“Top talent defines your organization.  How confident are you that you can spot and nurture the game changers?”   This question came from a great conversation I had recently with Laura Butler, Chief Diversity Officer at Pacific Gas and Electric about bias in the workplace.

This question indicates that we all have a bias that impacts our decision making, yet we rarely realize it because it lives in our blind spot.  We act without realizing that what we’re doing is potentially being influenced by past experience, or another person’s comments and opinions.

One benefit of a cohesive talent suite is the ability to see beyond the current state of each member of the workforce.  Are there factors influencing a manager’s performance or potential rating even though they shouldn’t?  Are employees in an underrepresented group overlooked for promotion by a manager, or denied by an approver?  Are words and phrases being consistently used by a manager in performance evaluations differently for one demographic than another?

To effectively stop bias before it happens, technology must recognize the potential for it based on behavior, context and rules, and surface it in a way that causes the user to stop and reevaluate their actions.  This is how technology can begin to prevent bias before it occurs without overlooking the necessary, critical human element.  Making these correlations and surfacing them can provide you with the opportunity to educate and train your workforce, adding an additional layer of prevention.  Add in the power of machine learning and intelligent services and the possibilities open to elevate these actions to smart suggestions for social networking groups in Jam, or learning content.

Decisions are made every day throughout the talent management lifecycle of who we attract, hire, promote, and how we manage, develop and reward them.  Bias is personal.  Seemingly small things matter to the person they impact and biased decision making ultimately harms the organization and its ability to be successful. That diamond in the rough could be sitting in your blind spot.  How confident are you that everyone in your organization could see them?


Each of us has experienced or witnessed bias in action.  We all have a story to tell.  Join me at SuccessConnect to hear my defining moment and to learn more about how SAP SuccessFactors can help your organization uncover the blind spots in your organization. #businessbeyondbias

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