Take concrete steps to address systemic racism in your workplace.
Workplace leaders are looking for effective ways to tackle systemic racism. Below are three reasons why you need to rollout impactful Anti-Racism training in your workplace – now.
Reason #1: New Expectations
Political Climate & Employee Demand:
Highly publicized incidents of anti-Black racism and recent waves of anti-Asian violence have created an urgency to deal with racism in the workplace. It is not enough to have a black square on your company Instagram feed – your customers and employees will see this as insufficient, and merely “performative.”
eLearning Needs Updating:
Employees expect focused, solutions that directly discuss racism. Vague seminars on “respect” and “diversity” no longer cut it. We all consume high-quality, expertly curated content on websites, Netflix, and social media – there’s no reason eLearning should be so far out of touch! PowerPoint slides and 90s situational office videos with stilted dialogue? Not okay! Animated interactive storytelling that highlights peoples’ lived experiences? Yes please!
Reason #2: The Costs of Workplace Racism
Racism is a legal liability. It poses a risk to employee safety and wellbeing, as well as to brand reputation and profitability.
Loss of Business & Brand Reputation:
Your customers, investors, stakeholders and shareholders expect leadership to prioritize a key business imperative: systemic racism. A failure to make these efforts can be a “brand killer” that erodes customer trust.
Training sends a clear message “from the top” that employees are supported, and that racism will not be tolerated. Do the wrong thing – or nothing – about workplace racism, and your employees will let you know by: quitting, making legal claims and complaints, or publicly “calling out” their employer on social media.
Liability & Litigation:
Employers may be liable at law if they ignore signs and complaints of harassment, or do not make best efforts to prevent racial harassment. Keep in mind:
- The risk of incidents of workplace racism occurring in the first place is reduced when all employees understand what conduct is prohibited;
- Harassment and discrimination on the basis of race is prohibited under human /civil rights laws in all North American jurisdictions;
- In the face of any allegations, training can limit corporate liability for civil litigation and human rights claims.
Reason #3: Your Team Expects Leadership
Demonstrate that your company values a fair, safe workplace and cares about its employees. Anti-racism training also aligns with your other supportive initiatives such as: diversity & inclusion efforts; workplace wellness & mental health; and employee engagement.
Help your team open the discussion on key topics that are vital to change in the workplace:
- Workplace racism: tell stories from the lived-experience perspective of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC)
- Bias & Stereotypes: how do damaging assumptions impact careers, wellbeing, and an organization’s success?
- “Fit”: how subjective norms serve to exclude BIPOC employees
- Impact: how does systemic racism cause mental distress, conflict, and denial of opportunities
- Solutions: How can systemic racism be addressed? What is the path forward? How can one be an ally to support colleagues and combat racism?
Stay tuned for the next blog post on “How We Built This” where talk about our expert panel, All-Star Cast of Voice Actors, and our intentional choices on animated design.