Unconscious & Implicit Bias Training To Improve Engagement & Retention

How to Recognize & Eliminate Implicit Bias

Own Your Greatness author, LinkedIn Top Voice, and NYC top executive coaches Drs. Lisa and Richard Orbe-Austin show staff, students, senior leaders, and organizations how to understand and overcome unconscious bias that is negatively affecting team cohesion and the ability to recruit and retain diverse hires.

Ready to build a diverse, equitable, and inclusive company culture?

Is a Lack of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Affecting Team Performance and Employee Satisfaction?

Your company is dedicated to fostering greater diversity at all levels of the organization. Maybe you’ve consulted with experts, surveyed your staff, formed focus groups, and put new initiatives in place. Unconscious bias training and implicit bias training will positively impact your hiring, training, and overall company culture.

All organizations struggle with issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). You’ve made efforts to reduce bias in your recruitment, hiring, and training practices, but your work isn’t done yet. And recognizing that truth has allowed your company to take important steps toward addressing unconscious bias in the workplace. As the world becomes more diverse, it is perfectly normal for companies of all sizes – from small start-ups to Fortune 100s – to seek expert support.

Whether they’re a new hire or a senior leader, you want every one of your employees to feel like they belong and are supported. You know that your organization benefits when your team members are confident and satisfied. And you have seen study after study showing that diverse teams outperform homogeneous teams. But how can you address implicit bias in the workplace when it operates at a subconscious level and seems to affect every aspect of your business?

You’ve already taken the first step by showing you are committed to finding a solution.

What’s Unconscious Bias?

Unconscious bias is a level of favoritism shown for or against a particular group that puts people at a disadvantage in the workplace. Because there is nothing intentional about implicit bias, this makes it both easier to dismiss and harder to address. And many companies write it off as unavoidable or even non-existent. But as you have learned, failing to find solutions can have very real consequences for individuals, groups, and organizations.

What Problems Does Unconscious Bias Create in the Workplace?

  • It creates a pattern of unfairness where certain individuals aren’t promoted or given opportunities, or they’ve received worse performance reviews than other groups.
  • It results in high turnover of specific groups, making it harder to retain diverse talent and build a more diverse leadership team.
  • It hurts performance and productivity as you repeat the cycle of recruiting and onboarding new staff.
  • It impacts brand reputation and the quality of potential hires as qualified candidates question whether this is a place they want to work.
  • It affects how your brand engages with customers and can reduce your ability to secure and retain business.
  • It reduces employee satisfaction and engagement as they question whether they belong or are supported enough to be successful with the company.

If people aren’t aware of their unconscious biases, they’re more likely to commit microaggressions that can damage relationships both internally and externally.

What Happens When Your Organization Provides Unconscious Bias Awareness Training?

Being aware of biases in the workplace – and taking steps to address DE&I issues – can reduce this source of conflict and create greater psychological safety in the workplace. Unconscious bias training exercises provide individuals insight into a greater workplace awareness. By addressing unconscious bias through, workshops, activities, materials, and other initiatives, your organization can…

  • Enhance team cohesion and productivity by ensuring that all employees feel a sense of belonging and psychological safety.
  • Improve retention of diverse talent and better support their career growth and advancement.
  • Foster a more positive brand reputation for the company by reducing microaggressions and creating a greater sense of community and collaboration among team members.
  • Improve the quality of life at work for many employees by creating a space where they don’t have to worry about unconscious bias.
  • Establish a sense of optimism that allows team members to take risks and pursue opportunities, knowing they are equally accessible to them as other colleagues.

Employees want to be able to feel a strong sense of affiliation to their organizations, and when it is more diverse and inclusive – enabling many voices to be heard – it helps them to stay connected to the organization. This sense of belonging increases employee satisfaction and the willingness to refer others to the company. They feel seen, valued, and heard, which are powerful motivators for the employee experience.

Finding the Right Training to Reduce Unconscious Bias in the Workplace

The fact that you’re searching for effective ways to eliminate implicit bias in your hiring, training, and day-to-day operations puts you one step ahead of most organizations. But as you may have learned already, enacting meaningful and lasting change within your organization requires the right approach.

You might have tried bringing in other speakers or conducting DE&I training with your leadership team, but the resulting improvements either didn’t last or didn’t go far enough. Or maybe you conducted company-wide forums to hear from your staff, but the feedback you received wasn’t as positive as you were expecting. The approaches you’ve tried are a strong first step, but effectively addressing workplace biases and achieving the diversity, equity, and inclusion you strive for requires building long-term, sustainable processes.

Making things more difficult, decision makers in your organization might believe that acknowledging the presence of implicit bias at your organization will harm public perception of your brand. However, pretending bias doesn’t exist doesn’t eliminate it from your hiring, training, or development practices. By tackling unconscious bias head-on, you’re showing your team members – and any potential customers or business partners – that you are willing to take meaningful action to reduce inequality and improve your staff’s well-being and opportunities.

As professional speakers, consultants, and executive coaches who have helped dozens of organizations understand and address favoritism in the workplace – and as people of color who have experienced unconscious bias firsthand in our own careers – we are uniquely qualified to speak to the issue. We know that overcoming unfair practices (especially subconscious ones), requires not only awareness, but the concrete, actionable steps you can take to act on that awareness.

Meet Drs. Lisa and Richard Orbé-Austin

Meet Drs. Lisa and Richard Orbé-Austin

Pulling from their extensive personal and professional experience, Drs. Richard and Lisa Orbé-Austin have a long history of helping companies recognize and overcome unconscious bias in the workplace. They have been facilitating unconscious bias workshops, courses, conferences, and exercises for the last 15 years. In that time, they’ve helped a variety of corporate, academic, and non-profit organizations – from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies – realize the change they were seeking through interactive and sustainable methods.

The P.E.O.P.L.E. Career Solution for Organizations

Their research-based PEOPLE approach to cultural competence doesn’t just reveal the ways bias is impacting your staff and customers, it actively teaches your team the sustained action planning & goal setting they need to reduce implicit favoritism and foster a more open, diverse, and welcoming organizational culture.

How can the PEOPLE approach work for your organization?

It starts by helping your team understand their own Power to affect change and the Effort required to enact that change. Your staff will then learn practical methods to maintain the Optimism and Persistence needed to address subconscious favoritism in the workplace. The change won’t happen overnight, and maintaining momentum means fostering a growth mindset that welcomes the opportunity to gain greater awareness and to embrace Learning new behaviors. Finally, Drs. Richard and Lisa will help your team improve their Engagement with each other and with your organization’s DE&I goals, by practicing new skills they can use to reduce microaggressions, address cultural competence, and eliminate implicit bias.

We knew we needed help to develop a comprehensive. DEI approach and in Dr. Orbé-Austin, we found someone with the knowledge and skills who could help us embrace the principles of DEI and arrive at a place where we are a stronger organization through a commitment to DEI.

- James Snow, Chief Operating and Financial Officer, Prospect Park Alliance
It is always a pleasure for me to work with Dr. Orbé-Austin! She gave one of the most popular keynote addresses at the 2021 Harvard Medical School Coaching /conference, sponsored by the Institute of Coaching, which is one of the world’s largest coaching conferences.
- Jeffrey W. Hull, Ph.D., Director of Global Development, Institute of Coaching, Clnical Instructor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School of Social Work

They are an incomparable asset to any program, organization, or individual that is looking to find meaning and purpose in their lives.

- Sasha Massey, Associate Director, Social Impact Leadership Programs, New York University

Invite Lisa & Richard to speak at your organization and give your team the help they need to…

  • Recognize the signs and impacts of unconscious bias, identify processes that sustain bias or allow microaggressions to persist, and change behaviors that are counter to the goal of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment.
  • Create opportunities to build greater confidence and community at work that allows every team member to feel truly seen, heard, and valued for their contributions.

Check Out Drs. Lisa and Richard’s Other Speaking Engagements & Workshops

Reducing Microaggressions in the Workplace | Deepening Cultural Competence & Sensitivity | Imposter Syndrome and DE&I | Leading Through a Prolonged Crisis | Leading Through Change | How to Engage in Difficult Conversations about Race

About Lisa

I have seen first hand how unconscious bias in the workplace can keep people and organizations from reaching their goals. And as a woman of color, I’ve experienced the double impact imposter syndrome has on people from marginalized communities.

I struggled with imposter syndrome throughout my grad school and early career. But I didn’t realize how severely imposter syndrome was affecting me, or what role implicit bias played in reinforcing my self-doubts, until I had the worst experience of my career.

Thankfully, I was able to turn my experience around (a story I share in my TEDTalk). But I realize that many people feel stuck in unhealthy work environments where they don’t feel seen or heard. They don’t understand what’s holding them back or why they aren’t getting the credit they deserve.

I’ve seen how self-doubt builds – especially in underrepresented groups that get negative reinforcement in and out of the workplace. I know what it feels like to think you don’t have any choices, and I have dedicated my career to helping others overcome these sorts of personal and professional challenges.

About Rich

I have spent my career as a psychologist and coach helping students, professionals, senior leaders, and organizations of all sizes gain greater awareness and understanding of implicit biases in the workplace. As a hiring manager who has led numerous search committees, I have seen how bias – intentional or otherwise – show up at every stage of the hiring process to reinforce self-doubt, especially in marginalized groups that have experienced external discrimination and bias.

During my time as the Chief Diversity Officer at the City University of New York, I saw how bias operates at an institutional level. I have witnessed firsthand how that bias can reduce career opportunities and satisfaction of marginalized groups, often despite an organization’s efforts to champion diversity.

As the Founding Director of the Graduate Student Career Development Center at NYU, I helped graduate students embrace their skills and strengths in the face of implicit bias and go on to land roles and build confidence in their chosen fields.

I understand what it takes to foster a supportive environment with confident, motivated, diverse team members, whether they were new hires or senior leaders.

As I’ve always told my clients, “When you work as hard for yourself as you do for others, you’re going to be unstoppable.”

Learn More About Drs. Lisa & Richard Orbé-Austin

Join These Companies Who Have Worked With Lisa & Rich

Harvard Medical School
New York University
Harvard Graduate School of Education
4 A's Foundation
Yale University
Hispanic National Bar Association
University of California Riverside
Army Research Lab
Safe Horizon
Baruch College
College of the Holy Cross
Mayors Innovation Project
LEDA Career Network
Boston University
National Domestic Worker's Alliance
Prospect Park Alliance
Psychiatric Association of Naturopathic Physicians
University of Kentucky College of Medicine

Book Your Speaking Engagement or Workshop

Are you ready to build a diverse, equitable, and inclusive company culture that has the awareness and tools to recognize and eliminate unconscious bias in the workplace?

Lisa or Richard will schedule an exploratory call to discuss your specific needs and lay out customized goals. After the call, you’ll receive a proposal with the approach we recommend to best benefit your organization and staff. Schedule here!

Drs. Richard and Lisa Orbé-Austin offer a highly customized program. While you can start with an introduction to implicit bias, their workshops generally include a series of trainings to help people understand unconscious bias, recognize the different ways it can show up in your business operations, and address the unique challenges your organization is experiencing through concrete steps and long-term plans that can be sustained over time. Click here to discuss your speaking engagement needs.

Watch as Drs. Richard and Lisa Orbé-Austin show your talented team how to recognize and overcome unconscious bias. They’ll help your team understand how bias impacts individuals and what steps they can take to reduce bias in their day-to-day operations. And you’ll get the credit for giving your team new resources, training exercises, and awareness to help them eliminate harmful implicit bias – both in and out of the workplace, and to transform your company culture.

Featured In
Dynamic Transitions LLP on Business Insider
Refinery 29
New York Times
Dynamic Transitions in Huffpost

Find More Ways to Overcome Unconscious Bias

Bias in Performance Reviews and How to Avoid It  |  How to Reduce Bias in Algorithm-Driven Recruitment & Retention