Providing training seminars on unconscious bias employees go far beyond reading and presenting a slide presentation at a day-long meeting. Employees have to not only accept
the information presented, but actively implement it. This training needs to be interactive and informative with clear goals that go beyond the training delivered that day.
One way to begin this session is to administer one of the many implicit biases tests that are available to all the employees. The Harvard Implicit Awareness Test assists in
identifying fourteen unconscious biases that the employees possess and inadvertently allow to affect their daily decisions. This test highlights the biases that each employee can then move forward and change.
When conducting programs address unconscious bias in the workplace, making time to let everyone speak and be heard is crucial to inclusivity. Implementing a well-designed anti-discrimination policy is not enough to create a positive work culture. Senior leaders must take initiative to understand the behaviors and feelings of their employees. Asking questions, actively listening to responses, and engaging will open the door of communication between management and employees. If an employee feels that the manager listens, they will be more likely to report any workplace issues or violations, which also contributes to address unconscious bias.
Checking the understanding of your trainees can help you understand how your unconscious bias training is being perceived. Some ways to check your training participants understanding is through:
Small group discussions
Once your awareness training is complete, there should be clear plans established to actionable ways to hold everyone in your organization accountable for addressing unconscious bias in the workplace. Creating policies and programs that work towards anti-biased behavior further cements the management’s policy maintaining a discrimination free workplace. Here is a list that has been proven effective in the business world today:
Rewrite policies to be non-gendered.
Intergroup relationship activities.
Committee to ensure accountability in personnel recruitment.
Programs and activities that are based on intermingling of departments and groups are recommended since departments can tend to group together. It is also recommended to have a group to manage the holding everyone accountable for decisions
made on the hiring process.
As stated, unconscious bias training is a great first step to creating a baseline awareness. However, it is not the be all end all to reducing unconscious bias in the workplace. The work doesn’t stop once you wrap up your workshop. Having accountability and consistently examining behavior to acknowledge unconscious bias can make everyone more mindful of it. It is also crucial that you look to your federal and state laws to see what they have in place to ensure your organization is meeting those requirements.
Posted by Katelyn Roy