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.

ARTICLES

#30

WHEN SOMEONE TELLS A JOKE, MOST PEOPLE LAUGH, BUT IT'S INAPPROPRIATE, ESPECIALLY FOR ONE PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE, BUT NO ONE SAYS ANYTHING

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There are plenty of jokes we find funny, even when we know the jokes are inappropriate. And for some reason, having a good sense of humour is almost more important than many other traits, so we don’t want to be seen as a stick-in-the-mud. But when jokes told at work have a negative impact on one or more persons, someone has to speak up. All employees should, but supervisors must. The person negatively affected might want to say something, but doesn’t always feel comfortable or brave enough. Hence, when it comes from someone who isn’t personally affected, it might be easier. Humour and our reaction to it is rather complex, considering it’s “just a joke.”

 

TRY THIS:

 

Speak up when it’s obvious the joke was inappropriate. That’s often the best way to address it as everyone gets the same message at the same time. If it’s really bad, then further action might be needed. However, if you think it’s only bad enough that a comment will do the trick, then now’s the time to speak up. Afterwards, you decide if there’s more to be done, such as speaking to the person affected. It could be that this person will be satisfied with your response to the joke. One thing for sure is that you can encourage the affected employee to speak up in the future, and/or come to talk to you if there’s more attention needed.

 

HOW ABOUT:

 

“Ok, ok, I think we’ve heard enough jokes about ________. I like a good joke as much as the next person, but at work, there has to be some limits…and that joke went over the line. I’m not asking everyone to stop telling jokes or to not find humour in many situations, but all of us can figure out what is appropriate and what is not. On your own time, do what you want…but here, please don’t tell anymore jokes like that.”

 

 

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

 

If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.

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© STEPHEN HAMMOND - HARASSMENT SOLUTIONS INC.    
 
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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