What Your Business Can Learn from Uber’s Culture Mistakes


Uber recently came under fire. Accusations of sexual harassment and systemic discrimination were revealed, ultimately leading to the resignation of a primary board member and a leave of absence for the CEO. Failing to create a culture that supported and cared for employees has had a significant impact on the organization, leaving them to clean up a mess that may have otherwise been avoided.

There are many lessons companies can learn from the Uber debacle. Here are some of the more prominent ones worth considering.

Strong Policies

Organizations need to maintain clear policies regarding discrimination and harassment in the workplace and ensure that all portions of the policies apply to everyone working for the company, regardless of the position they hold. Allowing members of upper management to functions within a different set of rules creates and “us and them” culture, separating workers from those who oversee their activities.

All policies, including associated disciplinary action, need to apply to everyone equally. This ensures all workers feel protected by the business as there is a documented method for handling issues no matter who is involved.

Grievance Tracking

Managers and human resources professionals weren’t operating with concrete, consistent protocols for tracking complaints filed by employees. This means the critical information was not properly accounted for and opportunities for follow-up were missed.

To help avoid similar issues, businesses need to ensure that all grievances are handled properly and that any associated actions are tracked as they occur. This provides a better mechanism for making corrections, monitoring the course of action, and confirming the obtainment of resolutions.

Constantly Reassess

A company’s culture isn’t created or changed overnight. Management needs to remain fully aware of shifts as they occur, as this allows them to take action as necessary to keep things on the right track. Often, this means keeping the lines of communication open and including all employees in critical discussions. By seeing your company as a large community where every voice matters, you are better equipped to stop negative shifts and create positive change at the earliest possible moment.

Eliminate Biases

Both conscious and unconscious biases can do harm to an organization in terms of the hiring, disciplining, and termination or employees. Failing to monitor recruitment and employee data for signs of potential patterns makes maintaining an environment focused on inclusion difficult as it is harder to spot issues as they occur.

Properly training management and human resources personnel responsible for interviewing and selecting candidates or managing disciplinary actions can help alleviate some of these concerns. Additionally, increasing transparency for performance reviews and promotions can ensure employees have enough information to see why certain decisions are made.

If your business would like to explore hiring options that remove bias from the equation, the knowledgeable team at MindFinders can offer a solution. As a leader in the IT staffing industry in the DC area, we have the skills and experience necessary to help you find the right candidates, removing the potential for hiring bias entirely.

Written by Tim Booker, President and CEO of MindFinders, with over 20 years of industry experience.


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