s companies around the world make the slow climb to more equitable and diverse workplaces, we are seeing a much-needed shift in leadership. Primarily in whose faces we are seeing take up space in rooms otherwise dominated by white men. Conversations are shifting into ones of who is holding the power and what dominant group has bias when making decisions. This shift is notable as things continue to rapidly shift and change on a global scale, not only for diversity and inclusion as we see a human rights movement unfold before our eyes, but because the world of work has experienced a transformational change that comes with its own set of diversity and inclusion issues to be addressed. As we move into remote and more flexible ways of working, inclusivity needs to be top of mind for any leader. The future of the workplace is changing, are you ready? Here are some things to keep in mind:
THE CHANGING NATURE OF DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINTS
Conscious of most instances of discrimination or harassment against marginalized groups, most HR managers are hyper-aware of these unfortunate circumstances employees can find themselves in. As the people and power in leadership positions shift, we will see new biases present themselves. Companies and their leaders need to better prepare themselves for complaints of discrimination and harassment.
INCLUSION IS TOP OF MIND
Even the most formally trained, astute, and personal development experts have a bias. We all do – we’re humans, it is naturally ingrained within us. We can work through these natural human biases with a commitment to a growth mindset and a willingness to learn. Unfortunately, often these biases can result in micro-aggressions and covert bias that goes unnoticed or “brushed under the rug” in workplace environments. Lai-King Hum noted that we can see these kinds of microaggressions in leadership examples of not promoting a woman because she is having a child, or hiring someone based on “cultural fit,” only looking for someone you see yourself being able to create a friendly out-of-office relationship with. Often not intentional, these kinds of underlying biases can lead to harmful consequences, resulting in stagnant work and unhappy employees. In today’s business world, diversity and inclusion should be top of mind (if it wasn’t already…) Studies show that having a diverse employee base increases revenue, business innovation, and workforce transformation. So – having a business without diversity and inclusion efforts being implemented and developed on a senior level is a business risk. When employees feel heard, respected, and welcomed in the workplace – your business will thrive. In addition to using The Predictive Index® software to address issues of diversity and inclusion in HR – leaders need to go beyond implementing documents and policies but make the tangible effort to see change and action within their organizations. Having diversity within your company isn’t enough. Address diversity pain points head-on by asking the question, what might we have a bias on in the recruitment process? How can we change that and eliminate any covert or underlying bias we might bring to the situation? We recently heard from one of our clients, Vasanti Cosmetics, on how using The Predictive Index® delivered by Predictive Success helped eliminate any biases of race, gender, or age out of the recruitment process.
UNDERSTAND WHEN TO INVESTIGATE
As a business leader, it is important to understand workplace law to eliminate risk while keeping the safety and wellbeing of employees and complainants as your first priority. It is a widely held assumption that employers are legally required to investigate every allegation and complaint. According to Lai-King Hum, this isn’t true. Hum suggests exploring mediation as an alternative and effective solution to problems that might not exactly fit the box as a workplace harassment complaint under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. Understanding that it can be difficult to determine which solution to use in the case of an allegation or complaint, Hum claims mediation is sometimes a necessary alternative to avoid the detrimental effects of investigations on workplace culture and costly legal issues that are attached to them.
MOVE PAST EMPTY PROMISES
As the faces of those in positions of power continue to change, so will the challenges that many leaders face every day. Leaders need to be accountable and aware of their own biases, behaviours, and actions. How can businesses keep from making the same mistakes over and over again? How can leaders shift from conversations about diversity and inclusion and instead implement real change and action within their companies? These are questions that leaders everywhere will need to be aware of moving forward into the new world of work. Diversity and inclusion program implementation at the corporate level requires a commitment and “practice what you preach” mentality in order to have a lasting improvement in organizational culture in the workplace.
With Predictive Success diversity and inclusion 1-day virtual training, you can learn how to foster a more inclusive environment, leverage the diversity of your company, and address diversity and inclusion pain points. Through our extensive research developing these workshops, we found that teams who have diversity outperform individual decision-makers 87% of the time. See how Predictive Success can help you put your plan into action by speaking with a Talent Optimization Consultant here.
This article was written based on original content contributed to The Globe and Mail by Lai-King Hum. Hum is the founder of Hum Law, a boutique law firm based in Toronto focusing on workplace law, human rights, professional regulation, and litigation.
Hum, L.K. (2020, June). How the shifting face of leadership is changing employment law. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/careers/leadership/article-how-the-shifting-face-of-leadership-is-changing-employment-law/
Sepahban, S. (2019, September). Lack of diversity is risky business according to business risk professionals. Our Office. Retrieved from https://www.ouroffice.io/2019/09/10/lack-of-diversity-is-risky-business-according-to-business-risk-professionals/
Smart, N. (2020, January). Diversity and inclusion go hand-in-hand with talent optimization. The Predictive Index. Retrieved from https://www.predictiveindex.com/blog/diversity-and-inclusion-go-hand-in-hand-with-talent-optimization/