Honest, Impactful Change Starts From Within.
Employees, especially Black professionals, are experiencing a moment of great reflection. The COVID-19 pandemic, a global health crisis that has transformed every aspect of our lives, has made all of us ponder about what we need in our lives to not just survive, but to thrive. This (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime event has made all of us realize what is valuable in life, what we are willing to fight for, what we are willing to sacrifice, and what we can withstand. Black professionals are now in a position where they no longer have to compromise their mental health, joy, or peace for a job.
A study recently published from research group Future Forum found that just 3 percent of Black professionals want to return to the office full-time. The persistent microaggressions, not advancing within the organization, and not feeling as though they belong have reached their boiling point. When only 20 percent of Black employees feel like they belong in the workplace a significant cultural shift is needed. These microaggressions can drive workers of color to feel completely isolated and ‘othered,’ which has a detrimental effect on their mental and emotional well-being. Working from home brought a sense of peace and comfort that many Black professionals have not experienced in the office. If working from home lessens the experience of isolation felt among Black professionals when they’re in the office, it’s time for a change.
Real change starts with the top leadership determining their level of commitment and willingness to take action. Beyond declarations, true change comes when leaders implement policies that promote a culture of inclusion and belonging. Key points for leaders to consider:
- Because we are human and all have biases, implement policies and procedures to reduce bias in promoting talent. Is the promotion rate different based on race and gender within your organization? If so, create a more objective system for rating candidates for promotion.
- Companies have policies and procedures for bullying and harassment behavior in the workplace. Establish procedures for addressing microaggressions as well as the consequences of committing microaggressions.
Change can be an uncomfortable process, therefore, holding people accountable is a challenge for many managers. And it can be more difficult and uncomfortable when we’re talking about race, gender, sexuality, and more. It’s also necessary and a cornerstone of creating an environment of belonging and a workplace that promotes equity for all. When a positive transformation in the workplace occurs, all employees benefit.
Change doesn’t happen overnight. For the sake of your employees and the overall health and success of your organization, make steps in the right direction. Contact The Ladipo Group today to get started.