If something inappropriate is said directly to an employee, it’s usually straight forward. When two employees are saying something inappropriate (they may consent to it) but another person overhears it and doesn’t like the comment, that too is quite straight forward. You simply address the inappropriate comments or behaviours.

 

However, when an employee hears about inappropriate comments from another employee – hence has no direct knowledge at all – then that usually involves a bit more work. There may be truth to the comments, there may not, or there may be something in-between. Your job will be to find out if there is anything to this and if there is, follow up.

 

TRY THIS:

 

Let the employee know that any inappropriate behaviours are taken seriously, however, due process and fairness must be respected. Since this employee doesn’t have direct knowledge of it, this person is only getting one possible side to the story. That being said, it’s much better to find out what’s really going on than just sitting back, waiting for something to explode at work. Ask for details of what this employee knows and find out who else you need to talk to.

 

HOW ABOUT:

 

“While you’re hearing this 2nd hand, it doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about it, or try to find out more about it. I’d like you to give me more details about what you heard and who you heard it from. If the other employee is reluctant to speak up, I can still talk to this person and find out what happened. But we must be fair to everyone involved to ensure we’re getting accurate information…not just rumours. So…let me ask you a few more questions…”

 

 

Stephen Hammond, B.A., LL.B., CSP

 

If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.

#25

WHEN AN EMPLOYEE HEARS ABOUT INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR FROM A THIRD PARTY

Dealing with workplace harassment, bullying and discrimination to create a respectful workplace

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Here's a FREE selection of articles that address many different problems and situations in your workplace.

Here's a FREE selection of articles that address many different problems and situations in your workplace.

© STEPHEN HAMMOND HARASSMENT SOLUTIONS INC.
 
  
 
CONTACT