Employers Network report on ‘Unconscious bias’

A study by the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (enei) suggests that the politically correct climate inside well-intentioned companies may actually be damaging their business.

Sponsored by BT, the research on unconscious bias and staff / manager relationships showed that managers were often anxious about having conversations with employees that involved talking about their differences. Staff members were also anxious about saying the wrong thing to their colleagues and causing offence. This lack of openness leads to misunderstandings and anxiety which, in turn, is shown to have a damaging effect on working relationships which are so critical to business success.

One of the key findings is that this anxiety, or the concern about causing offence leads to ‘social distancing’ behaviours between managers and staff members. This is seen to have a negative impact on businesses as employees, and the individuals they report to, often fail to capitalise on more informal relationships within the workplace.

The report was published in September 2012.

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