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Workplace discrimination is a scourge that affects almost every company at some time. Whether it’s an employee that harasses others or outdated policies that harm people who could be great employees or customers, there’s still room to grow. If you want your business to thrive without worrying about the strain of having to deal with discrimination accusations, here are the best things you can do.
How to Prevent Workplace Discrimination
Vet Every New Employee
When you’re hiring new employees, it’s essential to think about many things for each decision. Hire employees who are skilled and capable of doing what you need, yes, and work to ensure you hire employees with a good history of working in teams. Call their previous supervisors and ask how these employees performed in groups with others.
Be careful to look into anyone who may have had a history of harassment or shown that they can’t be trustworthy with your business. People can grow and change, but you have to think of the safety of your workers.
Now is also the time to focus on any unknown biases that your hiring team may have. If everyone who gets hired is precisely the same race, gender, age, and body type- there’s something wrong happening here. Vary your hiring field, and allow more opportunities for new kinds of people.
Every employee you have has to be trained like they’re going to be the face of your company. Teach them how workplace discrimination can hurt everyone involved, and show them how to treat other employees. It may feel a little condescending at first to have to talk your employees through this, but in the end, it’s so that they can work in peace.
Retrain Every Year
Every six months to a year, retrain your employees on how to interact reasonably. Doing this yearly retraining makes it so that nobody feels called out for bad behavior and gives your employees the tools they need to work alongside their coworkers.
Listen To Employee Worries
If an employee raises a concern about a coworker or a part of the business: you have to take it seriously. Don’t talk over them or brush it off and say it was a joke; listen to them and let them know that whatever happened isn’t okay. Ensure all employees that human resources are always open for any grievances and that they will be taken seriously.
Take Cases of Workplace Discrimination Seriously
Workplace discrimination cases aren’t something you should ignore in your business. Not only does ignoring it show that your company doesn’t care about what happened, but it also means that your employees could take it to court and sue. Your employees deserve a safe workplace where they can do their job without fear of getting harmed or harassed by their coworkers. Please don’t give in to the need to treat some employees like they’re untouchable because they’ve worked there forever. If an employee is harassing others, making them uncomfortable, or upsetting others- it’s time to retrain or fire them. Your employees, and your business, deserve better.