The world as we knew it at the turn of the year is gone. The nation, in the midst of a pandemic, has now been plunged into a full scale conflict that brings matters of race and inequality to forefront of our minds.

What we are seeing is a unique moment in the history of the United States, and in fact, the world. And it is a moment that companies of all sizes and in all industries have to face and cope with just like its employees do. The fact is, following the death of George Floyd and other police brutality cases involving African Americans, the people who make up our organizations are going about their work with other things on their mind.

In the middle of a pandemic, when remote work is more common, people are seeing the lines between work and home blur. The result, is a situation that impacts the mental health of employees and can creates tension in the workplace.

For this reason, a number of companies have already attempted to get ahead of the curve and make public statements. From Netflix to Amazon, Walt Disney to Nike, some of the world’s leading brands have made statements that they support action for the black community and some have committed to new or increased diversity efforts within their own organizations….

Creating a Safe Space
Creating the space for conversations and venting to occur is vital. A number of social media posts have gone viral recently, as employees ask for a little consideration and patience from their colleagues given the stress of the day.

A study from the Academy of Management revealed that the way in which your organization responds to national diversity-related events that make mass media headlines either help employees feel psychologically safe or can contribute to feelings of threats toward their racial identity and cultivate a lack of trust in the organization as a whole.

Continue reading the original article at HR Exchange

Read the original research in Academy of Management Review

Read the Insights summary

Learn more about the AOM Scholars and explore their work:

Angelica Leigh

Shimul Melwani