Workplace biases can promote harmful conditions in a company, interfering with healthy employee conditions and, therefore, the profitability of the business.
Dr. Mahzarin R. Banaji, an American psychologist, stated, “Implicit biases come from culture. I think of them as the thumbprint of the culture on our minds. Human beings have the ability to learn to associate two things together very quickly — that is innate. What we teach ourselves and choose to associate is up to us.”
Unfortunately, workplace biases can promote harmful conditions in a company, interfering with healthy employee conditions and, therefore, the profitability of the business. Fortunately, workplace bias training can support leaders and employees in becoming aware of their biases and offer an opportunity to learn new behaviors to intervene on them.
What Is Workplace Bias?
For most leaders and employees, workplace bias is a combination of conscious and unconscious bias. Conscious bias is a recognized attitude individuals are aware of, whereas an unconscious bias operates outside of one’s awareness and may influence their actions and decisions without their knowledge.
Workplace bias can be represented in a variety of manners. The most common biases people report are those based on the individual’s physical traits, such as gender, appearance, age, race, ethnicity, and even the meaning behind their name. However, biases can go deeper than the skin and first impressions, including, but not limited to:
Halo / Horns Effect
How Can a Company Combat Workplace Bias?
Workplace bias can quickly spiral out of control if not challenged and managed. It can lead to homogeneity, quick turnover, legal issues, negative work relationships, and the fear of expressing ideas, concerns, or improper working conditions. Luckily, there are ways to prevent one’s company from falling into this fate.
First, it is critical to focus on the facts rather than preconceived judgments. By providing leaders and employees with workplace bias training, individuals can better recognize when they fall prey to bias as the perpetrator or the victim. Through thoughtful workplace bias training, individuals can transform their mentality into an unbiased, fact-driven attitude.
Second, creating policies and developing a company structure is vital to prevent and manage workplace bias. In the example of hiring, techniques to avoid biased decisions can be interview rating anchors, blind judgments, and multi-tiered interviewing.
Create a Better Workplace With Workplace Bias Training
Workplace Peace Institute Leadership Academy offers a Making Implicit Bias Explicit online, leadership training course to increase awareness of unconscious bias. This workplace bias training is specifically designed for existing leaders, emerging leaders, and human resources professionals to better understand implicit bias, identify it, and overcome it. To learn more, visit our Online Leadership Training Academy to register for a course.
Workplace Peace Institute Leadership Academy exists to support leaders in honoring basic human needs and dignity needs in the workplace, so they can actualize human potential in the workplace. The online Leadership Academy optimizes competencies in human behavior, communication skills, conflict resolution, and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging to create highly engaged workplaces where basic human needs and dignity are consistently honored. All our courses are offered online and can be customized for in-person workshops and seminars.