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Nine Strategies To Keep Unconscious Bias Out Of Your HR Department

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Everyone is biased in some way. It’s part of being human — your background and experiences can shape the way you see the world, whether that’s positively or negatively. Sometimes we realize it, sometimes we don’t, but we are often driven to make decisions based on our biases.

While you can’t fully eliminate unconscious biases, it is absolutely crucial that you become aware of them, and actively work to keep them out of your leadership and decision-making. We asked nine members of Forbes Human Resources Council to share their best strategies for keeping biases at bay in your organization.

1. Understand What Biases Exist, And Which Ones You Have

HR is not exempt from bias. We are people, after all. You should start by educating yourself on the topic, what types of bias exist and how they impact individuals and organizations. Then spend some time on introspection to identify your own biases. Thinking back, what factors have influenced your interactions with others and your decision-making process? Ask for feedback from people you trust. – Molly NuhringOtis Elevator

2. Focus On Being Proactive, Rather Than Reactive

All humans are subjective to unconscious bias. HR personnel need to remain proactive to allow reflection on their responsibilities and how they carry them out. When HR is reactive to a situation, is it very easy to let an unconscious bias slip by. They need to look deeper into situations and identify the underlying issue before unconscious assumptions take over. – Tiffany ServatiusScott’s Marketplace

3. Look At How And Why Organizational Decisions Are Being Made

All human beings have unconscious bias. To minimize the risk of unconscious bias, we need to continually understand how and why decisions are being made by using criteria that is objective. We also need to seek the advice and opinions from others who offer a different viewpoint to help gain a different perspective. Being around diverse teams can help us be more aware of our unconscious bias. – Sherry MartinDenver Public Schools

4. Ask Yourself If You’re Accepting Things As ‘Given’ Or If You’re Using The Word ‘Can’t’

If you are human, you have unconscious biases. They are tough to see because they operate in the background. You may be in the grip of an unconscious bias if you accept something as a given. You may have an unconscious bias if the word “can’t” features in your inner dialogue. It often starts with “we can’t” or “I can’t.” If you assume you have them, you’ll look for them. If you don’t, you won’t. – Pamela Pottsneosystemscorp.com

5. Listen To, Reflect Upon And Differentiate Your Current Issue

Whatever involves a human element of judgment is vulnerable to bias. HR professionals who are very specialized in their functions need to guard themselves against looking for data that confirms their beliefs and refutes the rest. To sincerely understand the root cause of an issue, start by listening without bias, reflect on your assumptions, differentiate from past experiences, then proceed. – Ekta Vyas, Ph.DStanford Children’s Health

6. Align All Business Activities With A Strategic Intent

All professionals — not just HR professionals — are impacted by an unconscious bias. To ensure that this bias does not impact their responsibilities at work, there needs to be a strong organizational framework in place so that all parts of a business are aligned with a strategic intent. By ensuring that an organization is fit for purpose, professionals are able to leave their biases at the door. – Mark LascolaON THE MARK

7. Use Technology For More Objective, Data-Driven Decisions

We all have biases. The key is to remove them from the workplace. Fortunately, today’s HR technology helps us take an unbiased approach to HR. By combining these advanced tools with our expertise, we can make smarter decisions, with more positive outcomes. – Vivian Mazaultimatesoftware.com

8. Identify And Remain Accountable For Your Biases

Unconscious bias affects all HR professionals, as it is part of our human nature. HR professionals can keep unconscious bias in check by first, identifying their unconscious bias. Second, find an accountability partner to keep bias in check. Third, make an intentional effort to check for unconscious bias, as part of the process when making employment decisions such as hiring, promoting and firing. – Angeles EscalanteTyson

9. Be Consistent And Analytical In Your Decision-Making Process

To proactively avoid unconscious bias follow best practices and apply consistent, relevant criteria to your decision-making process. Be consistent in how and when you apply processes and analyze your criteria and outcomes regularly. Make time to reflect on your processes and outcomes and engage colleagues, in or out of your organization, who can offer a different perspective for consideration. – Meg BattleRabin Martin

Source : https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeshumanresourcescouncil/2018/03/07/nine-strategies-to-keep-unconscious-bias-out-of-your-hr-department/#6e714f696e53

About the Author

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A Strategic Marketing Executive at Harper and Hill, Project Associate at aseanhr.org, Social Media Marketing, Web Developer that specializes in Web Content Writing, Web Designing, Developing, SEO, and Database Management.

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