Implicit bias may be part of human nature, but it doesn’t have to be a part of your workplace. Understanding and addressing unconscious biases at your police department or other organization takes dedicating time, attention, and resources to this significant (and common) problem. Actionable solutions exist to help you mitigate biases. Tackling implicit bias at leadership and lower levels in your enterprise can help you achieve a culture of inclusiveness and equity. Here’s how.
Understand What Implicit Bias Looks Like
Implicit bias happens automatically, outside of a person’s control. Most people are unaware they even have implicit biases. The brain triggers these biases by making fast assumptions and judgments of people, influenced by our backgrounds and personal experiences. Almost every organization that has not openly explored this issue and implemented strategies to curtail it will have some form of implicit bias undermining operations.
You can’t fix a problem you don’t recognize. The first step in mitigating implicit bias is determining that it is present in your workplace to begin with. Look for signs of implicit bias such as minorities being passed up for promotions, racist undertones in employment decisions, and cultural misunderstandings in day-to-day interactions. The moment you recognize implicit biases at work, take action. Broach the subject with other higher-ups and decide on a solution.
Mitigate Biases Through Proactive Strategies
Implicit biases will never entirely go away. It’s part of human nature. However, your organization can mitigate implicit bias by facing it head on and implementing proven strategies. First, openly discuss the topic of implicit biases with your employees and leadership teams. Get the issue out in the open and encourage conversations. Your goal should be to get the whole team talking about what is and what is not working in the workplace for people of all backgrounds.
Start strategizing a proactive solution together. Consciously addressing implicit biases in the workplace with your entire team can prevent underlying tensions from coming to a head in a way that hurts your organization, employees, and others. Once you’ve exposed the issue, you can work through the details with your group and come up with a strategy that works for you.
Be Intentional About Implicit Bias Mitigation
Training your employees about implicit bias isn’t enough to maintain an inclusive workforce. You must be vigilant in keeping it out of the workplace. The best thing you can do for your enterprise is to be intentional about mitigating biases. Act toward inclusiveness and equity to create a bias-free work environment. Start at Schabel Solutions.
More organizations and police departments should devote time and resources to understanding implicit bias. Schabel Solutions specializes in building inclusive workplaces. Our professionals can help you design and implement diversity and inclusion strategies to keep implicit biases at bay. Call (515) 423-0793 to discuss training options at your organization.