Unconscious Bias Training: Learning How to Manage Our Systematic Errors

Author Headshot Written by Liz McDermott

Unconscious Bias Training

Today’s workplace is increasingly more diverse. As a result, employers are increasingly focusing their attention on the cultural implications of hiring practices and how they affect the work environment. Unconscious bias training helps employers ensure they are hiring the most qualified candidate for the job without being influenced by irrelevant factors such as race, gender, or age.

At the core, it is a systematic error in thinking that occurs when people are processing and interpreting information in the world around them that leads individuals to create their own "subjective reality" from what they perceive. It’s also referred to as implicit bias or hidden bias.

Unconscious bias, or cognitive bias, refers to the tendency for our brains to automatically process information about social groups and individuals without our conscious awareness or intention. The challenge comes from the fact that this innate preference for some social groups over others can have a negative impact on our behavior toward individuals we might not even realize we distrust for no apparent reason.

Unconscious bias training aims to provide employees with insight into their own prejudices and triggers, allowing them to recognize when their own biases could interfere with their roles as team members or supervisors within an organization.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at why your business should consider implementing Unconscious Bias training as part of its DEI training and strategies.


Benefits of Integrating Unconscious Bias Training in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategies


In addition to helping businesses retain current employees, unconscious bias training can have a number of other benefits, such as:

Increased productivity: Since unconscious bias can cause team members to dismiss others’ contributions, it can decrease productivity. By reducing unconscious biases, you can increase productivity by creating an environment where people are encouraged to participate fully.

Happier employees: Discouraging employees from fully participating in the workplace can lead to feelings of isolation and frustration. More engaged and productive employees create a happier work environment.

Stronger organizational culture: People with different backgrounds, skills, and perspectives are essential to any organization. By increasing diversity, you can strengthen your organizational culture.

Reduced risk of discrimination lawsuits: Organizations are increasingly recognizing the need to address unconscious biases before they lead to discriminatory actions. By reducing unconscious biases, you can also reduce the risk of lawsuits that are based on discrimination.


Improving Diversity


Unconscious bias training can also help increase the diversity of your workforce by reducing the level of bias that could otherwise result in discriminatory hiring practices. Before an organization can effectively hire the right talent, it must first understand the underlying factors that are influencing its hiring practices. It’s important to remember that bias can take the form of either an over-reliance on one factor or an under-reliance on other factors when hiring. During unconscious bias training, organizations can discover how their hiring practices are influenced by factors such as race, gender, and age. Once they understand their own biases, hiring managers can consciously make adjustments to level the playing field for all candidates.


Reducing Confidence Issues


Confidence issues can often lead to underperformance and high turnover rates, which in turn negatively affects productivity. By reducing the level of confidence issues among workers, organizations can increase productivity and reduce turnover rates. Unconscious bias training can help managers recognize when they are projecting biases that could negatively affect employee confidence. Once they understand the underlying causes of their biases, they can start to make adjustments to the way they communicate with employees.


Limiting Discriminatory Hiring Practices


Bias is often the cause behind discriminatory hiring practices. By documenting the level of bias present in your current hiring practices, you can start to recognize and replace those practices with more appropriate ones. For example, if your organization normally relies heavily on referrals from current employees, you could have an embedded bias against hiring individuals who don’t have any existing connections to your business. Overtraining in this area can help you level the playing field for applicants who might otherwise be overlooked.


Recognizing Unconscious Biases Builds Business Resilience


Unconscious biases can have a negative impact on the workplace, especially when they lead to discriminatory actions and create a negative work environment. To combat this, organizations are increasingly implementing unconscious bias training programs. This type of training aims to help employees recognize their own biases so they can make adjustments in their decision-making and daily behavior. By reducing unconscious biases, businesses can create an environment that welcomes all groups of people.

Vubiz offers a comprehensive DEI training program to help businesses meet their Diversity and Inclusion goals. 

For more information, please contact us to inquire about our Unconscious Bias training.