A new training video from Media Partners teaches employees how to recognize unconscious bias in a diverse workplace, and prevent and stop harassment, as well. How Was Your Day? Getting Real about Bias, Inclusion, Harassment and Bullying helps viewers create the kind of work environment most people want to work in - respectful, inclusive and productive.
Discussing unconscious bias in the workplace is a bit uncomfortable - no one likes to think of themselves as being “biased”. And yet, we ALL are — every day, we all make unconscious assumptions and judgements about people based only on the way they look or how they speak. It’s simply how the human brain works: as we’re presented with new information, we’re hardwired to trust what is familiar to us, and be suspicious of the unfamiliar. All day long, our brain unconsciously sorts things into familiar versus unfamiliar, same versus different.
Having biases isn’t illegal. But acting on biases at work can be. So, it’s important to offer unconscious bias training in our organizations to prevent bias from turning into disrespect or even workplace harassment. Diversity training will teach employees to become aware of their biases, then work to challenge them, and teach them their part in creating a respectful workplace.
To begin to overcome our unconscious biases, the first step is to admit we have various biases and that these are the frames we look through in every situation. Then we must be open to challenging the bias: ask yourself if your assumptions truly match up with reality. And then work to set the bias aside - pretend you are blindfolded and can only hear your colleagues’ ideas, experiences and abilities. Would you judge - or respect - them differently based on those things alone?
Preventing Workplace Harassment
Challenging unconscious bias in the workplace is a great first step towards harassment prevention. But harassment training must go even further to ensure that employees can recognize workplace harassment when it occurs and speak up against it.
The harassment in the workplace training in the video How Was Your Day? teaches us that when we repeatedly invade someone’s personal space and make them feel uncomfortable, or when a pattern of offensive words or behaviors creates a hostile or offensive working environment – that’s potential harassment. To steer clear of workplace harassment, filter what you say and do; pretend you are a guest in someone else’s home, and use the same good manners and common courtesy you would at, say, a neighbor’s party. And, if you see harassment happening at work - speak up. Tell the perpetrator that their words or behaviors are offensive and inappropriate, and if it keeps happening, tell a manager or someone in HR.
Use harassment prevention training videos like How Was Your Day? to give employees a thorough understanding of what constitutes harassment in the workplace and how to prevent it. Training can teach how unconscious bias may potentially develop into harassment if employees don’t admit and then challenge their biases.