In times of crisis and stress, a healthy workplace culture can help prevent conflicts. Now is a good time to conduct a culture check-up and make sure you are addressing key hot buttons:
- Unconscious bias. As diversity and multiculturalism increase, unintended stereotypes often surface. The first step is to be aware of these biases. Then institute solutions such as role modeling, consistent employee evaluations, and equal division of support tasks.
- Social intelligence. Ensure your organizational leaders’ ability to recognize and negotiate the social dynamics of the workplace. This includes modeling empathy and understanding the impact their words and behaviors have on others.
- Pre-existing mindsets. People carry different perspectives with them and often see theirs as the correct one. It is important to encourage respectful behavior and the ability to seek and understand others’ viewpoints. Teach healthy conflict resolution skills.
- In- and out-groups. Understand that employees in the “it crowd” see themselves as more appreciated, respected, and listened to. Encourage workers to reach out to others who are different from them – in terms of position, education, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, etc. Schedule activities and events designed to encourage inclusion and teamwork.
- Power dynamics. Understand how managers use power to coerce, influence, or empower others. Encourage leaders to use this is a constructive, equitable, fair way. Imbalanced power dynamics can cost the organization in terms of turnover or even lawsuits.