HR Observations February 3, 2022Feb 03, 2023
A trauma-informed approach to critical thinking can help you discover thinking biases and help you make better decisions. In this week's podcast, I discuss the role of trauma on the critical thinking process and reveal two questions to ask to check your thinking processes for potential bias and harm. Listen here.
If AI or algorithms are being engaged to help make decisions, it's even more important that the biases be checked since they tend to create a multiplier effect. One employee with toxic biases can traumatize their direct circle of coworkers and clients. If an algorithm or AI contains a harm-causing bias, the impact can be incalculable.
Too many talent management systems have baked-in biases, favoring the "freshness" of formally-taught technical skills. As a result, too many talented older employees are not being hired or not being promoted, which is robbing organizations of a major source of talent.
Talent plans go well beyond staffing for the next quarter. Talent plans impact the kind of organizations we are building over the long term. It also impacts the world we are creating. Why are companies laying off swaths of people who can be reskilled when there is cash on the balance sheet? Sure, you can let them reskill themselves and hire them or some version of them back but the loss you've created in doing so is real.
It's hard to build loyalty, commitment, engagement and working relationships that are more than transactional. Why are companies giving that up so easily when it's not a financial necessity? If shareholders are so fickle and demanding, why are they driving the bus?
Job security creates emotional safety. Without emotional safety, people simply do not do their best work. Without jobs, people don't have the money to buy stuff. When money becomes the only motivator, costs of employment go up.
Technology is not the enemy here. If AI can take away tedious work and free up people for higher paying, collaborative, more creative endeavors, that's a beautiful thing. It can be like the washing machine's initial impact during 2IR in creating physically safer households and more leisure time. If it's used to replace workers for short-term cost savings, however, it won't have the long-term desired effect. The timing of the current mass layoffs with the democratization of 4IR sends a powerful message, whether intentional or not.
Reskilling and staff redeployment is an important part of the process as we evolve as organizations. When the talent gap is very real and good workers are hard to find, why is reskilling not the automatic response?
Let's stop seeing people as disposable and make work better for everyone.
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Over 70% of people have experienced trauma and after COVID, we are seeing even more evidence of trauma at work. Learn how a trauma-informed HR practice can help your organization:
Reduce absenteeism and presenteeism
Help employees bring their best thinking brains to work
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