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Sensitivity Training for Employees: Definition, Best Practices, and Examples

Chandni Ahuja
7 May 2024
13 min read
Sensitivity Training for Employees: Definition, Best Practices, and Examples

As HR Professionals or L&D Experts we all understand the importance of an inclusive work environment in attracting and retaining top talent. However, there might be instances where our unconscious biases or misunderstandings could creep into the picture, creating a barrier to effective communication. For instance, it could be as simple as one employee frankly sharing his perspective during an open discussion while the other hesitates to share his own. Here is where developing an engaging workplace sensitivity training program could become the cherry on the cake!

Sensitivity Training refers to the ability to recognize and respond to one’s emotions without any biased judgments. The key traits of sensitivity include empathy, compassion, and open-mindedness. Don’t you feel great when another person puts themselves in your shoes to understand your perspective in a complex situation? That is precisely what sensitivity refers to. 

So while this is a pretty general personality trait, having empathy and compassion towards your coworkers makes you a great employer or employee. Having an awareness of diverse cultural backgrounds, understanding the different perspectives of your colleagues, and navigating through tough situations with inclusivity and empathy define a healthy workplace environment

What is Sensitivity Training?

Alright, so what is sensitivity training and why do you require it at your workplace? Sensitivity Training, also known as diversity and inclusivity training, is a structured educational program, meticulously designed to promote empathy, and inclusivity, and improve the interpersonal skills of your employees. So basically, you place yourself in someone else’s shoes to understand their point of view before placing your biased opinions on the table. 

Gaining the mental strength and ability to understand another person’s emotions and manage your impulse thoughts and movements refers to sensitivity training. Creating an emotionally intelligent workplace helps you and your employees understand, manage, and express your emotions on a standard platform, thus creating room for self-awareness, empathy, and inclusivity. 

Why is Sensitivity Training in the Workplace Important?

Creating a robust sensitivity training program for your employees would help you maintain the overall well-being of the organization and foster a positive work environment for each of your employees. 

Here are the top 5 reasons why sensitivity training in the workplace is important:

Prevents Workplace Discrimination

Workplace discrimination has always been the most major concern at any organization. As per a recent survey, approximately 91% of U.S. employees have claimed to have experienced discrimination at work. While this is alarmingly surging over time, one way to get ahead of this trend is by conducting sensitivity training for employees.

Sensitivity training increases awareness of unconscious biases that could contribute to an unhealthy work environment, thus promoting inclusive behaviors and preventing the chances of harassment and discriminatory actions at work. 

Improves Interpersonal Relationship  

Communication is the key to navigating through conflicts and reducing misunderstandings between one another. And the best way to get there is through sensitivity training. With a proper sensitivity training program, you allow your employees to gain trust and confidence in the workplace. 

Sensitivity training acts as a compass, encouraging your employees to gain empathy and an in-depth understanding of how to value other employees’ perspectives. Not only does it help them see things from another person’s perspective but it also helps them communicate better. 

Enhances Awareness of Diversity and Inclusion

Through interactive exercises and open discussions, sensitivity training helps employees recognize their biases and gain practical knowledge through real-life examples and case studies. It allows them to expand their knowledge and empathize with every employee, regardless of their cultural background. 

Going beyond just recognizing the differences, sensitivity training engages employees through simulations, open discussions, and role-playing. This cultivates a sense of connection, reducing the ‘us” vs. “them” mentality.

Improves Employee Morale

As per the recent survey at Deloitte LLP, around 83% of the millennials actively engaged when operating in an inclusive work culture. Sensitivity training ensures your employees that the workplace environment is supportive and open for change. It helps them learn how to respect their coworkers, embrace their differences, and challenge their biased opinions. 

Sensitivity training empowers your employees to identify and eradicate unexpected situations of bias or microaggressions. Here is a quick quiz with answers and real-life case studies for you to get a better understanding of microaggressions in the workplace. 

Improves organizational reputation

As an employer or an HR professional, you must know that investing in a good course authoring tool can take you places. With a robust e-learning platform, you get to harvest engaging training programs for your employees. 

Investing your assets in a good sensitivity training program for your employees will help you stand out as a reputed employer who values each employee. It demonstrates your commitment to including the best ethical and inclusive practices in the workplace. This not only benefits employee morale but also creates a positive reputation in the market. 

Core Elements of Sensitivity Training

The core elements of sensitivity training in the workplace include:

  • Prioritizing communication
  • Promoting continuous learning
  • Facilitating self-awareness
  • Setting clear expectations 
  • Building an inclusive work culture

Types of Sensitivity Training for Employees

There are different types of sensitivity training for employees, categorized based on the requirements at a particular workplace. Here are the most common types of sensitivity training that you should include in your program for your employees:

Diversity and Inclusion

The sensitivity training program includes diversity and inclusion, covering various aspects of diversity in the workplace, such as cultural backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, genders, and abilities. This could also include inclusive communication and an in-depth analysis of one’s behavior to find any unconscious biased behavior towards another colleague. 

Sensitive Issues

Your sensitivity training could include sensitive topics such as sexual harassment prevention, ageism awareness, microaggressions, religious diversity, or even LGBTQ+ inclusion. Conducting issue-specific training could allow your employees to understand various perspectives and learn where diverse people come from. This creates an effective learning curve for both the employers and the employees.

Communication and Skill Development

As part of this category, your sensitivity training for employees program could include open intercultural communication that encourages them to communicate with people from varied backgrounds and cultures. You could engage them in live quizzes and discussions to manage conflicts and come to a unanimous conclusion. This training could also help your employees provide constructive criticism or be sporty when receiving feedback.

Real-Life Example of Workplace Sensitivity Training 


Let’s say that a marketing team at a tech company is undergoing sensitivity training focused on microaggressions. The training starts with a brief introduction to the concept, defining microaggressions in detail. Now let’s look at a detailed example of this particular scenario:

Example of the scenario

A senior developer frequently tells another female employee, “Wow, you are really good at coding for a girl!”

Applying Sensitivity Training: 

The marketing team undergoing the sensitivity training has an open discussion about this example. They try to understand what is microaggression in the workplace and discuss the impacts of unconscious biases in the workplace. As part of the training, all the employees identify the root cause of the issue and try to recognize situations where they might have accidentally hurt another coworker. 

This active session allows the employees to reflect on their mistakes, analyze their biases, and find a unique approach to using more inclusive language and treating each employee with respect.

The Best Online Sensitivity Training Program

While it can be a hassle to surf online for hours in search of a decent sensitivity training program for employees, we come to your rescue! Calibr LXP acts as an engaging learning pillar, allowing you to provide an engaging learning experience to your employees online. 

With the help of generative AI and built-in templates, you get to prepare instant training modules or encourage your employees to take up our Sensitivity Training for Employees program, which includes the basic principles of the workplace, its definition, and the best practices to foster a positive workplace. So why wait? Get started with Calibr.ai to boost your team productivity and enhance work culture through an engaging sensitivity training program for your employees today!


What is sensitivity training in the workplace?

Sensitivity training functions as a primary educational tool that helps employees see through their biases. Through this self-discovery, sensitivity training equips your employees to differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate behavior and helps them feel welcomed and safe at the workplace.

What is the purpose of sensitivity training for employees?

The purpose of sensitivity training for employees is to cultivate a sense of belonging, thus preventing discrimination and harassment in the workplace. It enables your employees to understand the sensitivity of certain situations and reflect on their overall behavior and attitude toward their coworkers. 

What is sensitivity training, with an example?

An example of sensitivity training for employees is facilitating an open discussion with your employees on a broad range of topics, such as racial diversity, cultural diversity, and gender differences. 

What are the essential topics to cover in sensitivity training for employees?

The essential topics that you can cover in sensitivity training to create awareness of the issue are, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusivity), bullying and harassment, racism, ageism, microaggressions and biased behavior, religion and spirituality, and bystander intervention. 

What can I use the Calibr platform for?

You can efficiently manage your work progress and upskill your employees through engaging learning experiences. Our AI-powered LXP tool allows you to continuously keep track of employee skills, identify gaps, and bridge them through effective training programs online. You can create microlessons and engage your employees to get a better understanding of the subject with our modern LXP platform. 

Chandni Ahuja

As an enthusiastic English literature graduate, Chandni enjoys writing as much as a toddler enjoys animation. She discovered her passion for writing and expressing thoughts through this form amidst the nail-biting months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ever since then, she has volunteered in various anthology books that have been published on Amazon. Her experience working on a diverse range of verticals has enabled her to excel in this domain and face new challenges as they come. With a contagious thrill and excitement at the workplace, Chandni embraces wearing different hats and soaks up information like a sponge.