Addressing Unconscious Bias in the Workplace

Every talent development team can tell you. Attracting quality candidates and attracting ethnically and gender diverse candidates not only strengthens an employer it results in creating an authentic and truly representative workforce.

At HealthEdge, our goal is to create a culture where employees feel comfortable and proud to bring their whole, authentic selves to work. However, we know that with a workforce spanning a range of social identities —gender, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, age, and more —not everyone experiences the same levels of comfort and openness.

HealthEdge has embarked on a focused journey to address building a global workforce where diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) are at the forefront.

As part of our Black History Month kick-off, we launched a new speaker series inviting HealthEdge team members, around the globe, to listen to an engaging presentation by Cindy Joseph, Founder and CEO of The Cee Suite, addressing unconscious bias.

As humans, we all carry biases; they help us navigate the world as we face millions of pieces of information at any given moment. Our brains create these biases like shortcuts to help us process our environment. By their nature biases are often subconscious and unintentional. The danger is that these biases are persuasive and encourage us to make assumptions without us even knowing that it’s happening. If left unchecked, our biases can cause errors in our decision-making that significantly impact those around us.

Many of us found ourselves last year asking, “what can I do to make a difference?” At HealthEdge, we offer a series of opportunities to learn and grow and to explore the dialogue of DE&I in a safe space.  We all agree that our work culture is where we can exert the greatest amount of impact.

And that is why we are strengthening our employee-driven, I Belong HealthEdge (IBelongHE) committee, with monthly presentations, welcoming all voices to the table. HealthEdge has taken every effort to ensure that we learn from our past and grow into our future. The initiatives that we are committed to extend beyond window dressing. As a company, we committed to the MassTLC Compact for Social Justice. Our work on rooting out racial inequity was spotlighted in the Boston Globe’s Top Place to Work.

As Ms. Joseph said, “you cannot recruit your way out of diversity challenges; it goes beyond representation.” This is why we are focusing not just on recruiting but also on community, training, and communication. We believe this multi-prong approach will help us create an organization where people of all backgrounds and social identities feel a sense of belonging and have the opportunities to do their best and succeed.

While there is no quick fix to this work, HealthEdge is committed to taking concrete steps to facilitate change and making strides to improve every day. Understanding and addressing biases will help us become more inclusive and dynamic as a community and create a better and more equitable work environment.

Do you have what it takes to be on our team? Are you as committed as we are to building a culturally-enhanced workforce.  Check out our career openings or follow us on LinkedIn to learn more.

Building a Winning Culture

I joined HealthEdge seven years ago when, like most startup organizations, we were primarily focused on our mission, products, and exciting our customer base. At that time, there was a lot of work in front of us to build out our products and execute our mission, leaving our culture unintentionally to come in second. We knew we wanted to become an employer of choice, and so in those early days, we set about building a foundation of clarity, trust, and consistency.

This strategy was a commitment to the long game and wasn’t always linear, but we took meaningful steps forward over the years where we could action change. Progress was slow until Steve Krupa joined the team as Chief Executive Officer. Under his leadership, we began reflecting on our culture and seeking feedback for improvement. We recognized the opportunity to make a positive shift in our company culture and began to see the correlation between customer value and employee satisfaction. This journey led us to start talking openly about the culture we wanted, acknowledging areas the needed focus, and regularly solicit feedback through employee engagement surveys.

Asking for feedback is the easy part; the hard part comes when you need to take action on the feedback. We chose to be open and honest about the data despite the fact we were not proud of those initial results. We spoke continuously about what we heard, what we interpreted and encouraged people to ask questions and help us develop solutions. We formed an employee council dedicated to providing a forum for a live employee voice, not just one that lived through the survey data.

Building a winning culture is not about quick wins. It’s not about ping pong tables or creating a cool looking office. It’s about a shared sense of purpose and building an organization that supports, encourages, and empowers excellence. It’s about building a community to which we can all belong and contribute. When everyone is positioned to feel connected to the company’s collective success, it’s a huge motivator.

This is a journey, not a destination. While we have been named a Top Place to Work and a Best and Brightest organization, the work is definitely not done. We are only here because our employees were willing to share feedback with us along the way and co-own this culture. We are thrilled with our shared success but know our journey continues, and as such, we will continue to ask for feedback, listen to our employees, and work together to continue to innovate on a great employee experience.