Discrimination isn’t always a blaring and obvious sign. Sometimes it’s small and gradual shifts that should be alerting you to an issue. If you notice these items lining up, pay attention to the warning signs and see what you can do to fix it before it’s too late. Discrimination hurts everyone; don’t let it happen within your company.
Your employees don’t have to be best friends with each other, but if it seems like every employee is fervently avoiding any social gathering outside of work: it’s time to look into why. What about your company is making them so uncomfortable that they don’t want to be around each other unless they’re being paid to be? What can you do to fix this?
Inversely, sometimes discrimination is most obvious when everyone’s getting along a little too well. If every employee in the company is of one race or gender, there’s a problem here. Hiring bias isn’t always on purpose; it’s often something that comes along with years of hiring, but if you miss it, then it’s a huge problem. Not only is hiring only one type of person bad for creativity and clever new ideas, but it’s also harmful to anyone who’s not like the ‘norm’ of your business.
If there’s thorough training on the job, good pay, and the work is intuitive enough: there shouldn’t be a high turnover rate. A high turnover rate could mean that the company’s culture isn’t one that workers feel safe in. This is a good time to look at who’s training your employees and what the supervisors and shift leads are like. Are they respectful to the other employees, or are their behaviors that economic consulting firms would call red flags?
Do your employees act as a team within the office? Do they work well together and complete projects professionally? If not, do you see fights or disagreements breaking out that don’t make any sense? Sometimes harassment isn’t easy to find, and it shows up instead as a small scuffle in the break room or rude emails that shouldn’t be sent. This is a good time for human resources to step in and talk about what’s going on.
Every company has a few golden apple employees that do everything correctly and are at the top of their game. If you notice one of these employees is suddenly crumbling or not turning in as good work: it’s time to see why. They may have recently switched supervisors or may be seated next to a different employee. HR can talk to them about what changes have affected them and should understand why they’re unhappy.
Discrimination isn’t always loud and obvious. Often it’s microaggressions, and rude things muttered under someone’s breath. Mistreatment of your employees isn’t something that should be allowed: catch it early and train it out of your employees.