I’d like to paint a picture for you: It’s Monday, you had two days to rest and get ready for the week ahead. Chances are that you’re part of the 42% of American employees that work from home full-time since the COVID-19 pandemic. You begin to get ready for another day’s work and there it is; that uneasy feeling you get every day. That feeling had gone away for a while: your company gave you the flexibility to work from home so now you spend more time with your family, you don’t spend nearly as much on going out to eat or commuting, and because of that, you’re absent and stressed much less than you were before. Regardless of the perks, that same uneasiness you got when interacting with co-workers, the feeling of fighting for your job or being scared to speak up about being passed over for yet another promotion is back. Videoconferences made it easier, but your comment got ignored again. A few coworkers spoke over you. Your contribution was made dismissive. A snide remark was made about your department’s work as of late. Do you bring it up to your manager? Like most days, you’ll let it slide.
This is what happens when bias in the workplace isn’t properly addressed. As job hunting hopefuls, we set our sights on joining a company that has what seems to be a diverse and inclusive workplace. Once a part of the company, things are great for a while. The learning curve is manageable, maybe a couple of mistakes here and there, and people willing to help and advise you on how to improve. After a while of settling in, you begin to see that despite your company’s intentions of maintaining a healthy work environment, there are still certain situations that go on unaddressed; Situations that happen both from management to employees and between employees themselves.
The problem I have noticed in many of the companies I have worked at is that while there are good intentions and some strong support systems in place to address some of these issues, there really isn’t a good way for companies to effectively measure bias or incidents of lack of inclusion. And what we can’t measure, we can rarely effectively fix. A lot of the situations end up being hearsay, and those with influence and clout in the organizations tend to get away with poor people skills for an incredibly long time, wreaking havoc in an organization along the way. Add to that if the perpetrators end up being C-suite executives, their behaviors are pushed under the rug even more due to their business contributions being more valuable to the company. In addition, they rarely attend training offered by companies to overcome bias, citing scheduling conflicts, which makes it even more difficult to get them the support or incentive they need to fix some of their behaviors. Without data, there is no real way to understand the systemic issues that are failing people, and without real-time coaching, true behavioral corrections become nearly impossible. With the recent turn of current events, it’s become imperative that companies invest in D&I software that will identify and reduce the amount of bias in the workplace. This software should include well-rounded solutions that are applicable to everyone in the workforce at all levels of management.
That’s why I’d like to introduce Upclusion, Inc.
At Upclusion, we are driven by the mission to bring data to technical solutions that are developed to intercept bias real-time during people interactions. In addition to intercepting bias real-time in a discrete manner and engaging with people to coach them as they go, our patented technology also strives to make this data available to employees themselves and the HR teams of the company so they can view their metrics, scores, and other key details and plan people development opportunities accordingly. Through our state of the art coaching platform that is also offered along with it, we have coaches for every type of training easily bookable directly from our platform, available in every time zone in the world. The AI-driven tool that you engage with regularly is interactive and enjoyable, making personal development fun and no longer just a mandatory exercise.
While I cannot disclose much more just yet, I hope to share with you a demo of our product soon, and introduce you to some key members of our team (a small and mighty team currently) that have been behind some of the greatest work on this.
Biased behaviors take place every day. Every one of us has biases, and those who deny they do are just not as self-aware as they should be. We need to accept that we are human and prone to our prejudiced opinions about things and take the shame out of wanting to change and improve. We can do this, with technology, and data, making it a seamless experience that may actually be fun.