Discrimination is something that HR departments have had to be aware of for many years but there is now an increasing onus on these professionals to identify it for themselves, without needing employees to flag it for them.
But how do you do this? Most HR professionals are unlikely to see the majority of day-to-day interactions between employees so how can you make sure your organization is doing everything it can to crack down on discriminatory behavior?
Look out for leading best practice
A key part of removing discrimination from the workplace is making sure your company is as diverse as possible. This means making sure your management, recruitment and progression processes are accessible to all employees and candidates, regardless of their background. Look to industry leaders and those who are shining in the field and try to implement these tactics in your own organization.
This is a long-term goal but should help create an inclusive company culture, where discrimination is rare and when it does occur, it is spoken out against. It also protects you as a business if you can show you are taking a harsh stance on discrimination, and going above and beyond the letter of the law to make sure all employees have an equal chance of succeeding.
Introducing initiatives that focus specifically on employee development can help to create an even playing field for staff across the company, ensuring all resources are shared out equally. This encourages diversity and makes it easier for all employees to access the help and support they need to expand their skill set and move up in the company.
Whether in the form of regular progress meetings or formal mentorships, these sessions can allow managers to identify issues relating to discriminatory behavior.
It's important that managers feel equipped to deal with discrimination as it arises and are able to do so effectively, without adding further concerns for the employee in question. This means training should be mandatory in this area for everyone in management across the company and there should be a clear process for employees to follow.
Implementing training, which should be conducted by someone with experience and authority in the area, also means you will be providing a consistent approach when it comes to dealing with discriminatory behavior in the workplace. There should also be a escalation process in place so employees can report their issue to someone else if they feel they're not getting the response they need.
Having a team made up of professionals from all levels, who are responsible for spotting areas where your processes may be discriminatory is an effective way of flagging up potential problems before any employees are directly affected.
This taskforce should look at all areas of your business, but focus on progression and recruitment processes that may be disadvantaging employees or candidates from certain backgrounds.