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”
If you are a supervisor, you may have employees coming to you about the inappropriate behaviour from employee; from the sounds of it, you think this behaviour might be harassment or bullying. And sometimes, this employee says, “but I don’t want you to do anything about it” or “if you say anything, don’t use my name.” There are plenty of supervisors who take this to heart, but they still want to resolve the situation, so they go to the alleged bully and tell them a complaint has been brought forward about them, but due to “confidentiality” they can’t give you any details. Just to be clear…you can’t do this. You either find a way to tell the alleged harasser all the information – so you can deal with it, or you leave the person alone. In this scenario, I’m going to assume that I have some supervisory responsibility over the supervisor who allowed the “shadow boxing” to go on, and I want him to correct it.
Talk to the supervisor to explain that it’s not fair to give a person some details, but not enough details to deal with any allegations. It’s like shadow boxing in which the person has no idea what he has done (or very little) and can’t put up a defence for the allegations. Tell the supervisor there has to be another conversation with the person who made the allegations to find a way to reveal all the information…and I can talk to you in more detail about how to do that. Then you’re going to have to talk to the alleged harasser and give more details, or if nothing is actually going forward, then apologize for what you said and tell this employee you had no right to handle the situation in this manner. It might not be easy, but think of the position you put this alleged harasser in – this person will very likely be paranoid about any future behaviour.
“We can’t ask people to change their behaviour if we don’t explain what they did and how we want them to improve. It’s not fair as they will be second-guessing even their good behaviour, wondering what it is they did wrong. Also, you aren’t giving any alleged harasser the opportunity to defend the behaviour. There’s always more than one side to any story and each person has to be given a chance to explain. Maybe there’s no excuse, but until this person gets all the facts, there’s no way of knowing. Now let’s go over what needs to be done to correct this situation. It’s not insurmountable and it’s a good learning experience for all of us…”
Stephen Hammond, B.A., LL.B., CSP
If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.
Stephen's NEW Book