One issue that will get your business more negative attention than you can handle is a harassment or discrimination claim gone wrong. An employee who starts upset but needing to talk can quickly turn into a big issue for your company.
As much as you may wish you could avoid the topics of harassment and discrimination, you need to have a policy in place. Your employees need a way to make a claim, and they need to feel like their claim will be addressed.
Here’s what you should know about creating an environment where your employees are comfortable making a claim.
Evaluate your current process
Before you know if you need to change what you have in place, you need to understand what is and is not working. Consider talking to people within your organization, such as:
- Human resources personnel
- Middle-level managers
- Long-term staff
- Recent hires
Rather than a formal conversation, consider sending an anonymous survey to a group of people to learn more about what they think of the current system. Include questions about what could be better.
Most employees who have a complaint either do not know the process or do not know what the process will do. Often, employees who have a harassment or discrimination claim will be nervous about keeping their job and whether their coworkers will find out.
When your employees learn what to do with a claim, they should also understand what will happen next. If there will be a long time between the claim and the next step, they should know the timeframe. In some cases, employees who are not aware of the next step confuse behind-the-scenes work with inaction.
It is essential to review your discrimination and harassment claims processes regularly. The plan that is working now may not be the best in the future.