We all want to work in a positive environment. We spend most of our working week in the office, and we often can’t choose the people we’re surrounded by. If someone is acting out, it can bring the whole culture of the office into disrepute. But more importantly, it can have a severe impact on the people who are victimized by the behavior. Sometimes, there will be legal consequences too.
Make sure these five behaviors never go overlooked in your workplace.
Unwanted attention of a sexual nature has absolutely no place in the office. But did you know that 54% of women have experienced sexual harassment at work? This means it’s likely happening in your office, perhaps without you realizing. Have clear guidelines in place for victims to report these incidences, and a strong code of conduct that explains that harassment will not be tolerated.
With more businesses relying on digital platforms to communicate, the risk of cyberbullying is higher than ever. What’s more, now employees can use social media to bully or harass coworkers. This is clearly unacceptable, but it can be hard to intervene. Do your conduct policies cover what your staff do outside of office hours? It’s a hard one, but something to consider since workplaces shouldn’t tolerate any harassment between coworkers.
This one can be hard to put your finger on. Sometimes office politics or gossip has a very nasty edge to it, which can be hard to observe from the outside. But if someone in your workplace is continuously belittled, ignored, shunned, or gossiped about, this cannot be overlooked. It’s vital to build a supportive, positive, and caring working environment, where incidences like this will not be the norm.
Threats and aggression
Aggressive behavior or threatening words is a clear red line for most professionals. But what constitutes threatening behavior? Even a pointed finger or a raised voice can give off a deliberately menacing air. Sadly, physical aggression is a common form of harassment at work, so it’s imperative you have policies in place to deal with it. Staff should know there is a zero-tolerance approach, and what the repercussions are.
Discrimination can come in many forms, so it’s important that your policies and code of conduct cover all bases. It could involve race, gender, disability, sexuality, age, and national origin – and many other characteristics besides. In 2019, ignorance cannot be used as an excuse. That’s why sensitivity training is essential. It can make people think twice about the language they use and the way they interact with coworkers. Plus, it sets clear lines for what will and will not be tolerated in the workplace.
It’s important to remember that discrimination and harassment can come from the management and the company as a whole, not just other coworkers. That’s why it’s so vital to have a zero-tolerance approach to these behaviors. If behaviors are allowed to become the norm, they easily become part of the workplace culture, so it’s essential to nip them in the bud.