Bias Awareness Training: 3 Important Points To Keep In Mind

Bias Awareness Training: 3 Important Points To Keep In Mind

The Facts

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Bias awareness training refers to making employees mindful of their unconscious prejudices, which in turn makes them respect and value each unique ethnicity and culture irrespective of their background. It means acting compassionately with everyone without holding any preconception in mind about any individual or racial community.

These bias awareness training programs strive to make individuals aware of their inherent prejudices. Here, implicit prejudices refer to biases that are involuntary, deeply ingrained, adaptable, and able to affect a person's behavior. In fact, these training sessions further give people the means to modify their automated thinking patterns and ultimately eliminate discriminatory conduct.

Understanding Bias and its Impact on the Modern Workplace 

Companies trying to overcome deeply ingrained ethnic biases are increasingly shifting to bias awareness training for their workforce. The moderators of these bias awareness training sessions must remain prepared to encounter the challenges that usually suppress good conversation, such as guilt, defensiveness, fear, and anxiety, to modify behavioral patterns genuinely.

Furthermore, these biases remain so entrenched in individual minds that they become an essential part of their behavior. Usually, the perpetrators of workplace bias remain unaware of their actions, and discrimination never remains limited to mere aggression. In addition, unconscious biases can adversely affect your organizational environment, and your workforce will remain disconnected from each other, leading to a lack of teamwork and productivity. 

Hence it might not be wrong to say that a workplace where employees cannot work in harmony, feel secluded, lonely, and depressed. It is why bias awareness training is an indispensable tool for every diverse workforce as it helps employees overcome their inherent preconceptions to promote a happy and productive workplace.

What Are Some Benefits of Bias Awareness Training?

A bias awareness training includes training your workforce about how their prejudices can impact the workplace. These bias awareness training programs usually manage prevailing biases to eradicate them from the organization. 

So it might not be wrong to say that bias awareness training will act as a medium through which ethnic minorities can express their struggles in the organization. It will be valuable for the workplace in the extended run as it will thoroughly influence company growth, employee innovation, and retention. Here are some top benefits of bias awareness training.

  • Assist in unleashing assumptions

Bias awareness training attendees and companies can benefit from these sessions in multiple ways. When employees in these training sessions better understand their assumptions,  mentalities, and worldview, they can gain insights into their inherent personalities. This way, they can further have compassion towards other employees, and it can help overcome biases. 

  • Foster behavior change

Having a positive mindset can help your workforce connect better with other individuals at work, whether vendors, coworkers, customers, or supervisors. However, what constitutes appropriate or acrimonious conduct varies from person to person. 

Bias awareness training usually ensures that your workforce understands what your company considers reasonable and unacceptable behavior toward people based on their nationality, age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or belief. It discusses the types of diversity and inclusion practices along with conducts that might promote teamwork, in addition to the list of attributes that remain protected against organizational discrimination and harassment.

  • Improved communication skills

Employees' ability to interact with diverse communities usually remains hindered by a lack of cultural awareness. It alienates customers, associates, and colleagues from different areas, countries, and ethnicities. However, by conducting regular bias awareness training, your team can understand their biases, work towards overpowering them, and better communicate with diverse individuals or communities.

  • Develop compassion among your workforce

When it comes to a diverse workplace free from biases, an essential thing to remember is to keep a higher emphasis on every relationship your employees have with others on the idea that their backgrounds, experiences, and faiths intrinsically differ from theirs. 

Doing this will help you empower your team to work with compassion, and this would be a crucial change. Furthermore, remember that while treating your workforce with reverence might look easy, people might fall prey to biases if you do not conduct bias awareness training regularly.

Methods of Bias Awareness Training

Moving from awareness to action requires communicating, improving understanding, and analyzing incidences of prejudice, bullying, cultural rip-off, discrimination, and other transgressions. Here are some methods of bias awareness training.

  • Regular bias awareness training

The effectiveness of bias awareness training depends on whether organizations conduct it as a stand-alone affair or as part of a comprehensive corporate strategy. In addition, in terms of increasing self-awareness and changing conduct or perspectives, a single training can never fulfill the purpose. 

You can likewise plan whether bias training will be a one-time event or you will conduct it quarterly or bi-annually. Furthermore, to make your bias training more effective, you must combine it with your diversity training to make your workforce free from bias to become more productive.

  • Follow-up training

Employee resource groups that create micro-programs to restart the discussion about discrimination, and standard programs that provide responsibility, are needed as follow-ups. With the day-to-day follow-up on desirable conduct, the workforce behavior gradually changes to remain free from prejudices.

  • HR training

Hiring processes in a workplace usually remain more prone to biases. So it is essential to keep a close watch in this area to ensure your organizational practices remain bias-free. Every worker also holds the right to a fair chance at work, free of bias, discrimination, and harassment.

So it might not be wrong to say that the human resource manager's role in equal opportunity at the workplace comprises more than regulatory compliance. Therefore, to ensure all your workplace hiring and promotion practices remain bias-free, you must conduct bias awareness training, especially for HR managers.

Things to Remember While Conducting Bias Awareness Training

Below are some things to remember to conduct effective bias awareness training in your workplace. 

  • Delegation

Long speeches about discrimination and harassment can be draining for both the employees and the training facilitator. 

So to ensure the training session remains more engaging and fruitful, the facilitator must keep the bias awareness training interactive by asking employees to put forward different viewpoints. It also balances out your training session by ensuring that all the opinions remain heard and not some people dominating the training sessions.

  • Open communication

Bias training facilitators must speak honestly and openly about discrimination and the battle with privilege. In addition, it paves the way for open communication that makes it simpler for employees to normalize the notion that everyone has some inherent biases.

  • Diversity in bias awareness training

Awkward conversations are at the core of any organizational project. A diverse group of bias awareness training facilitators can efficiently explain ways to encounter prejudice and overpower that discomfort. A diverse and inclusive team can offer a paradigm for how to contradict productively and ways to recognize and express imposed distress in a way that sustains transformation once employees learn to determine that discomfort.

The Bottom Line 

Organizations that remain bias-free and empathetic of their coworker’s ethnicity and cultural differences remain productive and engaged. Therefore, when a company strives towards eradicating workplace biases, employees become more compassionate and learn to respect numerous perspectives. 

Bias awareness training provides a platform for racial minorities and women to express their apprehensions related to workplace problems. It will be beneficial for your organization in the long run to foster business development, employee retention, and innovation.

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