Whether we are aware of it or not, unconscious bias informs everything we do. For instance, you probably already made several assumptions about this blog post before even reading it.
Unconscious bias is part of human nature and company leaders should constantly be working to ensure it stays out of the decision-making process.
From the time we are young children, our brains attempt to comprehend the complicated world around us by making snap judgments. As we get older, these quick impressions turn into assumptions about other people based on their gender, name, skin color, religion or other personal qualities.
One big problem with unconscious bias is when it affects how we treat other people in a professional setting. When ignored or unrecognized, unconscious bias can negatively impact everything from hiring to overall company culture.
Fortunately, there are many ways to get bias under control, especially in a structured organization. The first step is to acknowledge it exists. Company leadership and human resources must take an active role in getting rid of assumptions and stereotypes.
Bias in Your Workplace
If you are employed by a large company, you probably work with by a diverse group of co-workers, a lot of whom you may have a very different background from your own. Because you are familiar with the backgrounds of these people, you’re likely to fill in the blanks with your own assumptions.
According to study, the most common assumptions about various demographics are often incorrect. To combat this ignorance, a company must become “conscious” of inherent bias, as it can be harmful to productivity, employee satisfaction and the overall business culture.
Combating Bias in Your Organization
Addressing unconscious bias must start with a discussion between staff members and leadership. Company leaders should to their part by supporting and promoting the benefits of diversity. Employees should be trained on best practices to maintaining a transparent, honest culture.
Any training must be ongoing so established staff members and new hires alike can be reminded of how the company wants to eliminate bias. Employers should also focus on training strategies that resonate most with employees.
Employers should prioritize making connections between staff members who may not spend time together outside the workplace, as a way of breaking down barriers erected by bias. Some businesses have used a mentoring program to bring together staff members in this way.
Most importantly, it is critical to remove bias in the hiring process. Job descriptions should avoid any language that suggests a preference for one type of person might over others. One best practice is to enlist multiple people from different backgrounds in the hiring process and having them help with everything from resume screening to interviewing applicants.
We Can Help Your Company Eliminate Bias from Its Hiring Process
At Superior Resource Group, we work with our clients to eliminate bias from the talent acquisition process. Please contact us today to find out how we can combat bias in your recruitment efforts.