Recently, Basecamp came under fire for announcing new approaches to several aspects of its work culture like benefits, performance reviews, and DEI efforts. Most significantly, it banned political discussions amongst employees on company channels, a decision also taken by Coinbase late last year.
Social media lambasted the company’s leadership for adopting regressive workplace practices, and eventually Basecamp’s founders issued an apology for how they communicated the changes, not for the changes themselves. But there was a faction of supporters too, welcoming the dawn of the apolitical workplace. The ongoing nature of the discussions shows that even a year after Black Lives Matter protests forced America’s racial reckoning into the office, many leaders remain clueless about how to show up for their teams, especially those from under-represented backgrounds. On the other hand, employees at all levels are exhausted after encountering bosses who offer trite promises or weekly yoga classes in lieu of real, meaningful support.
This is a problem, but it’s also an opportunity for executives who want to build truly progressive companies in 2021. For those leaders, here are a few things to know about building inclusive cultures that walk the talk.