Scandals about sexual harassment, racial discrimination, ageism, and other similarly sensitive issues are not uncommon in the professional world. Many companies and organizations across industries have received backlash for their toxic workplace culture, behavior, or practices. The statistics about employee lawsuits tell us everything we need to know about the severity of these issues.
Companies face many risks, but they also have many responsibilities. A company that tolerates or enables toxic behavior in the workplace will suffer reputational damage. This can lead to loss of customers and sales, high employee turnover, low hiring capabilities, and not only. Maintaining a safe and positive work environment is the legal, ethical, and efficient way to run a company or organization. How to achieve this goal? Read on to find out.
Strong Focus on Communication
Employees shouldn’t have any second thoughts about talking with managers, supervisors, or the HR team about things that bother them in the workplace. Encouraging honest communication is the hallmark of effective leadership. Good communication can help solve or avoid problems.
If employees experience harassment, bullying, discrimination, or unfair treatment, they must feel free to talk to someone about these things. Fear of being ignored or reprimanded should not be a problem. When employees don’t have anyone reliable to talk to in the company, they may choose to go directly to a lawyer.
Are you being subjected to discriminatory behavior at work? There are many lawyers protecting workers from discrimination, so reach out as soon as possible to discuss your situation.
Respect for Diversity
Gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age, and socioeconomic status are defining characteristics of an individual. However, they should never be an excuse to treat someone differently. The modern workplace is highly diverse. Respecting and celebrating diversity in the workplace is critical because this is an environment where professional skills and experience are the only criteria that matter.
Welcoming and embracing differences is an excellent way to create a safe and positive work environment.
A Zero-Tolerance Policy
A zero-tolerance policy demands a strict approach to problems that may disturb the work environment. More specifically, it refers to taking action against employees even for minor instances of misconduct or toxic behavior. No one should be allowed to cause another person discomfort or treat people differently based on arbitrary criteria.
How can the zero-tolerance policy help? First, it discourages discrimination, harassment, or unfair treatment. Secondly, it shows that the company takes such issues very seriously. A major complaint in the public space is that managers and supervisors disregard information about toxic behavior in the workplace, minimizing its impact.
Taking decisive action is crucial for protecting the employees’ well-being and the company’s reputation.
Employees who work in a safe and positive environment have the time and mental energy to focus on their work and thus achieve peak performance. Companies must realize that a healthy work environment is also more productive. Combating unfairness, discrimination, and abuse is also a non-negotiable legal duty. A company that fails to provide a healthy work environment risks facing severe consequences.