Approaching unconscious bias in an organization requires honesty, empathy, and individual ownership to achieve measurable results. Human emotions are more important than ever. Emotions govern the unconscious, which in turn massively impacts everything we think and do.
The unconscious mind is what drives creativity, pattern recognition, innovation, and the majority of our decision-making. Our unconscious is also where most of our biases live.
We can’t avoid unconscious bias. Biases are partially based on life experiences and thus a natural part of each and every one of us. Some biases simplify our life, while others prevent us from moving forward. We must learn to own our biases and learn when to apply them in the right situations.
If we are able to awaken ourselves to the biases that keep us from moving forward, who would we be? What would we do? How would our organizations change?
An employee’s bias management skills and overall productivity are inextricably linked with mental health. In the U.S., one in five adults lives with mental illness and less than half receive treatment. Excessive workplace stress results in nearly $190 billion in health care costs each year. The cost to the global economy from untreated depression and anxiety alone is $1 trillion per year in lost productivity. Fortunately, treatment for the most common mental health conditions is effective 85% of the time. Indeed, an investment of $1 per employee for mental health leads to a $4 return in better health and work performance.
If the economic argument isn’t enough, consider this: the World Health Organization, in its latest International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), identifies workplace burnout as an official syndrome. Given our expansive network of experts and unique personal and professional backgrounds, we can also help organizations navigate the full spectrum of issues surrounding mental health and workplace well-being, from stigma reduction to education & awareness-raising to solution development and deployment.