No ‘quick fix’ for companies addressing racial injustice

From press releases and social media posts with messages of inclusion, to apologies and monetary commitments, organizations have had various responses to the nationwide protests over police brutality and racial injustice.

But it’s still unclear at many companies the specifics of what they plan to do, whether those plans will be implemented over a long-term basis and if they will be continuously examined to determine progress. Many employees remain skeptical that initial statements will translate into lasting change.

Perry Sholes, president of Progressive HR Strategies, said he has noticed an uptick in companies seeking advice on addressing diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Firms are trying to figure out how to have discussions appropriately, how to talk to their employees and what initiatives they need to have in place, he said.

Sholes advises them to view it as “a journey…if you are really going to do the real work, it’s a long-term effort. There is no quick fix.”

“I advise them to have an inward look at their company and see what things are taking place inside that organization that might be either policies that contradict what they intended them to do, or even practices,” said Sholes, who also serves as president of the New Orleans chapter of the Society of Human Resource Management. “A lot of times, companies don’t have a policy, but they have a practice in place that has some ill intentions.”

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