The month of August is Black Business Month which has us thinking about how employers can serve as allies to employees. While this month of recognition encourages consumers to support black businesses, which we fully endorse, we want to use this month to discuss how people of color can be better supported at their workplace, including professional development.
In this first of our two part series, we’re sharing some broader tactics employers can use to begin developing a supportive company culture in which everyone thrives. And then next week we’ll focus on more detailed initiatives.
As a first step, employers should take a look at the company culture through a wider lens in order to develop an understanding of the overall atmosphere. From there they can investigate the issues influencing the culture and make targeted strategies for dealing with any problems. Here’s how to get started:
Initial steps to be an effective ally
- Conduct a diversity audit. This is an outsourced job, as it’s important to be as objective as possible. This audit should be about the employee experience but with a focus on non-white employees in order to gain a clearer picture of how the culture of the workplace is affecting people of color.
- Develop an inclusive hiring plan. The language we use in job descriptions and onboarding procedures should create a comfortable process for all applicants, and it’s surprising how this is often not the case. Here is a chance for your HR department to serve as an ambassador of the company’s ethos, and ensure that fair hiring practices are in place.
- Ensure pay equity company-wide. There is no such thing as a positive company culture that doesn’t include equal and fair pay, period.
- Develop company statement on racial injustice and equality, and follow-through with it. It’s more than releasing a statement on significant days or events, it’s about incorporating these beliefs in the everyday. Examples of this would be regular donations, volunteerism, and most importantly cultivating inclusion in the company.
We’ll see you next week with more examples of how employers can be an ally to their employees but we hope the tactics outlined here have been helpful in developing a game plan for getting started. And if you’re ready to learn more on how an HR team can drive positive change in your company’s culture, give us call. Eos HR makes sure small business teams are successful in maintaining the practices that support an inclusive company culture. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more.
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