Best Practices for Preventing Workplace Discrimination
Thursday, 01 April 2021

Workplace discrimination is one of the leading lawsuits that businesses are facing in recent years. People are finally feeling driven to come forward about what they're experiencing, which is good: but the fact that anything is happening in the first place should be avoided. Businesses can take several steps to stop discrimination from happening in the workplace; here are some of the top options.

Hire Without Bias

 
Workplace discrimination could start before you've even hired your employees. Look deeply into your hiring practices, and ensure that you're giving every applicant a fair chance to work. If you notice that nearly every employee in your office looks a certain way, openly believes in the same religion, or is highly similar: it's time to change things up. A company can only benefit from broadening who it hires.
 

Train Thoroughly

 
If you don’t give your employees a chance to be hateful or mean to each other, they’ll be less likely to say rude things on impulse. Instead, train your new hires that they have to be respectful of everyone else in the office. Most discrimination cases can be avoided if the company took the time to set expectations at the door and show employees what is acceptable.
 

Have An Open Door Policy

 
If your employees feel like they can talk to you, they’ll be more likely to do it. Having an open-door policy means that any employee can come forward and explain an issue they're having with their coworkers. This business decision will deter coworkers and supervisors' discrimination since they know the employees can talk to you if anything happens. It's vital that you either handle it directly or that the human resources department is well trained in addressing these issues.
 

Have Yearly Follow-Ups

 
After you've trained them the first time, it may seem tempting to assume your work is over. Unfortunately, people relax over time, and employees who were fantastic their first week on the job might be showing their true selves a year in. Take a couple of days every year to retrain employees and touch base with what is and isn't acceptable. This retraining session will also remind people that there is an open-door policy, and they can bring up any issues they have directly to you. The more willing your employees are to talk, the less likely someone will want to do something that could get them in trouble.
 

Investigate Issues When They Arise

 
Not every problem is avoidable. Unfortunately, it may seem like you're stuck having to play the judge on what's going on in the office in some situations. You must listen to both sides of the story and take information from your other employees as well. By actively investigating any current cases that exist, you show your employees that you're not allowing this behavior anymore. This decision can help move the company forward on a clean slate.
 
Workplace discrimination is one of the most complicated and uncomfortable things to deal with. If you can reconsider biased thinking and talk to your employees, you can create a safe living space for everyone.
 
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