Cognitive Biases in the Workplace

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Introduction

A workplace environment requires accurate and unbiased analysis of information, as well as the decision-making approach that relies on objective judgments. However, workplace biases as a common problem in a business setting often clouts the judgments of managers and employees, leading to poor decision-making, lack of fairness, drop in staff engagement, and, ultimately, decreased performance. The possibility of increasing the range of errors made in the organizational setting is a particularly undesirable outcome for a company that provides vital services to the community, such as an electric power company (Caseiro & Coelho, 2019). To ensure that decision-making is not affected by cognitive biases, companies working in the electric power industry need to consider the strategies based on the promotion of cross-cultural dialogue and a diversity-based perspective.

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Which of the Cognitive Biases Would You Address? Why Would You Address These Cognitive Biases?

When designing a project geared to address the biases existing in the target organization, namely, an electric company as a provider of electricity and the related services, one must mention the danger of biases affecting the performance. Indeed, unlike other types of services that can afford minor drops in the efficacy or frequency of service delivery, an electric company as a public entity providing vital services must function impeccably. In turn, with the rise in the influence of biases on managers’ and employees’ decision-making, the extent of workplace errors may rise, leading a to a major decrease in performance rates and service quality and consistency (Rost & Ehrmann, 2017). Therefore, cognitive biases must be addressed in the specified setting.

In regard to the types of biases to be considered during ties seminar, one should choose the ones associated with the failure to recognize the role of internal biases in the drop in performance rates as the ones that affect the quality of performance and the efficacy of data management to the greatest extent. The propensity toward blaming external and extraneous factors for the problems occurring in the workplace is one of the major biases that must be handled in the target workplace environment. The described attitude toward emergent operational issues is quite frequent in the corporate context, which is why it is often dismissed as less important than other biases (Caseiro & Coelho, 2019). However, in the setting of an electric company, which is responsible for supplying electricity for a specific community, the unwillingness to recognize the role of internal factors in the performance efficacy may lead to drastic outcomes such as massive power cuts across the area (Busch & Friede, 2018). Therefore, the specified type of organizational biases must remain the top priority for the target organization to consider during the seminar.

What Exercises Would You Use to Identify Cognitive Biases?

In order to assist the staff members and managers in overcoming the biases in question, exercises geared toward the identification of internal and external factors, as well as the relationships between them, will have to be included into the seminar. Namely, staff members and managers will be presented with scenarios in which they will need to locate a dilemma and point to the external and internal circumstances defining the further development of the issue. Additionally, it will be helpful to suggest the participants to perform a SWOT analysis to be able to isolate the internal factors (strengths and weakness of the organization) and the external ones (threats an opportunity that it can encounter in an economic setting). The proposed framework will guide employees and managers toward a greater understanding of the factors that affect the company’s performance and the levels of employee engagement and motivation. As a result, an improvement in the company’s performance, particularly, the quality of decision-making and the resulting extent of workplace errors, is expected to be observed after the training session is complete and the participants gain a general understanding of mitigating cognitive biases.

What “Push-Back” Might You Expect from Your Co-Workers? Why?

However, the suggested intervention is likely to face opposition among some employees, which in some cases my turn out to be quite fierce. Namely, a significant number of staff members may be reluctant to accept change since it will challenge their personal biases and, therefore, make them acknowledge the presence of certain subjectivity and even discriminatory tendencies in their judgments. Given the diverse context of the workplace in question, where cross- cultural misunderstandings and misconceptions used to occur quite often, the specified change may spur further tensions. Finally, some staff members may feel the current workload far too overwhelming and exhausting to attend seminars where they will have to face extra assignments.

To counteract the specified issues, one will need to familiarize participants with the concepts of objectivity, n unprejudiced approach to decision-making, and cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural collaboration. The specified notions will guide the target audience to the idea of accepting differences and reconciling the issues that are irrelevant to the workplace setting, focusing on the set goals instead. As a result, an increase in the efficacy of decision-making and a drop in workplace errors is expected.

If You Worked in a Different Industry, What Different Biases Might You Face? How Might You Address These?

Remarkably, the proposed solution would also work quite nicely for any other industry. The propensity toward disagreements and even conflicts in the workplace that imposes significant pressure on staff members is always fraught with confrontations and failure to accept the idea of pluralism when making decisions (Rost & Ehrmann, 2017). Therefore, similar concerns could arise in other industries, such as nursing or food service. Specifically, the presence of personal perceptions that may misalign with the perspectives of others combined with the unwillingness to recognize the validity of the opinion coming from another culture is a rather universal concern that does not depend on the industry in which it manifests itself (Busch & Friede, 2018). Similarly, the approach to address the described cognitive bias would be similar, targeting the goal of educating staff members and managers about the importance of embracing cross-cultural issues and mitigating the conflicts arising in the workplace as a result of the collision of opinions. The proposed change is likely to affect the quality of performance in any corporate setting due to the resulting rise in cooperation rates ad motivation levels in staff members.

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Conclusion

By introducing the notions of diversity and objectivity into the corporate environment, one is likely to improve the situation with cognitive biases in the workplace, minimizing them and their effect on the staff’s and managers’ decision-making. As a result, an increase in fairness and objectivity in decision-making with the resulting drop in errors and as raise in staff motivation is expected. The proposed framework implies conducting seminars geared toward the enhancement of employees ‘and managers’ ability to consider multiple perspectives when making decisions, as well as integrate the principles of culture competency into the process. Thus, the focus on diversity of opinions and the attention to underrepresented opinions will help minimize the extent of errors in the workplace, leading to better performance as a result of greater employee engagement.

References

Busch, T., & Friede, G. (2018). The robustness of the corporate social and financial performance relation: A second‐order meta‐analysis. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 25(4), 583-608.

Caseiro, N., & Coelho, A. (2019). The influence of Business Intelligence capacity, network learning and innovativeness on startups performance. Journal of Innovation & Knowledge, 4(3), 139-145.

Rost, K., & Ehrmann, T. (2017). Reporting biases in empirical management research: The example of win-win corporate social responsibility. Business & Society, 56(6), 840-888.

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BusinessEssay. (2022) 'Cognitive Biases in the Workplace'. 14 November.

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BusinessEssay. 2022. "Cognitive Biases in the Workplace." November 14, 2022. https://business-essay.com/cognitive-biases-in-the-workplace/.

1. BusinessEssay. "Cognitive Biases in the Workplace." November 14, 2022. https://business-essay.com/cognitive-biases-in-the-workplace/.


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BusinessEssay. "Cognitive Biases in the Workplace." November 14, 2022. https://business-essay.com/cognitive-biases-in-the-workplace/.