HR & Race Relations
Updated: Aug 17
2020 will go down as the 3, 2, 1, countdown for the social injustice bomb. On March 13, Breonna Taylor, an unarmed emergency medical technician lost her life when she was shot to death in her bed by the Louisville Metro Police Department. Even though Armaud Arbery was murdered by vigilantes on February 23, his death did not gain national attention until a local radio station posted the video of his shooting on their website on May 5th. Twenty days later and George Floyd lost his life at the hands of Minneapolis police officers on May 25th. Boom! The social injustice bomb has exploded, and race relations has become a worldwide movement.
Organizations can no longer move within this sensitive climate the same as before. For years, implicit bias training has been the go-to move in the aftermath of civil unrest. Town hall meetings led to courageous conversations to bring differences to the table, but this time, implicit bias training alone will not suffice.
The Real Purpose Behind Race Relations
Implicit bias training must be accompanied by the genius of purpose to reflect the social conscious in the world and sustain change beyond protesting. In the book Racism At Work, professor Binna Kandola, one of the UK’s top ten psychologist stated,
Establishing meaningful contact with other groups is the most effective way of reducing prejudice.... Contact which is pleasant but has no real purpose does nothing to reduce discrimination against minority groups.
What is the real purpose behind improving race relations is the question for the new decade? Improving race relations can no longer be a reaction to social injustices. It must become a revolution to restore the integrity of meaning making for meaningful contact between races.
Diversity training started as a reaction to the Civil Rights movement and for over fifty years, organizations have been reacting without reforming the heart of employees to make meaningful contact. As a result, the risk remains high for cultures where unconscious biases are propagated as liabilities in attitudes and behaviors.
Outside the need to earn a living, meaningful contact between races probably would not exist. The real purpose behind race relations is to use the genius of purpose to explore the collective power of human potential. We must realize that purpose is more sophisticated than what we do with our gifts and talents. Yes, purpose is the reason why something exists. However, what good is it to know why we exist and at the same time ignore that the integrity of meaning making needs to be repaired before we explore the collective power of human potential?
Revolution of Meaning
When the integrity of meaning making is compromised, the risk remains high for employees to become a product of their environment, which brings us back to square one in race relations. Organizations must realize that employees live in a culture where the integrity of meaning making is exploited on a regular basis. As a result, the framework for creating unconscious biases remains intact. Even though employees tolerate unconscious bias training, they come short in making meaningful contact with people in which unconscious biases are directed.
In the new era of race relations, the framework for creating unconscious biases must be torn down as the integrity for meaning making is rebuilt within the soul. When the revolution of meaning making occupies the soul, employees will simultaneously restore the revolution of values noted by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his last book titled, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community.
In the new era of race relations, HR Professional must ask how can employees learn to live and work as brothers? If we approach race relations like we have done in the last fifty years, the risk will remain high for poor race relations in the workplace. On the contrary, if we embrace the reality that purpose is the genius for exploring the collective power of human potential, we will transform the workplace culture into a community where everyone is committed to live and work as brothers.
Unconscious Bias Training Deficiencies
Human resource professionals must embrace the reality that unconscious bias training comes short in helping employees:
Identify weak spots in creating meaningful contact in race relations
Deconstruct biases that undermine meaningful contact
Scale their growth potential to engage in meaningful contact
Use meaningful contact to galvanize attitudes and behaviors for building cultures that feed the Appetite for Purpose™
Excellence in race relations must become the primary focus for every organization, but it cannot be achieved without realizing that human resource management must include Purpose Management™. Organizations must use the formal systems for managing people to raise the Diversity Purpose IQ™ for employees.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated,
There is no deficit in human resources, the deficit is in human will.
Repairing the integrity of meaning making repairs the deficit in human will. Conducting implicit bias training without addressing the deficit in human will only leads to a check the box exercise without helping employees check their heart for improving race relations.
Moving forward, realize that the future of race relations within your organization is dependent on how well the diversity and inclusion mission is aligned to the social conscious for race relations. Diversity and inclusion can no longer remain a policy on a piece of paper. Both must be transformed into a Diversity Purpose™ to help employees make meaningful contact.
Set a new standard in race relations by Clicking Here to schedule a Discovery Call to help employees repair the integrity of meaning making.