In Part 1 of this series, I made the case that predators likely exist in every workplace.
And I posed the question: What can leaders do to protect our people when most people have been victimized at work at on average five times before they say something or quit.
Why Are They Not Saying Anything?
1) Most feel they nowhere to turn for help.
2) They have no faith that leadership will believe or support them.
What Is A Boss To Do To Provide Safe Harbour
Legally and morally, you are required to provide a safe place to turn.
Legally, the courts and governments have found that workplace harassment & violence is to be treated no differently that any other type of Occupational Health & Safety matter.
Morally, you are responsible for developing policies and procedures to keep employees safe.
What Are The 3 Actions You Need To Do:
1. Implement a Policy & Procedures
Developing a policy is the easy part, just Google ‘harassment policy and the name of your state or province’ and you will find all you need.
But you must do more. Because adding one more policy to that giant thick book of policies is useless unless it is lived and breathed by everyone.
Implement an education program with lunch & learns, guest speakers, role-playing, etc. to educate everyone on the policy and what it means.
2. Evaluate the risk
Form a committee to review any history of violence in your workplace by:
– Asking employees about their experiences and concerns for themselves or others.
– Implementing a whistle-blower line
– Reviewing any incidents of violence
– Assessing the workplace for the risk factors associated with violence.
– Getting information from your industry association, workers’ compensation board, occupational health and safety regulators or union office.
– Seeking advice from local police service
3. Get Serious
You are responsible.
As the senior person in your organization, you must champion and personally communicate your commitment to a safe workplace.
When Army developed harassment policies in the 80’s, they used posters and peer training to educate the troops. That helped, but trust me, when the CO and the RSM personally came and talked about it … we took it seriously.
So get off your duff and demonstrate that you are serious
And when something comes up take it seriously, investigate it and act.
Build A Culture Of Safety To Provide People Somewhere To Go
Whether caused by predators, mental health issues, drugs & alcohol or challenging clients providing a safe workplace is 100% your responsibility as the leader.
Just as you take the financial health of your company seriously, invest the same into providing a workplace safe from violence and harassment.
Because it is the law,
It is the right thing to do, and
You are responsible!