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How to Eliminate Workplace Discrimination with HR Technology
With such a diverse workforce in today’s business landscape, it’s easy to believe workplace discrimination is a thing of the past. However, according to the Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), there were 84,254 charges of workplace discrimination filed in 2017 alone, which resulted in 184 lawsuits filed. The agency also reported $398 million in funds for victims of discrimination in the private sector and state and local government workplaces.
With discrimination claims on the rise, employers need to be proactive with their strategy of terminating bias in the workplace. Employers can use tools within HR technology for more than just processing payroll and onboarding employees; they can also combat bias in a company’s culture. Here’s how to eliminate discrimination with HR technology during four stages of the employee lifecycle.
Discrimination in hiring has been an ongoing issue for both job seekers and hirers, whether it be about age, race, sex, or education. Just reading a name on a resume can result in immediate judgment made without even interviewing the applicant.
HR technology platforms can generate reports using fields such as sex and age to show the socio-demographic makeup of your workforce. Executive-level managers can then monitor applicant reports for common patterns to make sure managers are not discriminating during the hiring process. These reports can be housed in a unified system for easy access by multiple users.
Providing employee handbooks during the onboarding process will set behavior expectations for new employees from day one. Employee handbooks help to administer company policies for all employees, regardless of their role in the organization. Furthermore, it is important for managers and HR staff to reinforce these policies so all employees are being treated equal and held to the same standards.
HR software allows you to store electronic versions of your employee handbook and employees can even e-sign when they receive their handbooks. Having these documents and activities saved in a centralized database makes it easier for managers to gather information if a discrimination claim is filed.
The most frequent type of discrimination that appears in terminations and failure-to-promote cases is ageism. To help eliminate age and other prejudice allegations, employers should have an organized training structure on diversity.
HR technology allows you to manage your employees’ training modules in an online database. This gives employees the option to complete training at their own pace, especially for those who miss in-person sessions. Some platforms even send alerts notifying users to complete their modules, ensuring they are current on workplace diversity training.
At first, it may seem like the best option is to hire quickly. Get new hires in the door, get them trained, and get them working. However, how do you know whether that new hire is the best fit for the position? If they aren’t, you could be looking at training a new person for the same role a few months later.
Break the bad fit cycle by identifying the right set of skills and behaviors your successful employees possess to find the right people to hire. You can even use tools like online assessments and background checks to make sure you hone in on top talent.
5. Support Your Employees Post Hire
You spend a lot of time recruiting and interviewing people. You find the right people and then spend more time convincing them your organization is the best choice. But what happens when they show up on their first day? Are they received with open arms or treated like a burden?
Having effective onboarding and training practices in place ensure a smooth transition for your new hires. Have essential items like computers and name badges ready to go on day one. Have an initial performance discussion to set expectations at the very beginning. Provide ongoing training opportunities to give employees the chance to grow and develop their skills.
6. Engage Your Employees
Engaging your employees throughout their career at your company is paramount. According to a study conducted by The Hackett Group, an engaged, capable employee will outperform a disengaged employee by a three- or four-to-one ratio depending on the industry. Engaged employees not only perform better, they are more likely to stay longer.
There are several ways to engage your employees and it helps to start with the use of self-service tools. When you delegate responsibilities to your managers and employees and give them the power to access relevant information, you create a sense of purpose and accountability. Other tactics to consider are:
Conduct consistent performance reviews to also increase employee engagement.
Communicate with your employees on a regular basis to identify address potential issues proactively.
Perform salary reviews annually or biannually to ensure your paying employees competitively and rewarding them for their hard work.
Creating a company culture that fosters an engaged workforce will put your company on the path to decrease turnover rates.
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