Organizations and business professionals are becoming more and more aware that everyone has unconscious bias. But having an unconscious bias doesn’t make us bad—it just makes us human. Unconscious biases can have a significant negative impact on workplaces, leading to differences in who gets hired and recruited, who gets offered new opportunities, and whose voice is listened to in meetings and beyond.
With a strategic corporate training strategy, however, we can all learn ways to manage and even interrupt our unconscious biases. But how? As unconscious bias training becomes increasingly popular, how do we know what works and what doesn’t? What kinds of training are the most effective for ourselves and our teams?
Here are 5 things to look for when considering unconscious bias workplace training:
It Starts With Awareness It is critical for learners to understand what unconscious bias is, where it comes from, and what it looks like at work. A good training will help learners understand why this matters and make them want to be part of a solution.
Moves From Awareness to Action Awareness is vital—but awareness alone is rarely effective for change. Learners need tools and skills so they can then take action to change behaviors and interrupt unconscious biases. In fact, just teaching awareness without also delivering actionable strategies for change can be a frustrating and disheartening experience, possibly leading to a backlash.
Uses Real-World Workplace Examples Research has shown that learners will retain comprehension of critical concepts when they relate to real world, concrete situations. Unconscious bias training for the workplace should include relatable examples and scenarios that happen often in real work settings.
Learners Set Challenging but Attainable Goals Unconscious bias training should leave learners with actions and a plan for how to move forward. Recent research has also found that by setting actionable goals, learners can have more success building lasting behaviors and habits that help manage unconscious bias.
Teaches That Unconscious Bias is a Life-Long Journey No one training is going to solve the significant problem of unconscious bias in the workplace. So good training should invite participants to engage in constant awareness-building as a lifelong journey into how we make decisions.