Workplace discrimination is always a hot topic because it involves a ton of factors that people care about. Nobody wants to be looked over for something they can’t control. No company wants to deal with a workplace discrimination lawsuit because they couldn’t properly train or handle their employees. Instead of having to push through these hardships, it’s essential to nip discrimination in the bud before it has the chance to spread and prosper in your working environment. Here are the top ways some of the best human resource departments can stop discrimination before it happens.
Hire Carefully, and Check References
The average American holds ten jobs in their lifetime, with statistics saying that number will only go up with the gig economy. Some companies see this as a reason not to call every past employer on a very major applicant. They think it’s too much to deal with and work based on how they act in the interview and on paper.
This idea is an enormous mistake.
By calling previous employers, you can find out what their past was with other workers and whether there were any discrimination or harassment complaints against them. This option is an HR department’s first resource against any discrimination coming in that might not be swayed through training.
Although HR and training departments are usually different, the human resources department should have their hands in the training rooms. It would be best if you had some vital discussions with all new employees, including how to recognize your own biases and how to work with other people respectfully. Much of this may feel like general knowledge that everyone should know, but HR needs to drive it home and clarify. Being creepy or rude to others for your fun is horrible and is not something an employee should be allowed to do at work.
Listen To Complaints
Don’t downplay or minimize complaints as they come in. Your employees are trusting you to listen to them and have a reasonable way to solve the situation. Depending on the severity of the behavior, the punishments may range from a suspension from work, revoking access to some parts of their job, or possibly firing the infringer. You have to make it clear that this behavior isn’t tolerated.
People who feel like they’re working for a good company will want to help promote that image and feeling. You can make this happen by supporting human rights campaigns, working to prove your belief in equality, and taking your time to show your employees that they matter. If you want, you could even offer for the team to work together on a donation drive or volunteer together so that team members will get to know each other better and tensions will end.
There’s no way to stamp out discrimination altogether. People will lean into their biases or decide that they have the right to be rude, but you can set your company apart. A little active work and hiring and training the best of the best can set you up for success.