Bias can have a devastating impact on employees in any workplace, whether in terms of how they feel about their work environment, or how much of themselves they put into their jobs. This blog post taken from the HealthStream article, “Understanding the Cost of Bias at Your Organization,” based on a webinar presented by Jeremy Short, a HealthStream subject matter expert on bias, diversity, and inclusion. When thinking about bias in the workplace, Short shares how it is important to realize and acknowledge that we all have some bias. Bias is a prejudgment that occurs to help your brain sort and categorize the world around you. It creates shortcuts for faster decision making based on past experiences and upbringing, or on information that your brain has told you ahead of time. Biases can be positive or negative. A fundamental step in understanding bias is to accept its existence.
When bias exists within an organization, it can wreak havoc on employees and the effort to create and support a workforce that functions well. To understand how bias can cost an organization, let’s examine a few generally accepted truths about organizations.
Allowing bias to exist unchallenged in an organization poses a risk to productivity and innovation. It can also lead to a reduction in profit, whether for a hospital, business, school system, or foundation. Bias affects an organization in critical areas necessary for innovation and growth. Below are some statistics that demonstrate the impact of bias on operations and the workforce:
If bias is identified without being addressed in an organization, it can result in fines, lawsuits, and claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
A workforce and organization that understands the importance of recognizing unconscious bias, diversity in the workplace, cultural competence, and health literacy not only improves peer-to-peer and caregiver-to-patient relationships, but also has the power to influence your organization’s culture, place in your community, and bottom line. Explore HealthStream solutions that support workforce diversity and inclusion.
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