How To Discuss Race With Employees

As a society, public discussions about race and racism have reached a fever pitch. An outpouring of emotion has been seen at protests at hundreds of cities across the world. Your employees are likely feeling strong emotions, as well. While race hasn't traditionally been a topic of discussion in the workplace, it's important to have positive and honest conversations with your team members about persistent inequities and discrimination at work.

Glassdoor, one of the world's largest jobs sites, surveyed American workers and found that 61 percent of employees have witnessed or experienced discrimination in the workplace. For guidance on combating racism in the workplace, read on. We share tips from Glassdoor on how to initiate conversations about race with employees in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

Be an example for your team. If you hear insensitive, derogatory comments or you see racist, bigoted behavior, don't let it go unchecked. Speak up and put a stop to discrimination.

Connect with others. Show your friends of color and colleagues that you are aware of what is happening in the world and that you care about them.

Commit to listening more and speaking less. Don't feel the need to post on social media just to prove that you are aware about racial issues. Instead, listen to what others are saying and allow it to inform your awareness.

Be informed. The Glassdoor post reminds others that being an ally requires educating yourself about the experiences of others differently situated. Try following people of color on social media to learn about their perspectives and experiences.

Don't sensationalize. According to Glassdoor, don't use race-based pictures or videos of race-based conflicts on social media as it desensitizes people to violence against people of color.

Be realistic. The current racial tensions are nothing new. Black people have faced systemic oppression and violence for hundreds of years. All people should be sensitive to that and recognize that racism is real for many people of color.

Honor differences. In your team, celebrate the uniqueness that every individual brings. A person's skin color is part of who they are and carries with it a long history and a particular experience in today's world.

Many managers shy away from talking about race equity with their employees, thinking race conversations are too big to address in the workplace. However, having inclusive conversations can show that you are sensitive to what your employees may be feeling. Take time to invite employees to share their thoughts and concerns. Listen and make adjustments to the way you lead your team and engage with them. It's a crucial step in making sure all employees feel safe and valued at work.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Glassdoor is one of the world's largest and fastest-growing job sites offering valuable insights from employees and candidates who have been there. The company strives to help people find a job and company they love.

filed under June 2020
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