Home Entrepreneur 4 surprising positives that affected the chaotic 2020 workplace culture

4 surprising positives that affected the chaotic 2020 workplace culture


April 21, 2021

6 minutes of reading

Comments expressed by Businessmen the contributors are their own.


As the global pandemic raged, the political divisions of the United States increased, and the racial disparity became so annoyingly clear that the workplace was not immune. Factors of external stress that have caused major disruption to the workplace, especially Covid-19, have brought the field of knowledge to work from home and influenced essential workers. with new safety procedures. Surprisingly, the chaos of 2020 may also have made some positive changes to it .

These are the top findings published in my company Emtrain Year 2021 Report detailed workplace culture information about respectWhich analyzed 23 million workplace culture attitudes data collected from 370,000 employees at more than 400 companies, comparing insights from 2019 with data collected in 2020/21. What we found shows that some bright spots shine through a very dark, volatile year, areas where tough times seem to have provided more learning, compassion, and proactivity. employees in American companies.

We were more aware of unconscious bias than we were two years ago

When comparing data from 2019 to today, we find that the number of employees who understand their organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals increased by 7% and the cornerstone of their organization. reducing unconscious biases in the workplace.

In fact, four out of five strong employees in 2020/21 say they make assumptions about everyone based on how they look. While this finding alone may sound daunting, it does present – on the positive side – a strong acknowledgment of a flaw in human behavior. Judging people by their looks – and based on stereotypes based on race, age, and gender – can clearly lead to unfair outcomes in hiring, opportunity allocation. and promotion.

As one employee said, “I’m probably usually the last of the unconscious bias. I am short, Asian and look younger than my real age so many new clients or colleagues may feel that I may not qualify for my job. I can almost always feel it even through conference calls. As more employees recognize and filter out their biases, organizations better activate the potential of their talent pool, thereby improving their ability to retain and invest in diverse forces. labor.

Related: How can we rise above unconscious gender bias?

We are seeing significantly more empathy among our colleagues

Compared to the measurements taken in 2019, on the 2020/21 data set, 15% more employees noticed an increase in empathy from their peers. Research shows that empathy – understanding co-workers’ feelings and being sensitive to their situations – makes people better managers and co-workers. It is an important social skill that helps develop communication, connection and loyalty, and personal enhancement , cohesion of the team and engagement of the employee with the goals of the organization.

As the events of 2020 and early 2021 have shown, discrimination and harassment against Black and Asian communities is on the rise, and the workplace is not immune. Empathy is a key factor in combating prejudice against Asians or understanding how life experiences shape views – and profound emotional responses – to the Black Lives Matter. We’ve heard from employees who understand why those deeper connections are important. “A friend of the Black team helped us understand why the death of George Floyd, so far away, had such a big impact on her. An angle that many of us do not have a frame of reference to understand. “And from one”[We can be] Encourage employees to educate themselves on social justice issues around the world and to really listen to their marginalized peers ”.

In order for organizations to get their employees back to work at full capacity and productivity, teams will need to address workplace challenges with empathy and self-awareness.

Related: 4 Signs Your work environment is hazardous

The number of people declared “bystanders” is increasing

By 2020, many employees will say they are committed to being the “standard people”. These are people who intervene when they see inappropriate behavior, rather than continuing to be passive bystanders. In fact, research shows that employees are more willing to intervene than before even if they don’t have a personal relationship with the person being targeted, an 18% improvement over 2019.

This shows that more and more employees are realizing their role in preventing bias, discrimination and harassment. Many individuals are contemplating what they would do if they saw a situation – a speculation that could have been fueled by viral videos in 2020 (Chris Cooper’s racist whistleblower in the Park Center, white truck hunting Ahmaud Arbery, cop is kneeling over Floyd’s George Neck.)

Related: 3 steps to building the workplace culture you want

We have raised our expectations in our leadership role

These behavioral trends at the employee level are also impacting office culture as a whole. Have greater expectations for companies and leaders, to foster an environment of respect. This is evident in the company rankings on the Emtrain Workplace Culture Benchmarks ™ for RespectThere is now a higher barrier to companies being ranked as “healthy” in two areas:

  • Organizations need to increase social talent, awareness and adaptive skills to the needs of others. Emotional intelligence and other “soft skills” have traditionally been underestimated by organizations, but now they become extremely important as organizations adapt to social change and evolve. diversity in their workforce. Be able to understand and relate to others, adjust to their needs, improve collaboration and productivity, and provide a better platform for serving a wide range of customers. Social giftedness is a new metric for the workplace and we found these scores to be some of the lowest on our benchmarks. But even in the past year, it has changed: Companies now need more than 40% of their employees to agree that their colleagues understand the impact of their words and actions to avoid the lowest quartile, while entering in 2019, they only need a score of 35%.

  • To rank in our top quarter above standards and practices, 53% of employees or more now have to agree that “If someone does something inappropriate at work, people will let them know.” This is a 13% increase from 2019. Timely response is a highly effective, low-cost mechanism to prevent disrespectful behavior. Companies can think of it as an immune system: The body protects itself all the time and initiates immediate responses when an infection occurs. For organizations, the immune system is a respectful environment in which all employees must function, keeping the organization healthy. When someone misbehaves – making an offensive comment or action – co-workers will respond immediately with feedback to make sure the person knows they’ve stepped out of the line and discourages them do the same again.

Related: The antidote to a toxic culture is a culture of trust – Here’s how to build a toxic culture

The chaos of 2020 has impacted the workplace in major ways, but employee behavior has changed to accommodate the new reality. Employees also expect their organization to adapt. Organizations can measure, score and benchmark their workplace culture to understand how well they have top risk metrics and where they can invest to create a healthy workplace. stronger and more respectful.

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