Nov 23, 2020

Gartner: Call to mitigate bias in workplace

Janet Brice
3 min
Three-step action plan on how underrepresented talent can be advanced in the future, according to a report from Gartner...

Despite Kamala Harris being selected as president-elect Joe Biden’s running mate, only 10% of senior level corporate positions in the US are held by a woman from a racial or ethnic minority, according to statistics from Gartner TalentNeuron™.

The data was revealed in a report from Gartner which takes an in-depth look at how underrepresented talent can be advanced in the future. 

“There is no two-hour training remedy for this challenge. Organisations need to assess their current systems and processes to mitigate bias and address organisational factors that prohibit equal opportunity for advancement,” says Lauren Romansky, Managing Vice President, Gartner.

“Nearly every company today would state that diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is a business priority, even during the COVID-19 pandemic,” comment Gartner who revealed a survey of DEI heads showed 69% are prioritising the advancement of underrepresented talent.

However, another recent Gartner survey of 113 HR leaders showed 88% feel their organisation has not been effective at increasing diverse representation.

In the report, 3 Actions to More Effectively Advance Underrepresented Talent, Gartner identify the following organisational barriers:

  • Unclear career paths and steps to advancement
  • Too little exposure to senior leaders
  • Lack of mentors or career support 

Gartner identified three actions HR can take to reset how underrepresented talent is advanced.

1. Fix the manager-employee relationship

To make progress on increasing diversity representation, organisations need to build healthy manager-employee relationships that set the right foundation for advocacy and advancement, suggest Gartner.

To fix the manager-employee relationship the report suggests the following three points:

  • Teach managers how to build personalised support for direct reports while enabling them to be effective talent coaches
  • Build manager awareness of the employee experience of underrepresented talent
  • Broker trust between underrepresented talent and their managers

“The most successful organisations go beyond traditional leadership development programmes that focus solely on skill building to advance women, LGBT+, or racially and ethnically diverse employees. 

“Instead, they also target managers of program participants to spread awareness of the employee experience of their direct reports, build trust and enable greater manager advocacy,” says Gartner.

2. Enable growth-focused networks

When underrepresented talent has diverse networks, the organisation wins. Gartner reveals that in organisations that create networking programmes for underrepresented talent, HR leaders are twice as likely to report they are effective at improving organisational inclusion and 1.3 times more likely to report they are effective at increasing diverse employee engagement.

Key actions HR can take to enable growth-focused networks include:

  • Help employees understand how networking will enable better diversity and inclusion
  • Authorise underrepresented talent to actively network
  • Create accountability for networking across underrepresented talent

3. Redesign talent processes to mitigate bias

According to Gartner the following points will fully embed inclusion and provide fair consideration to underrepresented talent for advancement:

  • Challenge hiring managers on need-to-have versus nice-to-have requirements
  • Expand labour market opportunities to consider adjacent and non-traditional talent pools
  • Update definitions of potential for relevance as market conditions and business needs evolve
  • Explore job design to accommodate diverse talent
  • Rethink how performance is evaluated
  • Change internal hiring methods

“COVID-19 and the transition to remote work has created an opportunity for organisations to address their current DEI goals and the strategies and tactics in place to meet them,” says Ingrid Laman, Vice President, Advisory, Gartner.

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Jun 20, 2021

5 Ways Leaders Can Create a Healthy Workplace Culture

5 min
As the world embraces Men’s Health Week, five experts advise how leaders can create a healthy workplace culture for employees

This week (14th-20th June 2021) is Men’s Health Week. Physical and mental well-being have been important considerations for leaders over the past year, and it is essential this focus is maintained as we build back for the future. Here we have asked 5 experts for practical tips leaders can implement to create healthy workplace cultures.


Know the early signs of burnout 

Recently it was reported by the BBC that burnout for health and social care staff had reached emergency levels. 

Monkey Puzzle Training Co-Founder Karen Meager has studied the burnout recovery process in partnership with Coventry University: “The past year has seen people suffer from job-loss worries, work from home challenges, isolation, and feeling overworked. These are continuing, and all have the potential to contribute towards burnout. Healthcare workers, executives, leaders, managers and small business owners will continue to be the top people to suffer from extreme burnout.”

“At the onset of burnout, people commonly enter a phase of denial. So leaders need to be aware of those who are reluctant to take their time off, are compelled to work all hours, or have changes in their behaviour or mood, as these can all be indications of burnout taking hold. Encouraging them to take a burnout self-test provides a starting point to supporting these employees through recovery, as is role modelling healthy sustainable ways of working.Karen suggests.


Encourage professional self-reflection 

Creating an environment that encourages self-reflection is an effective tool for promoting personal development. Journaling may not be something you instantly think of for professional development; however, it is a successful technique for adults to aid mindfulness and productivity. “Journaling is a form of self-expression that can empower you to understand your feelings and ambitions and how to deal with them, therefore promoting positive well-being and a healthy workplace culture,” describes Elisa Nardi, founder of Notebook Mentor


Just 15-20 minutes of journaling a day over the course of four months are enough to lessen the impact of physical stressors on your health,” explains Elisa. “It can also inspire creativity, aid your memory, and help set actionable goals. It is an underused tool that can help employees manage tricky workplace situations such as conflict, illness or new leadership roles.


Manage your stress and resilience too

As a leader or manager, often, your complete focus is on the business or protecting your team, but you cannot pour from an empty cup. Leaders should also have strategies in place to manage their own stress, so they can sustain high levels of positive energy throughout the day. “Fueled by a burning desire for success, I ignored all the warning signs of exhaustion, which eventually took its toll on me - I literally collapsed from stress, and I didn’t even see it coming.” reflects Sascha Heinemann, an expert in Performance Recovery and Stress Resilience.


“When leaders manage their energy, create healthy daily habits, and practice resilience, they are able to perform to their fullest capacity and to provide the best possible support for others.” 


“Taking a break every 90 minutes or so helps you to refuel, recharge, and re-energize and ultimately allows you to get more accomplished, in less time, at a higher level of quality, and more sustainably. This role model contributes dramatically to a healthier, more engaged, sustainable, and productive workplace culture," he adds.


Instil a sense of purpose for your team

The idea that success equals working 12-15 hour days and giving everything of yourself to your workplace continues to prevail in many organisations. This is not healthy, nor is it productive for anyone involved. “The healthiest and happiest workplace cultures are the ones that are organised around purpose.” describes business and life coach Anand Kulkarni. 


“Leaders should be giving meaning to the work they are doing within their business and beyond and sharing this purpose with their staff, rather than focusing on long hours, crippling workloads or someone else’s idea of ‘success’. When people understand why they are doing what they do and how this contributes to something greater, productivity and well-being is increased.” adds Anand. 


Promote well-being from the top down

Leaders need to act as role models if well-being is to become embedded at the very core of the organisation. It’s very unlikely that employees will start acting in a new way that puts their own needs first if the leadership team continues to behave in an entirely different manner.


‘Many organisations have worked hard in recent months to put new policies in place that better support well-being, promote hybrid working and attempt to set clear boundaries, but many leaders seem to assume that they are exempt from it all, that’s when it all falls over’, explains leadership experts Martin Boroson and Carmel Moore, from The One Moment Company. 


A recent ONS report into Homeworking in the UK revealed that people are on average working 6 hours extra per week, and many are working until late in the evening, indicating that the boundaries between work and life are more blurred than ever. 


Despite all of these wonderful opportunities for people to self-organise, if the leadership team continues to work in the office Monday to Friday, or are communicating at all hours, then it’s a clear indicator that hybrid working is simply a ‘bolt-on’ tactic rather than an integral part of the company’s approach to promoting the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.’

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