This just in from the Level Playing Field Institute: a new study, sponsored by Korn/Ferry, that finds that corporate unfairness, in the form of "every-day inappropriate behaviors such as stereotyping, public humiliation and promoting based upon personal characteristics" costs U.S. employers $64 billion annually.
This sum, based on survey responses from 1,700 professionals and managers, is an estimate of "the cost of losing and replacing professionals and managers who leave their employers solely due to workplace unfairness. By adding in those for whom unfairness was a major contributor to their decision to leave, the figure is substantially greater."
Examples of the type of behavior they're talking about:
- the Arab telecommunications professional who, upon returning from visiting family in Iraq, is asked by a manager if he participated in any terrorism
- the African-American lawyer who is mistaken THREE TIMES for a different black lawyer by a partner at that firm
- the lesbian professional who is told that the organization offers pet insurance for rats, pigs, and snakes, but does not offer domestic partner benefits
What does this have to do with recruiting? Aside from the obvious (turnover-->need to backfill), check this out:
One of the top four behaviors most likely to prompt someone to quit: being asked to attend extra recruiting or community related events because of one's race, gender, religion or sexual orientation.
Not only that, but 27% of respondents who experience unfairness at work in the last year said this experience "strongly discouraged them" from recommending their employer to other potential applicants.
What can employers do to prevent this? Aside from the tried and true methods (good and regular training for all supervisors, prompt and thorough investigations), the report offers other suggestions, which vary depending on the group (e.g., more/better benefits for gay and lesbian respondents, better managers for people of color).
Definitely some things to ponder.