Showing True Support for the Black Lives Matter Movement Means Changing Company Policies
Statements of inclusion and solidarity with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement by companies are important, but not enough. What are some steps that you as a business owner or HR leader can do to change and implement policies that can lead to actual change?
- If you don’t already have one, make sure that you have an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policy that is easily accessible to employees and applicants (this is the bare minimum of what all employers should be doing, but is also the foundation of the process).
- Train employees on anti-discrimination laws, duties, and policies. If you already perform training, great, but consider ways you can make the training more impactful.
- Provide implicit bias training to employees. While in the past there has been concern that acknowledging implicit bias will be detrimental in any future discrimination lawsuit, this is not likely the case. Implicit bias is present in us all and we all need to be aware of the devastating impact it has on the choices we make on a daily basis.
- Provide third-party intervention training to employees and managers so that they have tools and resources to assist them should they witness racist behavior or microagressions in the workplace.
- Update your grooming/personal appearance policy to include language that forbids discrimination based on hair style and hair texture.
- Consider the creation of affinity groups with the purpose of providing a platform/forum for employees to discuss ways in which the company can create a more inclusive and equitable environment.
- Educate your managers about the differences between diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Review past EEO-1 and Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) information to identify places in which the company could be doing better (even if not required by law).
- Stop referral-based hiring programs as these continue to perpetuate the hiring of non-diverse candidates.
- Listen to the experiences of black employees and employees of color.
- Educate your managers and decision-makers about the BLM movement and the injustices experienced by black employees and employees of color.
In the coming days, Verrill will be digging in to each of the above topics to provide a more in depth analysis as to best practices as to each of the above steps that businesses can be taking.