END RACISM IN THE WORKPLACE AND CREATE A CULTURE ROOTED IN EMPATHY AND INCLUSION
As protests have erupted across the country in response to the death of George Floyd, and all of this in the midst of a pandemic, employees will come to work feeling anger and resentment. What are your responsibilities as an employer? How can you take steps to eliminate racism in the workplace?
First, rather than remain silent, employers should use this as an opportunity to have difficult conversations about racism in the workplace. Employers must take a hard look at how biases influence decisions made within their organization and create a safe space for employees to share their perspectives.
- Racial Bias Training. Do you have training in place that enables employees to gain awareness and understanding of unconscious biases and the effect these have on decisions we make?
- Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policies. Have you developed robust anti-discrimination and harassment policies and are these policies uniformly enforced?
- Employee Assistance Program. Do your employees have resources, such as an Employee Assistance Program, to help when they are angry, anxious and scared?
Leaders and employers who remain silent about racism and discrimination contribute to a culture where employees feel isolated and vulnerable. This leads directly to employee turnover. Research shows that employers lose billions of dollars each year because of employee turnover caused by toxic workplace culture.
Don’t know where to start? Talk to your employees. Ask them how they feel and what their own experiences with racism have been. Ask them what changes they would like to see and what steps they recommend for creating an empathetic, inclusive workplace culture. Ask, listen, and most importantly, take action.