Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Accommodating Diversity in the Training Environment. (Training)

Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Accommodating Diversity in the Training Environment. (Training)

Article excerpt

THE CONCEPT OF CELEBRATING diversity in the workplace has been around too long to be considered a fad, and it is too deeply embedded in business requirements to be considered a luxury. It's here to stay, and for the best of reasons: When implemented correctly, it provides a lot of benefits to the organization.

First, sensitivity to diversity issues helps us deal with our colleagues in a way that validates them and optimizes our personal relationships at work.

Second, a proactive stance toward diversity in our recruiting and hiring helps us to access talented people who would "slip through the net" of more traditional practices.

Third, more diverse work groups bring more perspectives to solving problems, and come up with better solutions--as has been demonstrated in numerous studies.

Fourth, the demographics of our national marketplace are shifting away from the traditional family unit of biological parents and 2.3 minor children to a kaleidoscopic mix of races, ethnic backgrounds, lifestyles and family arrangements. These new market segments are significant and have needs, priorities and constraints very different from our customers of a generation ago.

It's no secret that people prefer doing business with people like themselves. Therefore, any company that succeeds in matching its work-force composition to the composition of its market (and its potential and emerging markets) will surely reap a competitive advantage. Conversely, those that don't will be at a corresponding disadvantage.

If the ethical concerns don't sway our industry in favor of diversity, the business concern will.

An emphasis on diversity begins with management mind-set, and then translates into a cluster of behaviors beginning with recruitment and selection strategies and continuing through the employment cycle with altered practices in benefits, compensation, job structures and, of course, training.

So, what accommodations to an increasingly diverse work force can we--should we--make in the training environment?

First, let's reduce and limit the possible answers by suggesting that diverse employees can make some accommodations to their environment, too. …

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