Civility training is a new term for an old concept. It refers to professional business training related to etiquette, diversity awareness and cultural sensitivity.

Research by Gallup reveals that inclusion policies are actually the keys of diversity management success. As economies, markets and industries around the world merge together, the need for thoughtful and perceptive employees continues to grow among global corporations.

The Benefits of Training

These training programs equip business leaders and employees with practical tools for creating respectful and equitable work environments. Those who attend training will learn how to identify, prevent and respond to any workplace incivility situations. These may be seemingly insignificant comments, behaviors and workplace practices that may be construed as insensitive, discourteous or inappropriate by certain groups. For example, expecting male employees to open doors for female employees may actually be considered disrespectful.

Workplace training that focuses on respectful behaviors and fair policies will boost teamwork, improve organizational performance and strengthen employee morale and engagement. Increasing respect-related competence will do wonders for sales, customer service and other staff who interact with the public throughout the day. Corporations that implement annual training events will enjoy fewer harassment and discrimination related complaints, investigations and legal troubles.

Related resource: 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Organizational Behavior Degree Programs 2016

Expected Outcomes

Civility coaching is more than just training in professional conduct. Civility coaching teaches employees about self-awareness, personal integrity, professional ethics, communication skills and interpersonal psychology. Employees will gain a sense of workplace ownership and respect for others. Class activities may involve personality tests that result in employees learning how different social and psychological characteristics impact and control behavior and communication. Personal empowerment is promoted to encourage employees to collectively solve problems with energy and enthusiasm.

To illustrate, civility coaching in a health care organization should improve the quality of patient care, employee performance and team relationships. Work environments should shift to positive atmospheres that energize and inspire both employees and the public. Working professionals who integrate civility into their careers are less likely to quit their jobs, experience interpersonal conflicts and eventually burn out from chronic stress. Organizational leaders should be trained in how to implement observation programs, diversity committees, inclusion councils, communications standards and talent acquisition plans.

Rare Career Opportunity

Anyone who is interested in training people about civility, diversity and professionalism may enjoy a career as a diversity consultant or inclusion coach. Their standard objectives are to ensure that work environments are free from harassment, discrimination, retaliation and unfair policies. They strive to create and sustain diverse workforces, inclusive work environments and committed senior leaders. In order to accomplish these goals, they will help management to establish and reinforce zero tolerance policies towards inappropriate behaviors that exclude or disrespect certain groups.

Sensitivity coaches will start out with establishing leadership accountability at all levels for diversity and inclusion standards. Then, they will create open door environments with frontline supervisors to effectively welcome and address all employee concerns. Next, they will provide customized civility coaching to employees. This often involves intentionally categorizing and assigning employees to classes with fellow employees who are different or unique in certain ways.

Some diversity and sensitivity trainers work exclusively within certain industries to help change antiquated and unfair business practices. Corporations often employ them to implement civility training classes that will reform diversity hiring, retention and advancement policies and programs.