Treating discrimination at work

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A tired depressed employee holding his head down. PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

The global workforce has recently experienced a surge in employee claims of discrimination, unfair treatment, and constructive dismissal and the Kenyan job market is no exception. This is the case as organisations grapple with the economic challenges to remain efficient.

In all this, work environment is called upon to apply data-driven approaches to enhance fairness and compliance to human resource techniques.

With the rising challenge, many employees complain that they face a lot of discrimination as more workers become more aware of their rights and speak up when mistreated, or even constructively dismissed. Yet the workplace is a dynamic ecosystem where diversity should be celebrated.

The increasing number of discrimination claims suggests that some organisations may need to improve in fostering an inclusive and equitable environment.

This calls for the use of advanced analytics techniques such as cohort analysis, availability analysis, and impact ratio analysis. It can be a game-changer in many organisations in Kenya. These methods have been identified to have potential to address discrimination and empower HR to take informed and appropriate actions.

The other approach is aligning operations in challenging economic times like those around the world so that Kenyan employer organisations can evolve the economic landscape.

Challenging economic times necessitate strategic realignment for continued effectiveness and efficiency. This involves adapting to market changes and addressing internal issues such as workplace discrimination that hit morale, productivity, organisational reputation, and costs associated with legal suits.

And harnessing advanced analytics techniques can help many employer organisations in Kenya to advance and address the rising tide of discrimination claims that offer a data-driven perspective on their workforce dynamics.

Cohort analysis, availability analysis, and impact ratio analysis are tools known to provide powerful insights into employee treatment.

They can help organisations identify, rectify, and prevent instances of any discrimination.

Cohort analysis involves grouping employees based on shared characteristics, such as age, gender, or department, and analysing their experiences over time. And by scrutinising patterns within cohorts, organisations can identify trends related to discrimination or unfair treatment.

For example, if a particular cohort consistently reports higher turnover rates or lower promotions, it could signal potential issues that need further investigation.

Availability analysis focuses on evaluating the representation of diverse groups at different levels. It helps in understanding if there are disparities in the workforce's composition compared to the available talent pool. If certain groups are underrepresented in leadership positions or overrepresented in lower-level roles, organisations can take targeted actions to address these imbalances.

Impact ratio analysis assesses the impact of HR decisions on different employee groups and makes many organisations to identify areas where there may be disparities in treatment by comparing outcomes such as promotions, salary increases, or disciplinary actions across cohorts. This method aids in pinpointing specific processes or decision points that may contribute to discriminatory practices.

Therefore, implementing these advanced analytics techniques not only allows organisations to prioritise fairness and compliance, but also detect potential instances of discrimination while giving HR professionals actionable insights.

The three tools of analysis offer a comprehensive view of the workforce, showing how organisations can make informed decisions, correct disparities, and build a workplace for all.

Organisational leaders and HR people in particular need empowerment in navigating economic uncertainties and fostering a fair and inclusive workplace.

By leveraging advanced analytics techniques, they can turn challenges into opportunities for improvement. In doing so, Kenyan employer organisations can weather economic and legal storms to emerge more robust and resilient.

Prof Onyango is a Associate Dean of Research and Innovation at Strathmore University

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