Here's a FREE selection of articles that address many different problems and situations in your workplace.
WHEN A PERSON IS CALLED ON THEIR COMMENTS OR JOKES,
THEIR RESPONSE IS "IT'S ONLY A JOKE" OR “CAN'T YOU TAKE A JOKE?”
A WOMAN IN A MALE DOMINATED WORKPLACE GETS LESS THAN KIND
COMMENTS FROM THE GUYS AND WHEN ASKED ABOUT IT QUIETLY,
SHE SAYS IT DOESN'T BOTHER HER, OR SHE CAN TAKE IT
ASKING A PERSON WHO IS CONSIDERED A "MINORITY"
TO DO TASKS OTHERS ARE REQUIRED TO DO, YET THEY CRY FOUL
EMPLOYEES WHO MAKE DISPARAGING COMMENTS ABOUT MANAGEMENT AND MANAGERS WHO MAKE DISPARAGING COMMENTS ABOUT UNIONS, GENERALLY
WHEN SEVERAL EMPLOYEES MAKE DEROGATORY COMMENTS ABOUT
ANOTHER EMPLOYEE, WHO IS NOT PRESENT, AND OUTSIDE OF WORK
WHEN SOMEONE TELLS A JOKE, MOST PEOPLE LAUGH, BUT IT'S INAPPROPRIATE, ESPECIALLY FOR ONE PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE, BUT NO ONE SAYS ANYTHING
WHEN EMPLOYEES DON'T WANT TO PICK UP THE SLACK BECAUSE A CHRISTIAN EMPLOYEE NEEDS TIME OFF FOR MASS AND WON'T WORK ON SUNDAYS
WHEN AN EMPLOYEE TAKES PART IN REPUGNANT, BUT NOT ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES, SUCH AS A WHITE SUPREMACIST GROUP, OUTSIDE OF WORK
YET NEVER SAYS OR DOES ANYTHING AT WORK
WHEN TWO EMPLOYEES WERE VERY GOOD FRIENDS, BUT HAD A PHYSICAL FIGHT OUTSIDE WORK AND NOW ONE OF THEM WON'T WORK WITH THE OTHER
OVER SOME OPEN FORM OF COMMUNICATION (RADIO OR GROUP EMAIL) AN EMPLOYEE STATES ABOUT ONE OF THE GUYS, "IT MUST BE THAT TIME OF THE MONTH" BECAUSE THIS FELLOW WAS BEING TOO EMOTIONAL
WHEN A WOMAN CAN’T DO THE SAME PHYSICAL WORK
A MALE CO-WORKER CAN DO, BUT IT’S ONLY A SMALL PART OF THE JOB
WHEN A PERSON APPEARS ALMOST RUDE IN EMAILS, BUT IN PERSON THEY COME ACROSS DIFFERENTLY – CONSIDERATE
WHEN SOMEONE WON’T TAKE “NO” FOR AN ANSWER – THEY HAVE EXHAUSTED ALL APPEALS AND PEOPLE DON’T SEE IT HIS WAY
WHEN SOMEONE IS AFRAID TO SAY ANYTHING TO SOMEONE WHO IS “DIFFERENT” FOR FEAR OF A COMPLAINT OR INSULTING THESE PEOPLE
PERSONS LOWER THEIR VOICES WHEN TALKING ABOUT SOMEONE WHO IS (WHISPER) “BLACK”
“Don’t bother arguing with Alice. She been saying those things since she was young and nothing is going to change her mind.” For whatever reason(s), some people will hold onto certain prejudices even when they are shown to be wrong. They’ve had them for years and they’re not about to change now. Yet in the workplace, there are plenty of people with many years of service, or who are approaching retirement. Why bother trying to get them to change now? You might as well ride it out.
You’ve got two choices, in a case like this, because if you get caught in some form of workplace human rights dispute, an adjudicator or arbitrator won’t give you a “get out of jail” card because the person is close to retirement. The first choice is to rethink the old adage, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. First of all, you can…and you can with people, not just dogs. If people are given the right incentive, they will change. Or they’ll move on. While you don’t want to lose a valuable employee, if he’s causing workplace problems, he’s not really that valuable. But most will change because it’s not worth it for them to continue and get in trouble, or get fired.
The second is to not teach the dog, or the person, new tricks at all. The employee just has to know that regardless of what they think, they can’t say it. Plain and simple. And the consequences apply the same way they did in choice number one.
Let the employee with ingrained opinions know you’re not interested in changing her mind. She can continue to think any way she wants. She just can’t pass those opinions onto others at work. That includes work hours, coffee breaks and lunches. If it’s off the company premises, on her own time, and she spouts off the same stuff to other employees, that better not make its way back to the workplace. In other words, you don’t want a loophole when it involves fellow employees just because it’s off company premises.
“I want to address the comments you continue to make about women. I don’t care what your personal thoughts are, but I don’t want to hear them at work. You have every right to think what you want, but I have every right to ensure all employees feel comfortable at work. I don’t want to hear those comments at work again.”
“I no longer hear you making jokes about lesbians while at work and I appreciate that. I’m going to have to ask you to do the same at your breaks. My responsibility for a respectful workplace includes many things and at many locations. Coffee breaks don’t allow for a free-for-all, just because they’re your break.”
“I know you think the things you say are just opinions. But I’ve made it clear before that whether you think they are facts, or opinions, they can still have a negative impact on others. When you’re at work, or when your comments are made outside of work and make their way back into this workplace, you’ve got to stop saying them.”
Stephen Hammond, B.A., LL.B., CSP
If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.
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