Top tips to manage bias in your compliance programme
What can you do to help manage bias in your compliance programme, speak-up Helpline, and investigative process?
- Listen – Pay attention to what others have to say. Be open-minded and refrain from interrupting.
- Develop “Cultural Competency” – This is the ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures and backgrounds. Pay attention to the reaction you have when you meet someone new.
- Educate yourself – Read up on the topic of implicit and explicit bias.
- Point out bias when you observe it—both in the investigation and disciplinary process.
- Practice “Workplace Sensitivity” – This involves being aware of and respecting other’s differences and comfort levels. Every individual has their own sensitivity to comments and behaviours. While one person might not be bothered by a comment, someone else may find that same comment highly offensive. It’s important to be mindful of the comfort levels of others. This is especially important to keep in mind as you are conducting interviews to gather the facts of the report.
- Be open to changing your mind – Just because you have held a certain opinion for years doesn’t mean it can’t change based upon new information. View it from an updated lens – just like a new pair of glasses.
On the Oprah Winfrey Show finale, Oprah was asked why her show was so successful, and she said something that really resonated with me, and I think it goes to the heart of why diversity and inclusion is important to company speak-up Helplines. “At the end of the day, everyone wants to know: ‘Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say mean anything to you?’” By being open about the need to identify and manage unconscious bias in your programme, you create more equity and belonging. This, in turn, increases awareness of your policies and trust in your programme.