Yes, You Must Talk to Your Employees About Current Events!
As protests are spreading throughout the country, many managers are considering how to speak to employees about current events. While politics is commonly a taboo topic in the workplace, the current events go beyond politics, and it is now a topic that leaders must address. In this article, we will provide you some insights into how leaders are speaking out against racism and provide you with insights into how you can address your employees during this time of unrest.
According to HR Technologist, racism, politics, and religion are the top three most loaded topics to discuss in the workplace. However, the coronavirus has put the world on edge and has made racial inequalities difficult to ignore. After the killing of George Floyd, people around the nation have taken to the streets to protest the racial inequalities that still persist in our country today. Many companies have shown their public support for the protests, and you may be considering whether you need to make an internal announcement to your employees.
While this is a heavy topic for an organization to address, it is an important opportunity to show empathy to your team. When you make an internal statement to employees, management and HR should be aligned to ensure that the statement reinforces the company’s already established policies against discrimination.
Leaders Speaking Out
The last week has had several CEOs of the biggest companies in the US make statements publicly in support of the protestors and are using this moment to reinforce their company values. From Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, to CEOs on Wall Street, many are using this opportunity to enforce their company values through internal statements to employees. Many consumer companies are showing their support externally, including Nike who released a new campaign urging consumers to “for once, don’t do it,” a play on the brand’s popular slogan, denouncing racism. These are just some examples of companies that are using their positions of power to highlight the racism that is still prevalent in today’s society.
While some leaders have been faced with criticism for how they have spoken about the situation, especially as the majority of CEOs are white males, many experts agree that starting a conversation about racism is much more powerful than remaining silent on these uncomfortable topics. This could also provide an opportunity to identify areas of improvement and create a plan of action for addressing these areas.
What Should You Do Now?
While the current events are difficult to address, especially as many companies are still working remotely, now is a great time to re-evaluate your company guidelines to make sure that they reflect the diversity of your employees. Ultimately, this is an opportunity for your leaders to show empathy to employees of color, and to re-evaluate how your company encourages diversity among employees.
If you are still unsure of how to address the current situation in your company, 425 HR is here to help.