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”
We’re all trying our best. I say that all the time, sometimes to others, and sometimes about something I’m being called on. As long as we don’t come from a place of hurt or bad intentions, we are usually just trying our best and can always be open to more education. There are many people I’ve worked with over the years who tell me they are afraid of saying most anything to someone who is different from them, perhaps gender, colour of skins, religion, sexual orientation or other differences. Perhaps there is no basis for it because they just heard rumours from a colleague, or perhaps they had a bad experience with just one person. Once bitten, twice shy. Unless a workplace will throw employees under the bus for innocent mistakes, hopefully you can tell people they shouldn’t be afraid of a complaint. Perhaps they can give thought to what they say, but you don’t want employees walking on egg shells.
Ask this person why they think a colleague would make a formal complaint just by talking to them. If the answer is that it’s happened in the past and the story seems reasonable and logical (i.e. believable) then you really should follow up. Unless that happens, if it’s just that there’s a rumour or too much information in the news about every “different” person making complaints, be rational. Explain that we’re all different and there’s no reason their colleague wants to stir things up. They come to work to be as successful as all of us do. Try to alleviate any fears...because often it’s the fears that are much greater than the reality.
“I haven’t experienced any strange behaviour from Darshan when I speak to him. We talk about work and our personal lives, without incident. From what you’ve told me, you’ve never experienced anything except pleasant interactions with him, so I’m guessing it’s just your fears. Perhaps you can tell me what makes you think something you’d say would be interpreted negatively and would lead to a complaint? If you’re concerned about innocently slipping up, we all make mistakes. Of course it’s important to not say anything you know is going to be inappropriate, but I think you’re smart enough to know that. If you’re not certain, you can always ask Darshan…he seems like a pretty reasonable guy.”
Stephen Hammond, B.A., LL.B., CSP
If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.
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