This is the second in a series of blogs aimed at defining the role of feedback in fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace. In this installment, we outline how we work with our clients to create an inclusive DEI environment which ensures every employee is clearly visible and has equal opportunity for recognition, development and advancement.
We tend to identify more with people who look more like us and with whom we share similar backgrounds and experiences. Consequently, in the workplace, we may unconsciously give more attention and opportunities to people “like us,” while people from diverse backgrounds receive less visibility and therefore, fewer opportunities. This vicious cycle becomes a downward spiral as these practices permeate and perpetuate through the organization and shape its culture.
Left unchecked, unconscious bias can embed itself in the organization's DNA and solidify as just ‘the way we do things here.’ We know from extensive research that unconscious bias has a strong influence on leadership decisions. Here are just a few examples of how unconscious bias manifests in the workplace:
48% of African American women and 47% of Latina women report being mistaken for administrative or custodial staff.1
While less than 15% of U.S. men are over 6 feet tall, 60% of corporate CEOs are over 6 feet.2
Resumes with African American, Asian, and Hispanic names are less likely to get call backs for interviews.3
How bias impacts outcomes
Unconscious bias has been extensively studied and shown to have a strongly negative impact on business outcomes:
Employees who perceive bias at work are 3x more likely to be disengaged.4 Gallup estimates disengaged employees cost US businesses nearly $550B each year.5
Employees who perceive bias are more than 3x more likely to report planning to leave their jobs in the next year.6
Employees who perceive bias are 2.6x more likely to withhold ideas.4
McKinsey & Company’s 2018 Delivering Through Diversity report found that companies with ethnically and culturally diverse executive teams were 33% more likely to experience above-average profitability than their homogenous counterparts.7
Research clearly indicates diverse leadership leads to better business outcomes, which means we should not want teams that are “just like us,” but teams whose experiences encompass a wide variety of backgrounds. The question then becomes, if much of workplace bias is unconscious, how can we make sure we’re giving equal visibility to the complete range of diverse employees in the organization?
At Macorva, we empower our partners to minimize the impact of unconscious bias through unlimited peer-to-peer feedback, also known as 360 feedback. Our key evolution from conventional 360 feedback is the removal of bottleneck processes like rater selection that limit the number of employees who can share experiences. We empower every employee to anonymously share experiences with anyone in the organization. In addition to establishing an equitable feedback experience, this workflow also yields transformative results by:
Capturing large volumes of employee-focused data as robust trends, and
Providing visibility to every employee.
Finding unrecognized talent
Employees who perform well within their teams and across departments shouldn’t need a personal or cultural connection to their manager to be visible to leadership. No manager wants great talent to go to waste - employees who don’t feel recognized are twice as likely to quit within a year. Our platform seals these cracks by highlighting employees who rate highly with peers but lack visibility with management.
We also empower managers to make informed decisions with apples-to-apples trend reports that place all their employees on the same stage. This helps managers identify and confront unconscious biases keeping them from seeing the full impact of every employee in their purview, opening up more opportunities for recognition, development and advancement for marginalized employees.
If you would like to know more about Macorva and how we can support you and your journey to a genuine DEI culture, we welcome you to join our upcoming webcast with Dr. Anton Franckeiss, IO Psychologist and Macorva Founder, Carley Childress:
Macorva was founded in 2018 by product developers Nathan and Carley Childress, who saw an opportunity to improve business outcomes by bridging the gap between feedback and action left by conventional survey tools. Macorva closes this gap with frictionless feedback experiences and empowers action at every level to improve business performance, employee engagement, and customer satisfaction.
1Double Jeopardy? Gender Bias Against Women in Science, WorkLife Law, 2014.
2Gladwell, Malcolm, 1963-.Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking. New York :Little, Brown and Co., 2005.
3Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination, Bertrand & Mullainathan, September 2004.
4New Data Reveals The Hard Costs Of Bias And How To Disrupt It, Forbes, October 2017.
5The Enormous Cost of Unhappy Employees, Inc., August 2014.
6When Employees Think the Boss is Unfair, They're More Likely to Disengage and Leave, Harvard Business Review, August 2017.
7Delivering through diversity, McKinsey & Co., January 2018.