The latest article to be published on e-learning supplier Engage in Learningâ€™s website, deals with unconscious bias â€“ and suggests ten tips to help reduce its effects.
Written by the internationally-known writer and commentator on corporate online learning, Bob Little, the article begins with a rare personal glimpse that provides an example of unconscious bias.
â€œOne day, when I was a boy, my father explained to us – without any animosity and only a hint of disappointment – that heâ€™d been refused a job purely because of his ethnicity,â€ commented Bob.
â€œPrejudice, discrimination, conscious and unconscious bias were merely accepted facts of life in those days. Today, things may have changed â€“ if only that these things are now overtly, and rightly, discouraged in our society.â€
Yet displaying bias is not just typically human, itâ€™s a trait that seems to be â€˜hard-wiredâ€™ into the human psyche. So, recognising and then overcoming it takes some effort â€“ but the results, for all concerned, are well worthwhile.
Unconscious bias happens when people favour others who look, speak or act like them and/or share their values.
One major consequence of letting unconscious bias prevail within a work context is that it leads to a less diverse workforce. Moreover, talented workers can be overlooked and discouraged from exhibiting their talents to the organisationâ€™s benefit.
Bob Littleâ€™s article on the Engage in Learning Blog sets out ten things to bear in mind to help you to overcome unconscious bias in your organisation. They are:
- Be aware that unconscious bias exists and is always trying to manifest itself, in the name of perceived (but incomplete) evidence, efficiency, effectiveness – and expediency.
- Stress and/or tiredness tends to increase the likelihood of our decisions being based on unconscious bias. So, try never to take decisions when youâ€™re stressed and/or tired â€“ and, if you do, be aware that your decisions at these times can easily be influenced by unconscious bias.
- Don’t rush decisions. Rather, take your time and consider issues carefully, rationally and as objectively as possible.
- Justify decisions with hard evidence and record the reasons for your decisions.
- Try to work with a wider range of people and get to know them as individuals. This could include working with different teams or colleagues based in a different location.
- Focus on peopleâ€™s positive behaviour – and not on negative stereotypes.
- Implement policies and procedures which limit the influence of individual characteristics and preferences.
- Use name-blind recruitment, since research has shown that a person’s name can affect their success within the recruitment process. This involves removing information such as a job applicantâ€™s name, gender, and age from their application form before it’s shared with the person carrying out the recruitment.
- Remove any â€“ and all – information that could unintentionally bias a decision-maker. This can help a member of an under-represented group to have confidence that their application will be fairly considered.
- Train managers in your organisation in the techniques that enable them to recognise, and overcome, their own unconscious bias.
â€œIn addition,â€ commented Engage in Learningâ€™s Kate Carter, â€œif youâ€™re a leader, manager and/or HR professional, you could benefit from Engage in Learningâ€™s e-learning materials on recognising and overcoming unconscious bias. Notably, Engage in Learningâ€™s â€˜Unconscious Bias for the front lineâ€™ course focuses on helping people who hire workers or make other HR-related decisions.â€
You can read the full article at: https://blog.engageinlearning.com/blog/recognising-and-overcoming-unconscious-bias
For further details about Engage in Learningâ€™s growing portfolio of e-learning materials, visit: https://www.engageinlearning.com/
About Engage in Learning
A UK-based supplier of eLearning courses and solutions focusing on helping organisations improve their safety, compliance and performance, Engage in Learning provides engaging and affordable learning thatâ€™s practical and effective in an organisational setting.
Further information from:
Chris Horseman, Engage in Learning, +44 (0)20 3758 9530, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Little, Bob Little Press & PR, +44 (0)1727 860405, email@example.com