RISE Up (Respect, Inclusion, Safety and Equity in the Construction Trades) is a Respectful Workplace Campaign designed to shift the culture of construction to be more inclusive to a diverse workforce. This campaign is designed to be used by public entities, construction companies, apprenticeship training programs, unions and community-based organizations. The campaign is being piloted by the City of Seattle on several public works projects as their Acceptable Worksite Program. One of the largest of these projects is the Ship Canal Bridge Project which will begin in December 2019 and is estimated to last almost three years. It is also being piloted by Sound Transit.
Customized Respectful Workplace Program
It is not possible to just “outlaw bias”. While it may seem like all you need is established rules that are easy to understand and defend, research shows that training is not effective and that “blame and shame management” does not motivate employees. To be effective, a program must be inclusive, must cover more than just women and race, and the results must be measured. Training alone can harm diversity efforts and create more bias against underrepresented groups. ANEW provides customized respectful worksite training with a social campaign in an effort to create an inclusive and diverse worksite.
Organizations can choose from the following components to create the right system for your workplace:
Policy Review and Organizational Assessment:
ANEW will provide assessment and technical assistance to organizations who wish to ensure their standards, codes of conduct and policies are inclusive. This could include application process, interview question review, organizational policies, etc.
ANEW can also assist organizations with utilizing social accountability to ensure diversity and inclusion programming is working. This can be done by creating a diversity task force or affinity group who looks at diversity numbers on an annual basis to ensure programs are working including looking at recruitment, career level attainment, and employee engagement.
Managers have a huge influence on their teams and on the cultures of their teams. They are dealing with day-to-day issues, like the conflicts that arise from diverse teams, and they need to set the tone and resolve problems. Since they are the people who hire, promote and fire, they need to set the standards for the culture, codes of conduct and policies. People leave managers more than organizations, so when managers fail the effects can be huge.
Manager training will assist in providing information on how to identify and address harassment, hazing and bullying. Training will demonstrate how implicit bias and subtle acts of exclusion can lead to less productive jobs. Training will include how to communicate and provide feedback; hiring, reviewing and promoting employees; and how they are responsible for building an inclusive culture on the site.
Respectful worksite training would be conducted as part of the onboarding process and part of orientation. It will address policies workers are expected to adhere to and provide examples which reflect the reality of the working environment. Training will engage participants to come up with solutions and to participate in worksite efforts, such as mentorship programs. Training will include discussions which explore grey areas, realistic hypotheticals and industry specific topics, not just a generic list of do’s and don’ts.
Job Box Talks or Toolbox Talks:
Research shows that contact between groups can lessen bias. Ensuring diverse teams are working together and learning about each other can decrease discrimination and harassment.
Job Box Talks will be 5 – 15 minutes training opportunities on a specific subject. For example, the discussion talk might be “Crossing the Line” which is geared to increase the group’s awareness of difference that exists within the group and increases the workers awareness of their own issues with difference. The card will have step by step instructions for the trainer, coaching questions and helpful hints. Anyone will be able to effectively implement the talk with the instructions given.
Posters will be available to utilize on the site which highlight Respect, Inclusion, Safety and Equity and why they are important on the job site.
Job Site Team Creation
ANEW will assist the contractor and public entity with the creation of a Job Site Team which engages managers and employees to work together to solve the problem and create social accountability for change.
Third Party Reporting Service:
ANEW will provide confidential third-party reporting services for the worksite. Studies show employees are less likely to report violations to their supervisor or someone else in the company for fear of retribution. ANEW will provide a third-party reporting service for the site. Business cards will be handed out at orientation and on the job sites with the reporting information process clearly outlined.
Mentorship works for a variety of reasons. First, if a journeyman feels responsible for the success of an apprentice they will be more effective leaders and advocate on behalf of the apprentice. Second, it increases the number of women and minorities who find mentors. ANEW can assist through mentorship training, a program to train apprentices on how to be a good apprentice and journeymen on how to be a good mentor. It requires four hours of training for both groups. This program teaches and encourages
Apprentices to identify their preferred learning methods, improving Journey mentors and Apprentices by teaching effective communication, learning how to ask effective questions, teaching journey mentors how to provide constructive feedback. Lastly, learning how to assess for mastery.
ANEW will design pre- and post- job surveys or annual employee surveys regarding jobsite culture. This will be used for evaluation to measure improvement.
RISE Up materials will be available at www.anewaop.org starting in January, 2020.