Social media has been filled with a mixture of anger, despair and feelings of sadness over the past few days following the news of George Floyd’s death.
Protests have since erupted across many US cities, while also prompting a global social media boycott that was dubbed Blackout Tuesday, where supporters of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement demonstrated their sorrow over the tragic news.
While the right to support a personal, philosophical, or religious movement is any employees’ prerogative, one worker has allegedly been reported for supporting the BLM movement.
Taking to Twitter user @Kathrina_Mia, who also claimed to work in HR, wrote “Bahahahahaha imagine trying to report someone to a company’s HR for supporting BLM.... and then the HR person is me.”
Bahahahahaha imagine trying to report someone to a company’s HR for supporting BLM.... and then the HR person is me— Mia and also MIA (@Kathrina_Mia) June 1, 2020
Other users on the social media site shared their shock and surprise to hear that an HR professional was reported in this way and attacked for the decision to support the movement, with one user commenting on the thread: “But what's wrong with supporting BLM? Who goes to any HR for that? I'm beyond confused. How are people this dumb.”
While @Kathrina_Mia revealed in the thread that it was not a colleague who reported her and that it was in fact some ‘random person on the internet’, this highlights the importance for HR to support employees in the workplace, while also ensuring inclusivity is constantly championed.
For example, in an article published by the New York Times, it explained why it’s crucial for employers to check in with their staff members, particularly during this time where many may be feeling a mixture of emotions following the death of George Floyd.
To assist with this, organisations should promote self-care and encourage employees to take time out for their mental health if they feel it is necessary. “It is highly possible the workspace is already a source of their stress, and they don’t feel comfortable speaking up about what they are going through. It’s up to managers to open up the lines of communication and actively listen to black workers’ concerns,” the New York Times said.
In light of this, several companies have all responded to the civil rights protests currently taking place in the US by showing signs of support to those campaigning for the rights of black employees.
Microsoft, Spotify, Ford and Starbucks are among those firms who have shown support. For example, Microsoft revealed it would be using its platforms to express the voices of its employees from the Black and African American community.
Meanwhile, streaming giant Spotify stated it would release a series of initiatives, as well as a special curation of playlists under a new ‘Black History Is Now’ hub earlier this week.
Starbucks announced plans to host a virtual conversation with 2,000 employees to discuss racial injustice.
Lastly, Ford shared details about how its leaders would hold discussions with teams in order to gauge an understanding of how its employees felt regarding the recent tragic news.