Culturedation: Navigating workplace Unconscious Bias for your Company Culture

Unconscious bias is the implicit bias we have, shaped by our own personal experiences that affects our perceptions and beliefs.

We all have them as humans!

This includes the workplace, which may affect your company culture negatively if you are not careful.

Types of unconscious bias at the workplace

These are 4 commonly occurring types:

1. Affinity Bias, where you show favoured preference to others having similarities with you.

For example, favouring colleagues who have the same hobbies as you.

2. Confirmation Bias, where you actively seek and favour information that matches your assumptions, disregarding contradicting information.

For example, perceiving an introverted colleague as incompetent, thus working together in a way that unconsciously seeks to highlight and confirm this.

3. Halo & Horn Bias, where a favourable trait (Halo) or unfavourable trait (Horn) influences your overall assessment.

For example:

  • Perceiving a 'well-dressed' colleague as competent (Halo)
  • Perceiving a 'poorly-dressed' colleague as incompetent (Horn)

4. Recency Bias, where you favour more recent occurrences as they are fresher in your mind, over older occurrences in the workplace.

For example, when a sales supervisor evaluates a subordinate's sales performance:

  • Giving a favourable performance rating after recently meeting a sales target, not considering holistically past sales targets missed prior to this
  • Giving an unfavourable performance rating after recently missing a sales target, not considering holistically past sales targets met prior to this

How to navigate unconscious bias at the workplace for your company culture?

It is vital to take intentional efforts to navigate unconscious bias for your company culture, as it can affect important decision-making and how your people engage with each other at the workplace.

An approach you can consider is to incorporate appropriate check and balances as part of your company processes and policies.

For example, to have a Diverse Team of decision-makers as far as possible in your business decision-making, supported with an Evidence-based Procedure (e.g. data-driven).

This helps you consider a wider range of diverse perspectives in your business decision-making with a more objective manner, which may not have been otherwise taken into account due to unconscious bias.

Some areas you can incorporate this:

  • When interviewing candidates and subsequent hiring decisions
  • When selecting service providers, suppliers and vendors
  • When evaluating employees for promotion and job advancement

Concluding remarks

As humans, we inevitably have some form of unconscious bias which influences how we operate in the workplace.

It is thus important to take active steps towards increased awareness and overcoming unconscious bias in our workplace for our company culture, creating the best working environment possible for best business outcomes to be nurtured.


Culturedation specialises in Company Culture Advisory and Workshops, helping you align your Company Culture with your Business.

Feel free to browse our Guides section for more useful company culture resources.

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