As a kid growing up in the south it was easy to spot most signs of racism. A challenging barrier to diversity is the “quiet” repose of unconscious bias. It’s difficult to confront because of its subtleness. Unconscious bias isn’t as apparent as reprimanding an employee for using foul language, recruiting only a certain class or passing someone over for a promotion. In our experience, the most unconscious bias is revealed during the hiring process with subtle ‘like me’ bias. The ‘like me’ bias means leaders and managers look to hire or promote people who look like themselves. A white male will select a white male, for example. This attitude creates a culture.
Related: Unconscious Bias in the Workplace
Unconscious bias often turns into discrimination. Creating in its wake an unhappy workplace replete with an erosion of meaningful productivity. Leaders and managers avoid this, by making sure that every member of the team is aware of biases and their calamitous impact concerning an organization’s decision-making process.
Organizationally, why should you care about unconscious bias? Our experience has proven when done properly a business that embraces and promote diversity within the workplace tend to have:
- People who are more adaptable and flexible in problem solving and perspectives. They create diverse teams from particularly backgrounds and experiences delivering wide-ranging solutions to issues.
"A leader perpetuates bias through conformity with in-group attitudes and socialization by the culture at large." Jim Woods, President Woods Kovalova Group
- Passionate customers. Workers from different cultures and backgrounds bring innovative insights due to their broad skills and viewpoints.
- Significant employee retention. Recruitment posters and job fairs remove unconscious bias by embracing candidates from a variety of backgrounds and cultures leading to a tremendous likelihood of hiring the best person.
- Bear in mind, that we are not merely human. We do not have to subject ourselves to biases preventing our growth as an organization.
Related: Building a Highly Engaged Workforce
Our reaction and our ability to see different perspectives of a given argument weighs heavily on our achievement of business outcomes and enriching people for long-term retention. This creates a virulent culture that people yearn to be a part of.
About Jim Woods
Jim Woods is a successful trainer and President of Woods Kovalova Group, a leading management consultancy serving Board and C-level executives, managers, and individuals by helping them create a culture of leadership. He is an author, a former fifth grade and university teacher with an impressive resume. He is beloved by audiences. To schedule a speaking engagement with Jim please schedule an engagement here. Go>. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. Connect with Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org.