Fostering an atmosphere of diversity and inclusion within the workplace is a common concern for modern businesses. Low levels can cause unhealthy tensions between employees and employers and a loss of team productivity.
To mitigate the consequences of mismanaging the cultural diversity of your workplace, try incorporating diversity activities as part of your next diversity and inclusion training session.
These engaging and insightful activities can be an effective way to start the conversation on diversity and inclusion within your work environment. Remember to conduct these activities in an atmosphere of trust and safety and leave enough time for discussion and application at the end of each activity. Try one of the diversity activities below and let us know the impact on your work departments! Five Moments allows employees to share their five most important moments that helped shape who they are today.
Give each participant a piece of paper and time to write down their moments. Next, go around the room and have each person share two or three moments that they are most comfortable with. It might be helpful for the activity facilitator you! Similar to the Five Moments activity, this diversity and inclusion activity shows how even when differences cause people to separate, similarities can bring them back together just as equally, if not more.
Start by asking for two volunteers from your group and have them stand face-to-face. Then, call out things from the different dimensions of diversity.
For example, hair color, gender, hometown, functional group, title, experience, etc. With each difference, the volunteers should take a step backward and with each similarity, they should take a step forward. Talking about diversity and inclusion can be an intimidating experience for your employees.
Starting the discussion with an activity warms participants up to the topic and allows for a more welcoming learning space. Managing the cultural diversity in your workplace is a critical step toward success in the modern business. The barriers and stigmas surrounding differences between people can sometimes impede the relationships of your employees. But taking active steps to supporting diversity and inclusion can help ease these relationships and point out the commonalities present in every work group.
At K Parks Consulting, our difference makers can help you facilitate diversity activities like these.The diversity challenge - role play
Simply request a discovery session with KPC to discuss your unique goals and learn how our customized curriculum will transform your organization. Connect with the author, Kizzy Dominguez on LinkedIn. Schedule your discovery session with KPC to discuss your unique goals and learn how our customized curriculum will transform your organization.
By Kizzy M. Dominguez, Ph. Five Moments Five Moments allows employees to share their five most important moments that helped shape who they are today. Walk Together, Walk Apart Similar to the Five Moments activity, this diversity and inclusion activity shows how even when differences cause people to separate, similarities can bring them back together just as equally, if not more. Kizzy M. Dominguez is President of K. Parks Consulting, Inc.You haven't yet saved any bookmarks.
To bookmark a post, just click. A diverse labor pool is vital to any organization. It refers to the manpower which includes individuals with a wide range of characteristics. It encompasses different significant factors that include personality, education, interests, hobbies, sexual orientation, race, talents, cognitive styles and abilities.
People from different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences come together to strengthen the diverse workforce. It goes without saying that, to cope with the ever-increasing competitive edge, it is inevitable to retain the diverse talents. It refers to the efforts that help an employee feel like an important part of the diverse teams, irrespective of the differences.
It focuses on creating an environment where diverse employees are accepted and appreciated. Without inclusion activities, diversity is meaningless. As an employer or manager, diversity and inclusion should be the top priorities in your talent management strategy.
Many companies and their employee resource groups are putting best efforts in their diversity and inclusion activities to build a happier workplace with the best financial performers.
This is the first and foremost important activity to promote and maintain diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Team managers can arrange monthly seatings to discuss and design the different diversity acts. For example: Employees with different backgrounds can brief what religious days or holidays are important to them and in what ways. Accordingly, they can be offered the time off. This spreads historical and cultural knowledge among co-workers and increases interpersonal understanding with the fewest possible side effects.
This recreational activity needs members in each group and it is one of the best ways to learn more about each other. All the members should be encouraged to make the best of their creativity and ideas. Office happy hours can be a perfect opportunity for networking. To start down the road of real fun, office happy hours should have a plan and a purpose. It can prove to be a great get-together and help know each other personally.
Apart from refreshments, they should experience something exciting, beautiful or shocking that creates conversations that go far beyond the borders of the happy hours. Photos can be a great conversation icebreaker. The display of such personal mementos in the professional space can speak volumes about the different different aspects of employee experiences. This helps the co-workers to see the perspective of others and embrace it, which finally leads to mutual respect and dignity at workplace.As my eldest son becomes a pre-teen, emotional intelligence, acceptance, empathy and understanding have become hot topics in our house.
Following is a synopsis of some diversity activities that our colleagues have posted online. The Diversity Thumball is a fun training tool that tackles a difficult topic with smarts and sensitivity. Toss it around in a group and ask participants to share their reaction to whatever prompt lies under their thumb. Sampling of discussion prompts include:. Share a situation when you were in the minority 3. Describe a time you witnessed discrimination 4. What makes you different? Describe a time you experienced prejudice 8.
Where do you see prejudice? How do you respond to jokes that are demeaning or derogatory? A time you felt like an outsider and how you dealt with it An instance when someone went out of their way to make you feel included?
A time you went out of your way to make someone feel included? A time you shared an unpopular idea Describe a time you felt lonely in a big group of people Why do you seek out people similar to you as friends? Do you feel your friends are more similar or dissimilar to you? Help your group truly understand that people can view the same situation and come away with very different perspectives. The game is excellent for leadership, diversity, and communication training.
For this non-verbal activity, all you need for this one is a deck of cards. Before beginning, explain to the group that you will be handing each participant a card and they are not to look at their own card. Without using verbal cues, participants will treat each other based on the value of the card. For example, if a person has a high value card, you may want to bow or if a person has a low value card, you might want to snub them.
Hand each participant a card. Explain that, when they are told, participants are to put their card on their forehead without looking at it.
When everyone has a card, have the group put the cards on their foreheads. Let the group mingle for 3 to 5 minutes for a large group, you might to add a few extra minutes. After a few minutes of mingling, have the participants form groups based on what they think the value of their card.
High cards on one side, low cards on the other and middle cards in the middle. Once each group is formed, participants may look at their cards. Low card? Middle Card? Low cards? Middle cards? How were they treated? How do we treat people that we do not know how to value?
Be sure that there is a good mix of high, low and middle cards. Include at least one ace.Client Portal Login. Instead, it must be shared across all levels of employment.
As an owner or managerpart of your job is to start discussions about the importance of inclusivity and diversity. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to get these conversations started.
Many people tend to get defensive if they feel they are being called out and some of the basic concepts require a great deal of explanation. Not only does it save your employees from a lecture, but it also allows employees to process the information in a new way.
This activity will require two volunteers. The two volunteers will stand in front of the rest of the facing one another. Once the volunteers are in place, the rest of the group will call out things that might signify that one person is different from the other.
When the two people have a difference, they take a step apart. When they have similarities, though, they will step back together. During most sessions, the employees will repeatedly move away from one another before moving back together. This activity is an object lesson in how similarities can bring people back together no matter how different they may be.
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Even if two people have quite a bit different from one another, there will always be some kind of common ground on which they will be able to meet. The gap might be wider between some people than others, but there is always something that can be used to bridge that gap.
Putting this lesson in motion is a good way to demonstrate the idea to employees. This is one of the diversity and inclusion activities in the workplace that is, at least logistically, fairly simple. Employees will begin by walking up to another employee preferably those with whom they do not regularly communicate and introducing themselves.
Once introductions are made, the employees will talk for a bit about what respect means to them. Employees should both define respect and give examples of how it can be shown in the workplace. This is not a time for arguing, however — each employee should be heard out completely, with his or her contributions being acknowledged by his or her peer. Once the conversation is over, the group can get back together.
The various examples of respect should be shared with the entire group and discussed. This is a good time to determine the factors that your group finds common to their own experiences and those that they might not have considered before. This is a great way to make your employees stop and think about how they interact with one another. This can be a tricky activity to pull off for several reasons.
First and foremost, it does require your employees to disclose personal information. It also requires that they have some modicum of decorum when it comes to hearing the personal information of others.
If you trust your employees to treat the information with the seriousness it requires, though, this can be an incredibly worthwhile activity. The basic construction of the activity is simple. You will either pair off employees or put them in small groups. During the activity, each member of the pair or group will share information about the five moments that most defined their lives.
At the same time, the widening gap between the rich and the poor is creating greater social class diversity. In addition, the U.
5 Diversity and Inclusion Activities in the Workplace You Have to Try
The ability to relate well to all types of people in the workplace is a leadership skill that is becoming increasingly important. Understanding, accepting, and valuing diverse backgrounds can help young people and adults thrive in this ever-changing society. The activities in this publication are appropriate for use by teachers, youth leaders, and child care professionals.
While most of the activities are appropriate for older youth middle school and above and adults, some of the activities may be adapted for younger children.
In either case, the facilitator should allow enough time for discussion at the end of each activity. Debriefing is important for dealing with unresolved feelings or misunderstandings.
Conducting activities in an atmosphere of warmth, trust, and acceptance is equally as important. Select one potato for your demonstration and have a story in mind to describe your potato to the class. To me, potatoes are all pretty much alike. Pass around the bag of potatoes and ask each student to take one potato.
Share a story about your potato and how it got its bumps. Then tell students that the class would like to meet their friends. Ask who will introduce their friend first.Reading time : 11mins. In order to reap the many benefits of diversitycompanies first need to foster inclusive cultures. The employees, so painstakingly recruited, will be gone within three months.
Diversity Activities and Ice-Breakers
Inclusion is what brings the diversity to life. You can feel when a company gets it right. In fact, even the best companies are still figuring out how to embed it into their daily systems and processes. As intangible as inclusion seems, it does have a direct impact on the most concrete element of all.
Business results. Because inclusive cultures are what lay down the smooth and solid foundation for innovation. The most innovative and disruptive ideas arise when a group of diverse minds collaborate, share perspectives, listen empathetically and challenge one another dynamically. This is the recipe for innovation, the success factor that will keep your company ahead of the game. This is the recipe for psychological safetya term to remember, if not memorize, because it rests at the heart of the future of work.
In fact, the science behind inclusion tell us that feelings of exclusion and rejection actually register in the brain as physical injury. If we feel that we belong and are accepted as we are, our brains literally become more valuable. The mistake that is commonly made across all industries is that organizations are leaving it up to HR to foster inclusive environments. If the company preaches inclusion, its key figures and managers must walk the talk.
That being said, every individual in the organization is responsible for inclusion. Tip to catch your bias: Mentally flip whoever you are dealing with in a specific situation with someone else and see how it feels. If it feels weird then you probably have a bias. For example, flip it from man to a woman to see if you have a gender bias. Get our latest content and exclusive team-management tips — all in one newsletter.
Tip: Find out what religious and cultural days and holidays are significant to your employees from different backgrounds, and offer them the time off. Tip: Whether it was an act of violence on a specific community that is represented within your company, or recurring events in the news regarding mental illness, gather your team and let them know that you recognize the impact.
Ask if anyone needs some time off, and remind them you have an open door policy should they need to talk. Inclusion must exist from beginning to end in an employee lifecycle.Using a flip chart, list the changes that the group is going through. Facilitate a discussion on:. What symbol or object could we use to represent the change we are going through and the commitments we strive for in this session?
Break the learners into small groups and ask them to select a symbol. After their discussions, reassemble them into a large group and have them select a symbol. Pass out a copy of DOTS. Ask the learners to complete the directions given at the bottom of the drawing.
Give them about 5 minutes to work on the puzzle. At the end of the time period, ask if anyone has found the solution:. We had to draw outside of the lines. This is what is required of us when we interact with others as every thinks differently outside of our boundaries or "box". HINT: We often so busy thinking about our point of view, that we fail to see others' point of views. In addition, we tend to judge others ideas rather than try to understand them.
To create a supportive environment in which the learners can disclose their group memberships and to allow them to experience what it is like to be part of a minority group. Have the learners form a large circle.
As you call out different group names, the members are to go inside of each successive circle as they identify with the group. Begin with "low-risk" groups e. African American, Asian, female, gay, person with disabilities. Applause as each group forms in the middle. As each group of learners move towards the center of the circle, ask them what they think is the most positive thing about being a member of this group. To share the experiences of various ethnical, gender, religious, and cultural groups and listen to one another.
Decide the ethnic categories to be used based on the demographics of the learners by asking the group which ethnic groups they feel comfortable using. If there is only one member of a certain group, ask if she or he feels comfortable or if she or he whishes to join another group.
When all groups have completed their lists, reassemble them into one group and have them discuss their answers.
When each group has explained their list, ask questions to clarify, not to challenge as the list represents realities for the group. Divide the learners into small groups. Provide each group a large sheet of flip chart paper and markers. Have them to draw a large flower with a center and an equal number of petals to the number of learners in their group.