In May 2018, an incident of racial prejudice in one of the Starbucks stores caused substantial damage to its reputation and the temporary closure of 8,000 points of sale for a few hours to train 175,000 employees against racial discrimination. This led other companies to take a closer look at unconscious biases in the workplace and how they could affect the organization.
It’s an increasingly relevant topic for many companies, for example Google and Facebook, currently using trainings to increase awareness of biases.
Unconscious biases originate from a characteristic of the human brain that helps make decisions faster through various shortcuts. They determine the perception of the environment and the people around and can provoke questionable decision making. This means that a person’s acting and thinking will be based on unconscious generalizations and preconceptions rather than on the analysis of objective quantitative or qualitative parameters.
Studies show how unconscious biases can become notable obstacles to selecting the best candidate for a position or promotion, assigning an important project to the right profiles, managing rewards, or simply offering satisfactory service to a client.
Fighting to do better:
SAP did the exercise of analyzing how companies had advanced in the field of equality. The result was that, despite promoting policies to improve this aspect, the percentage of women in the workforce, or in managerial positions, had not increased. The problem was the unconscious biases, established throughout the entire chain of human capital management. Thus was born the initiative to help companies eliminate bias through technology.
SAP SuccessFactors solutions provide leaders with the tools they need to identify and reduce unconscious biases when they occur. These solutions can change not only how diversity is viewed and understood, but also how decisions are made that cultivate an inclusive workforce.
Learn about the different solutions SAP offers to reduce unconscious decision-making bias throughout the entire HR lifecycle, plus provide analytics, metrics, and actionable insights that can influence key HR decisions and change the behavior of people in the organization. Now is the time to focus on detecting and preventing unconscious bias directly where it’s occurring.
Throughout the process, it’s possible to evaluate whether biases continue to hinder any stage of the collaborator’s life, with the implementation of Artificial Intelligence, the non-inclusive language in job advertisements can be analyzed and eliminated, up to the use of Machine Learning to find to the ideal candidates for each vacancy, to end the salary gap, analyzing the salary tables based on the level of difficulty of the tasks to be performed and the responsibility to establish adequate salaries, regardless of gender.
In addition, each organization can visualize the gender diversity and the positions of each collaborator at all times, to immediately detect any type of bias.SAP’s advanced analytics allows companies to analyze the progress they are making in equity and compare their results with those of the market to understand their position.
Best practices with SAP:
Some of the best practices that we can implement through SAP functionalities to mitigate unconscious biases are:
1.- Leaders can use the job profile builder to help ensure only job-critical information is associated with a role and to help eliminate details that may lead to biases, such as physical location or age.
2.- Leaders can provide feedback with equitable comments during performance reviews with the help of the writing assistant in SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals. Additionally the calibration tool in SAP SuccessFactors Compensation can also uncover unconscious biases in calibration and compensation decisions.
3.- SAP SuccessFactors Learning can drive relevant training to employees so inclusion is a central element of everyone’s curriculum.
4.- SAP solutions for experience management (Qualtrics) provide powerful listening tools to help leaders listen, understand and act to address how employees feel about their experiences and what they believe needs to change.
5.- SAP collaboration tools allow to take on the challenge to integrate different people within the organization’s culture with specific plans for coexistence, for example with tutoring and coaching groups in SAP Jam, with forums for debates and sections of questions and answers.
6.- SAP SuccessFactors Learning also enables employees to be trained to open a panorama of equitable opportunities for those with generational gaps within the company and to eliminate ageism, the negative prejudices associated with age.
7.- SAP Jam streamlines the process of incorporating new collaborators, promoting socialization among collaborators since it has all the basic functions of a business social network tool, including personal profiles, microblogging, document sharing, chat rooms, instant messaging, allowing communication before biases appear.
The growing importance of diversity and inclusion requires companies to move beyond prejudice. It enables SAP SuccessFactors solutions to be a key component in your HR strategy to make it more equitable and inclusive where top talent can flourish.