Micro-agressions have Macro-impact
Updated: Jan 12
Can you guess what would make 6 out of 10 employees leave their jobs? The answer...emotional safety. And one of the greatest factors that erodes emotional safety is microaggressions
Ending Microaggressions begins Xpanding your Company Culture
Microaggressions are the proverbial death by 1,000 cuts and it is imperative that the “first cut” is addressed.
Microaggressions are defined as “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial, gender, sexual orientation, and religious slights and insults to the target person or group." In the workplace, microaggressions are often ignored or excused because there isn’t an explicit intent to degrade, exclude or to discriminate. Moreover, the ability to address a micoraggressor or a microaggression is not that simple - after all the comment was not ill-intended and was “just a joke.” But this is not a laughing matter.
Microaggressions are the proverbial death by 1,000 cuts and it is imperative that the “first cut” is addressed. Microaggressions affect productivity. A hostile work environment undermines employees’ safety. And, people who experience microaggressions are at risk of mental and physical health issues, including depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, alcohol-related problems. The burden of reporting the microaggressions falls to the victim. Responding to microaggressions takes courage as it requires challenging the behaviors of others.
To xpand an organization's culture, it is vital to create a safe, non-judgmental environment; it is important to criticize the microaggression rather than the microaggressor. Simply calling out microaggressions can serve not only as a deterrent, but an opportunity to invite open dialogue and foster higher quality connections. Accountability and empathy together can help create more thoughtful and inclusive communication across all the divides of race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
With event-based feedback, XC introduces subtle means to share sentiments from particular events and raise whether the event aligned with the company’s core values. Leveraging the data, XC can surface negative sentiment and the breach of core values allowing the company to proactively respond. Further, the victim of the microaggression, whether transparently or anonymously, can share direct feedback to criticize the microaggression. Through either direct employee feedback or analysis of the aggregate data reflected n the Culture Dashboard, XC helps the company advance a welcomed, safe culture.