesn't mean companies can't or shouldn't encourage diversity and reduce issues of bias in their organization. It means they have to tackle it in a new way.
Put training and advancement in the hands of employees
Literally. A mobile training format is a modern way to engage employees and encourage employee development with training. It allows them to access training when they want or need it, right from their phone or whatever mobile device they use at work.
Mobility creates an environment where frontline employees can instantly access information, helping them feel empowered and never "out of the loop." It also puts employees in control of their learning and advancement. Mobility allows employees to go at their own pace and manage their career paths.
When all employees have equal access to skill and management training, you eliminate potential complaints that can occur when supervisors decide who should be invited to training or encouraged to seek advancement and who should not. Companies can define a set progression of training that gives all workers access to advancement, based on their motivation and ability to complete designated steps.
As another bonus, mobile training better meets the needs of the new generation of workers. Having instant access to information is what this group is accustomed to having. They will be more engaged and have better retention when training is in short, ongoing segments instead of fewer, longer sessions where employees need to sit and listen with little to no engagement.
Empowering employees to engage in mobile training at their own pace is an ideal way to avoid bias in advancement opportunities. It's a better and more efficient way to train employees. That's a win for everybody. Now on to the next step.
Create a consistent guest experience
The key to outstanding customer service is to define what successful customer service looks like and then replicate it. When companies can determine their most effective employees' behavior and share their approach across the organization, these behaviors are more likely to be repeated.
Companies need to define best practices that align with their business mission, culture, and customer needs. They reinforce these behaviors with their frontline employees by often presenting them in training, such as completing digitized checklists when and where work happens.
Companies that train employees using digital processes and mobile checklists are more likely to offer a consistent and successful customer experience. This strategy boosts repeat business, but it also avoids bias and reduces the potential for complaints that customers are treated differently.
Diversity training may be less about what not to do and more about providing everyone with an equally positive experience--employees and customers alike. Being sure your training system is up to the task is an excellent place to start.