A Kenyan firm has scooped two prestigious awards at the recent international Association of Business Psychology conference in UK.

Lantern Training, based in Nairobi, is one of Kenyan’s leading people development and training firms, and its work with regional clients in the areas of people development and business psychology has seen it beating nominations from across the world to win a project award for ‘Excellence in Diversity, Equality and Inclusion’, and the Association’s coveted ‘Chairman’s Award’.

Lucy Brewster, Managing Director at Lantern Training said: “We are thrilled to be recognised globally for the work we do here in Kenya to develop skills, bring teams together and to help people work more cohesively”.

“Kenya’s economy continues to grow rapidly.  Investing in people is rising up the corporate agenda, becoming an increasingly high priority for many organisations in the region.”

Lantern’s programmes in the field of learning and development, working across East Africa with many international NGOs and commercial organisations, has put Kenya firmly on the map for innovation in the use of psychometric profiling, leadership, communications, and soft skills training.

“Understanding other people is not always straightforward” continues Ms Brewster, “our role is to help companies build those soft skills that enable management, team leaders, staff and in some cases, owners, work together more effectively through understanding their innate strengths and valuing the contributions that others bring.”

With more than 25 years’ experience in its field, the company is helping build the skills that today’s workforce needs to develop professional, productive, trusting and enduring relationships with customers, managers, peers, teams, and stakeholders.

What is workplace diversity?

Workplace diversity refers to the variety of differences between individuals in an organisation. Diversity not only includes how individuals identify themselves, but also how others perceive them. Diversity within a workplace encompasses race, gender, ethnic groups, age, religion, personality, sexual orientation, citizenship status, as well as other distinct differences between people.

Importance of workplace diversity

  1. Mutual Respect Among Employees

Whether employees work in groups or teams comprised of co-workers with varied work styles or who represent different cultures or generations, a synergistic work environment should become the norm. Employees who recognise the many strengths and talents that diversity brings to the workplace, gain respect for their colleagues’ performance.

  1. Conflict Reduction and Resolution

Employees who acknowledge others’ differences often find similarities, particularly when there are common goals, such as production and quality. Respect for co-workers either reduces the likelihood of conflict or facilitates an easier road to conflict resolution. Workplace diversity preserves the quality of employees’ relationships with their co-workers and their supervisors.

  1. Business Reputation Enhancement

Diversity in the workplace is vital for employees because it manifests itself in building a great reputation for the company, leading to increased profitability and opportunities for workers.

An organization known for its ethics, fair employment practices and appreciation for diverse talent is better able to attract a wider pool of qualified applicants. Other advantages include loyalty from customers who choose to do business only with companies whose business practices are socially responsible.

  1. Job Promotion and Employee Development

A global marketplace opens doors for employees of different ages, physical and mental abilities, and ethnic backgrounds to build global profit centres. Employees interested in learning multinational business strategy and who are available for possible expatriate assignments may also find new career opportunities.

  1. Increased Exposure to Different Kinds of People

Employees learn from co-workers whose work styles vary and whose attitudes about work vary from their own. Traditional-generation workers learn new technology and processes from workers who belong to the tech-savvy millennial generation.

  1. Variety of Different Perspectives and Creativity

People are more likely to have a variety of different skills and experience.

Employees will have access to different perspectives which is highly beneficial when it comes to planning and executing a business strategy. When you put together people who see the same thing differently, you are most likely to get new ideas thus improving the creativity of your workforce.

  1. Better Decision Making thus Increased Profits

When employees with different backgrounds and perspectives come together, they come up with more solutions which leads to more informed and improved decisions making process and results.

Delayed processes impact the ways of the business and in turn affect the profits.

  1. Reduced Employee Turnover

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace cause all employees to feel accepted and valued.  They become happier in their workplace and stay longer with the company and in turn, the company has low turnover rates.

Tips for managing diversity in the workplace:

Prioritise communication

To manage a diverse workplace, organisations need to ensure that they effectively communicate with employees. Policies, procedures, safety rules and other important information should be designed to overcome language and cultural barriers by translating materials and using pictures and symbols whenever applicable.

Treat each employee as an individual

Avoid making assumptions about employees from different backgrounds. Instead, look at each employee as an individual and judge successes and failures on the individual’s merit rather than attributing actions to their background.

Encourage employees to work in diverse groups

Diverse work teams let employees get to know and value one another on an individual basis and can help break down preconceived notions and cultural misunderstandings.

Base standards on objective criteria

Set one standard of rules for all groups of employees regardless of background. Ensure that all employment actions, including discipline, follow this standardised criteria to make sure each employee is treated the same.

 Invest time in helping teams work together

Team building, whilst important, has moved on. Invest in developing your team’s self-awareness and helping them to appreciate why others in the team may be different. Globally recognised programmes such as Lumina Learning (, can completely transform the way your teams work together.