Home – New Forums Starting your journey Will Political Correctness Choke Your Business?

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  • #1200518
    JohnTranter
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    I feel like I live in a different world reading this thread, very interesting. I think maybe my industry is unusual, I’ve certainly been spoiled working with so many different nationalities and ages (but admittedly mostly men).

    To answer the main question, Sillicon Valley has many startups composed of white, young, men who’ve all gathered together because they have a ‘culture fit’ and find it easier to work with each other.
    Recent thinking is that there’s been a lot of missed opportunities because their products are mainly aimed at other young, white men. The lack of diversity has a direct cost to them in missed opportunities.

    So the question could also be asked, how much would a non-PC hiring policy cost you?

    #1200519
    Kelly Exeter FS Editor
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    I am find this thread to be such interesting reading.

    I think too often people feel ‘political correctness’ = “people are so easily offended these days”.

    What I’ve learned over the years is this: If someone is offended by something you’ve said or done (inadvertently or deliberately) – it’s not up to you to tell them they have no right to be offended. It’s up to you to understand why they were offended, apologise, and take that learning forward into your next interaction with them, and people like them.

    I’ve seen something on the internet where they say ‘the next time you see ‘political correctness’ in a headline or article, replace ‘political correctness’ with ‘basic human respect’ and see how the sentence sounds.

    So, for example, ‘political correctness gone mad’ would become ‘basic human respect gone mad’. See how ridiculous that sounds?

    When it comes to business – whether you’re an employer, employee or whatever – surely no one here will argue that prioritising ‘basic human respect’ as [USER=60404]@Mischelle[/USER] has done in her business is money poorly spent?

    #1200520
    Johny
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    What I’ve learned over the years is this: If someone is offended by something you’ve said or done (inadvertently or deliberately) – it’s not up to you to tell them they have no right to be offended. It’s up to you to understand why they were offended, apologise, and take that learning forward into your next interaction with them, and people like them.

    I’ve seen something on the internet where they say ‘the next time you see ‘political correctness’ in a headline or article, replace ‘political correctness’ with ‘basic human respect’ and see how the sentence sounds.

    Or alternatively:-

    http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/706825-it-s-now-very-common-to-hear-people-say-i-m-rather

    #1200521
    Greg_M
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    Kelly Exeter FS Editor, post: 237645, member: 63738 wrote:
    I am find this thread to be such interesting reading.

    I think too often people feel ‘political correctness’ = “people are so easily offended these days”.

    What I’ve learned over the years is this: If someone is offended by something you’ve said or done (inadvertently or deliberately) – it’s not up to you to tell them they have no right to be offended. It’s up to you to understand why they were offended, apologise, and take that learning forward into your next interaction with them, and people like them.

    I’ve seen something on the internet where they say ‘the next time you see ‘political correctness’ in a headline or article, replace ‘political correctness’ with ‘basic human respect’ and see how the sentence sounds.

    So, for example, ‘political correctness gone mad’ would become ‘basic human respect gone mad’. See how ridiculous that sounds?

    When it comes to business – whether you’re an employer, employee or whatever – surely no one here will argue that prioritising ‘basic human respect’ as [USER=60404]@Mischelle[/USER] has done in her business is money poorly spent?

    “So, for example, ‘political correctness gone mad’ would become ‘basic human respect gone mad’. See how ridiculous that sounds?”

    It does sound ridiculous but I’ve experienced instances where PC has been exactly that…what can be handled easily with basic human respect and empathy becomes a laborious exercise in stupidity designed by a committee.

    Also Jason touched on a big one when he mentioned that some “look’ for issues, often where none was intended or even inferred. Our media are pretty good at this one.

    My real beef is not with empathy, respect, or diversity but with the bureaucrats who determine where the boundaries are, and then create rules for others to live by.

    The risk imo is that we all become a dull shade of grey in our approach to life and business.

    #1200522
    Jason Ramage
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    The one observation i have with this thread is that we seem to be interpreting the OP message from our own eyes and own experiences and then commenting on it from this angle… From the little time i have spent on FS, what i can know is that everyone in here carries plenty of human respect towards each other and those that deserve it..

    What the replies show is the various impact and diverse manners in which PC can be interpreted and effect each and every one of us in a different way…. That being said, ‘in a perfect world’ pc or any other fair humane treatment requirement carries its merit… What cant be said, is that everyone that encounters a PC movement or issue is following the ‘the human’ interpretation of what Kelley noted from whichever side you wish to apply it too…

    What gets messy is that there are 3 parties involved:
    Legislative | people making the rules to be perceived as appeasing a current underlying of negativity in the community or world….
    Employers | those having to try and interpret the legislative process (mine field) which can be costly – EG some blue chips have departments to navigate this process and become an integral part of the PC enforcement, sometimes to the detriment of their own employer and siding with the legislative components first.
    Employees | those relishing in the PC rules and maybe even exploiting the legislative processes that have been laid out.

    What is also not said, is that generally most of the parties above do this with good intensions and play by the rules… It is those that play outside of the rules and have ulterior motives that make this area of the world difficult… This can be applied to ANY of the 3 parties above and this is where each of the replies above my thread alter as each is commenting from a personal experience or what they have seen go rightly or wrongly before them..

    So, i am not dismissing anyone and am probably advocating for each and every side of this thread as i can see the hurdles through various windows that can sometimes prop up :(

    Enjoying the banter in the thread and apologies for the length of my ‘vague’ input..

    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: hello@lucasarthur.net.au   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1200523
    Warren Cottis
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    Hi Jason

    I think you are absolutely correct here…

    LucasArthur, post: 237659, member: 34537 wrote:
    From the little time i have spent on FS, what i can know is that everyone in here carries plenty of human respect towards each other and those that deserve it..

    I further believe that most SME business owners are good people working hard to Build Something and not necessarily hurt Anyone.

    So in that respect I think the legislation is flawed.

    It stifles the SME Employer…

    And in many instances it could be argued that is disrespectful to even the potential employee.

    We all have stories to tell… so I know a quite intelligent mature age guy who has fallen on hard times. He applied for a job packing shelves with one of the Big chains.

    He scored a phone interview (when age was unknown) and was then told to attend for an Interview. He went and knew when he got there that any one of the room full of teenagers of all races would get the gig.

    Was he stupid for applying? Maybe… but when you are desperate you are desperate… and if he was applying for work with a certain Hardware Chain he might have had a better chance.

    If the potential employer could have more specifically advertised then that situation would not have occurred.

    I believe that there is a huge economic cost to all of this when fundamentally most employers want to live happy lives with happy staff.

    But someone (and God knows I’d love to know who the person was) woke up one day and thought… You know what? We need political correctness.

    And that one person had the lobbying ability to change a Nation and our lives.

    That is both Impressive and Terrifying.

    The only thing worse is that we as SME business owners said ‘ok’ without even a Bleet or Protest… including me.

    You can’t legislate ‘Creating Respect’… I think it’s already fundamentally there now with most people in Australia… and was always a part of what Australia is about.

    #1200524
    Rohan@TD
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    [USER=129]@Warren Cottis[/USER] In answer to your previous question as a proponent of free speech I believe in less legislation regarding how individuals express themselves. However, I’m not certain that would directly lead to a better economy or operating environment for SMEs.

    One of the key reasons why is the lack of leadership and management development SME business owners have done / go through. Political correctness seeks (indirectly) to create an environment where optimal performance can be achieved in groups/society. The (maybe some) legislation shapes that environment and the actions of business leaders in a positive direction. Removing it, will remove some of the positive aspects it brings into workplaces and ultimately impact on performance.

    #1200525
    Mischelle
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    Warren Cottis, post: 237661, member: 129 wrote:
    I further believe that most SME business owners are good people working hard to Build Something and not necessarily hurt Anyone.
    So in that respect I think the legislation is flawed. It stifles the SME Employer…
    He scored a phone interview (when age was unknown) and was then told to attend for an Interview. He went and knew when he got there that any one of the room full of teenagers of all races would get the gig.

    If the potential employer could have more specifically advertised then that situation would not have occurred.

    The only thing worse is that we as SME business owners said ‘ok’ without even a Bleet or Protest… including me.
    .

    Hi Warren,

    I agree…..:) We as business owners try and do our best with the resources we have (IE: no HR departments), and when we can’t advertise exactly what we need to round out our business and compliment the other employees and create a balanced workplace it makes it hard and time consuming for all.

    BUT I create my adverts in a way that does a lot of the hard work for me, I map out exactly the amount of experience I need as a minimum, I detail any specific requirements for the role, and I provide a detailed PD in advert. All of this helps me narrow down the applicants.

    In your example, I feel for the guy and the effort he went through, the time and money spent etc, as well as the emotional toll from the frustration. SIDE NOTE: I believe the big chains could benefit from older employees.

    BUT it’s also a little insane that no-one puts their age on resumes anymore due to the risk of discrimination, all of this contributes to the frustration by all.

    If the potential employer could have more specifically advertised then that situation would not have occurred.

    For retail (Big Chains) areas etc it would help if they could be specific, but they never will, which is the whole point of this thread :rolleyes:

    I know we have all been putting forward lots of different perspectives on how rules and regs have impacted us as SME’s and not all of it has been specifically about your original post, but I think you have hit upon a big problem we are all facing.

    #1200526
    Mischelle
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    [USER=129]@Warren Cottis[/USER] , I also want to add a big thank you for starting this post, these types of posts help a lot of SME’s who grapple with these issues. :)

    #1200527
    talart
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    A very simple approach in my accommodation business there is not even a politically correct acknowledgment in anything. It works by greeting guests, showing them through showing the facilities. Get them settled and enjoy the company. My guests are every race, religion and colour.

    Being aware is the onus on me. I can assure you that I get surprised regularly at the variety of reactions to simply offering to assist in carrying bags inside.

    As a policy being politically correct is a direction you can try to follow to the best of your ability. There is no possible perfect operation because of the diversity in the cultures of the world that are resident or holidaying in Australia.

    This will not choke my business, if anything it highlights the experience for me. It does work and tolerance is a must for those who espouse political correctness as it is for those who have never heard of it.

    #1200528
    bb1
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    talart, post: 238395, member: 85074 wrote:
    A very simple approach in my accommodation business there is not even a politically correct acknowledgment in anything. It works by greeting guests, showing them through showing the facilities. Get them settled and enjoy the company. My guests are every race, religion and colour.

    Being aware is the onus on me. I can assure you that I get surprised regularly at the variety of reactions to simply offering to assist in carrying bags inside.

    As a policy being politically correct is a direction you can try to follow to the best of your ability. There is no possible perfect operation because of the diversity in the cultures of the world that are resident or holidaying in Australia.

    This will not choke my business, if anything it highlights the experience for me. It does work and tolerance is a must for those who espouse political correctness as it is for those who have never heard of it.

    Sorry I promised I would jump out of the discussion but,

    I think this response is great, what it basically boils down to, is it is not political correctness, but good old fashioned good customer service, meet the needs of the customer. Good old fashioned human decency in how we interact and behave with others, considering there needs and feelings. That’s not political correctness, that’s just old fashioned being nice to people.

    #1200529
    bb1
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    I have read some of the earlier posts (and bit my tongue), because some off it has being put down to political correctness, whereas it just isn’t, if you weren’t doing some of that stuff in your business without having to think ”political correctness”, or government rules, you don’t deserve to be in business. Have we just forgotten decent humanity in our life’s, and all we think about is ”ourselves”, and if we have to think about Fred down the street its only because ”political correctness” dictates it.

    Others are claiming costs for ”political correctness”, where my reading of it is that it is just the boss being over the top and wanting to be a control freak. Really do we train our staff that???

    Ok I’m out of here again, most probably broke another forum rule

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